7 Tips for an Effective Employee Onboarding Strategy

By Maria Forbes
August 14, 2020

An effective employee onboarding strategy can foster long-term success for your company. A study conducted by Glassdoor found that companies with a strong onboarding strategy are 70% more productive than their counterparts with a weak or nonexistent onboarding strategy. At the same time, companies with a strong onboarding strategy experience 82% higher employee retention rates. By improving your company’s employee onboarding strategy, you can take advantage of these and other benefits.

#1) Look for Candidates With the ‘Big Five’

When conducting job interviews, look for candidates with the following personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Know as the “Big Five,” there’s a strong correlation between these personality traits and an employee’s ability to adapt to the company for which he or she works.
Employees with the “Big Five” are able to adapt more quickly, allowing for an easier onboarding process. Conversely, employees who lack these personality traits may struggle to adapt to your company. As you conduct job interviews and review applications, be on the lookout for employees who possess the “Big Five” since they are more responsive to onboarding than employees who lack the “Big Five.”

#2) Send a Personalized Welcome Letter or Email

Rather than waiting until the actual orientation to introduce new employees to your company, consider sending them a personalized welcome letter or email. It’s a small gesture that will make a big impact in how employees perceive your company.
New employees will feel appreciated after reading the personalized welcome letter or email, which should allow them to adapt more quickly. Just remember to personalize the welcome letter or email so that it resonates with the new employee to whom you send it.

#3) Create a Structured Orientation

Following the personalized welcome letter or email, you should create a structured orientation for new employees. A structured and formal orientation will acclimate new employees to your company’s workplace so that they’ll know what to expect.
You can use a variety of tools to create a structured orientation, including videos, slideshows, lectures and published or written documents. With a structured orientation, you can acclimate new employees to your company’s workplace more effectively.

#4) Reinforce Your Company’s Culture

An effective onboarding strategy requires more than just an orientation. While an orientation is a critical element of onboarding, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Another element that’s equally if not more important is conveying your company’s culture to new employees. No two companies have the same exact culture.
Regardless of industry, each company has its own unique culture. Therefore, you’ll need to reinforce your company’s culture to new employees during the onboarding process. You should let new employees know the values for which your company stands and how it’s distinguished from its competitors. When employees understand your company’s culture, they’ll have an easier time adjusting themselves during, as well as after, the onboarding process.

#5) Offer Resources for Professional Growth and Success

You should provide new employees with resources to help them grow and succeed professionally during your company’s onboarding process. New employees, of course, often begin at lower-level positions. Most employees accept this fact, but they still want the opportunity to rise through the corporate ranks to a higher-level position. By offering them the resources for this professional growth, they’ll feel more confident working at your company knowing that they can progress to a higher-level position.

#6) Encourage Immediate Involvement

The sooner a new employee begins working, the faster he or she will adapt to your company. Therefore, you should encourage new employees to involve themselves immediately. For example, you can ask new employees to participate in an active team. Assuming your company has teams of employees who work together to achieve a common goal, you can ask employees to join in.
New employees probably won’t have the knowledge or expertise to perform at their fullest potential — and that’s okay. Just observing the other team members will help new employees understand the inner workings of your company and what’s expected of them. By encouraging immediate involvement, you’ll have a stronger and more sound employee onboarding process.

#7) Consider Mentorship

Some companies use a mentorship program as part of their onboarding process. This involves assigning a leader or “mentor” to a new employees. The mentor will walk new employees through their daily activities while providing advice and answering any questions they have.
A mentorship program will enhance your company’s onboarding process by providing new employees with a mentor. The mentor doesn’t have to stay with the new employee forever. Even if it’s just for a few days, the mentor will provide essential information to the new employee to which he or she is assigned. In turn, the new employee will have an easier time adjusting to your company.
Also known as organizational socialization, onboarding is designed to acclimate new employees to your company. By improving your company’s onboarding process, your company will likely experience a higher retention rate and increased productivity, thereby fostering its long-term success.

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