Plek blog

Onboarding #1: Why you need onboarding

Bringing in the ideal new employee isn't easy. You're doing all you can do: an enticing vacancy, extensive screening, solid job interviews. It takes a lot of time and effort. But it's worth it if the result is a person that's just right for your organization. And then... you throw that perfect match in at the deep end, you don't look after them, and they resign within three months.

No worries: a good onboarding process can prevent this nightmare. And it all starts on Plek! That's why we will publish a series of blogs on onboarding: why you need it and how to do it right.

What did I get myself into?

The first three to six months are the most critical period of the onboarding process. Let's take a look at some shocking research "results" with regard to new employees' first couple of months (or even days) on the job:

  • 17% of new hires leave the company within three months of starting their new job (and some of them already quit within one week)
  • That means the average company is losing 1 in 6 of their new hires each month for the first three months
  • Of those employees who quit within the first six months, 23% says they didn't receive clear guidelines about responsibilities, 22% says they want more effective training and 17 percent says that even a friendly smile or helpful co-worker would have made all the difference
  • One-third of the new hires who had quit say they'd had barely any onboarding or none at all

Now let's look at how organizations can actually benefit from a good onboarding:

  • Newly hired employees are 58% more likely to still be at the company three years later if they complete a structured onboarding process
  • Effective employee onboarding programs can increase employee performance by up to 11%
  • Employees’ discretionary effort increases by more than 20% when they are onboarded effectively
  • 83% of the highest performing organizations begins onboarding prior to a new hire’s first day on the job

All aboard

Onboarding is important for new hires as well as for their managers. That's why Google uses a checklist to make sure managers discuss roles and responsibilities with new hires, schedule regular check-in meetings and connect new employees to a buddy. Twitter's onboarding takes off right after signing the employment contract and consists of many (clearly structured) steps - among which is breakfast with the CEO on the first working day.

A meta analysis of seventy research papers shows that it's very important to make employees feel socially accepted. They want to be initiated into the organization. They want to feel that they belong.

New employees don't want to figure everything out by themselves; they crave personal guidance.

By integrating into the organization's social network, new employees also gain access to information and knowledge. So the better you onboard your new employees, the faster they will get the hang of their new role, and will become productive and happy. And the greater the chance that they will become engaged and enthusiastic employees who will continue to work for the organization for a long time to come.

On Plek, we facilitate your organization's onboarding process. Plek starts with a platform onboarding: when users log in for the first time, they have to take a few introductory steps to help them on their way on their new social intranet. You can add several chapters to the onboarding for employees' next few days, weeks or months to make sure they get to know the entire organization. Obviously, you can make these onboarding chapters role- or department based. More about that in our next onboarding blog!

We started blogging about onboarding in November. In part 2 we explain how to make sure new employees get a kickstart by means of a roadmap that already starts before the first day on the job. Part 3 contains practical tips that will help you make your onboarding process official and fully integrate it into your organization. In part 4 we will tell you how to encourage new hires to connect with their colleagues.

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