by Rafaela Pinheiro (Global HR Cloud Functional Specialist at Meta4)
Talent acquisition is indisputably one of the main priorities in HR management given the growing struggle to find the best employees. This is why companies tend to invest more and more resources to select and hire the best talent in the market. However, once someone has been hired, the new employee may grapple with certain teething issues that hinder him from adapting to the company’s culture and to his new role within the organization.
Consequently, the onboarding phase is increasingly gaining ground in the HR field, since welcoming and incorporating newcomers into the company is a critical stage where the new employees start to develop a series of key attitudes and behaviours that will serve them in the long term throughout their careers.
Likewise, it is crucial to bear in mind that if the onboarding program is not carried out properly, all efforts made during the talent acquisition phase will have been in vain.
If an employee who has just joined does not feel comfortable in the way the organization is showing him the ropes and accompanying him at the beginning of his or her tenure, he will feel unmotivated and confused, ultimately leading to poor engagement and performance within the organization.
For this reason, it is essential to transmit information right from the moment the candidate accepts the offer; information such as the vision, mission, code of conduct, departmental information, the team the newcomer will start working with.
Consequently, if you want to make the process of integrating your new employees into the organization a success, it is highly important that you bear in mind common errors that many organizations make and try to avoid them, such as:
1. Lack of clarity in the definition of the employee’s functions:
Not detailing the employee’s functions and responsibilities, especially during the early days, is one of the most common mistakes in the onboarding process. Often the new employee receives ambiguous information about what their functions will be. This can spur a feeling of frustration due to a lack of sufficiently clear information on how to live up to the expectations others have of him.
Therefore, a key factor for a successful onboarding process, will be to make sure the new employee understands clearly right from the beginning his or her role, functions and responsibilities within the organization. Moreover, it is essential that the employee knows who to turn to or where to go to solve any potential queries, in addition to receiving support and guidance throughout the onboarding process in the new company.
2. Lack of access to corporate information:
In addition to familiarity with the company’s vision, mission and values, it is essential for new employees to have access to information on specific policies, and to be able to review relevant information and to use tools that let them offer suggestions or receive answers to their queries.
Success with newcomers depends on acknowledging their need to feel socially accepted and integrated into the organization as evidence shows. In fact, by providing newcomers with the right information and social networking tools, before they even start their very first day on the job, you have a far better chance of delivering a smooth employee experience and encouraging them to stay on in the company. This is best engineered through a structured onboarding process which gives different newcomers personalized access to information relevant to them as well as contact to the right people in their new role.
3. Lack of feedback:
Like any learning process, onboarding requires constant feedback from direct superiors. Feedback has the potential to support work performance, foster motivation, self-regulation and self-efficacy, enabling workers to reduce the gap between their current and desired performance.
This process normally lasts 90 days, during which it is possible that newcomers do not obtain enough feedback on the work done. However, organizing meetings to give the employee the opportunity to clarify their doubts and find out how they are performing will make for more effective learning and increases their motivation and productivity within the organization.
This entire process becomes easier with the right technology tools that enable effective performance assessments. They help newcomers to understand what their strengths are as well as to find out their opportunities for improvement.
4. Omitting continuous follow up:
Constantly tracking newcomers is just as important as giving them feedback. Such extra input from following up becomes an effective aid to support performance on the job.
It is not enough to make sure that your new employees feel welcome and to fast track their integration into the organization. Nor is it to give them the right learning actions to help them to become productive contributors to the organization’s business. Continuous follow up also helps to keep new hires on the right track and advancing in the right direction through taking immediate actions to correct weaknesses or errors swiftly.
Moreover, you need to be far-sighted to ensure that you can get a return on investment on recruiting these newcomers. A good newcomer experience eventually must become a good employee experience in time. A structured and strategic onboarding process with the right HR technology enables you to keep these employees properly engaged and constantly developing their potential so they become high performers. Market evidence shows that those employees who do go through a well-structured onboarding process were found more likely to be with the organization after several years.
A comprehensive onboarding module to control all aspects of welcoming, incorporating and assimilating a new hire into the organization and its culture helps to reduce talent loss due to poor experiences. Similarly, it also helps to formulate the strategic aspects of retaining new talent within the organization in the long term.