What Is Onboarding and Why Is It Important?

What Is Onboarding and Why Is It Important?

Does your company have an official onboarding process for new employees? If not, you should consider creating one. According to MIT Sloan, one in four companies in the United States have an onboarding process. By jumping on board the bandwagon, your company will benefit in several ways. To learn more about onboarding and why it’s important, keep reading.

The Basics of Onboarding

Also referred to as organizational socialization, onboarding involves introducing and integrating new employees to your company. No two companies are the same. Regardless of what type of company you run or manage, it probably has its own unique culture. New employees, of course, aren’t familiar with your company’s culture. They may have a general understanding of its operations, but they won’t know how your company carries out these operations, nor will they know all their required duties and responsibilities. With onboarding, you can acclimate new employees to your company’s culture as well as his or her job.

Onboarding vs Orientation

While similar, onboarding isn’t the same as an orientation. Onboarding is a more methodical process, whereas an orientation is a simpler process. Most orientations are performed in a single session. In comparison, onboarding can encompass several days.

Onboarding is also customized for each new employee. Companies typically don’t use the same exact onboarding process for all new employees. Rather, they create a custom-tailored onboarding experience for each new employee. Orientations are different in the sense that they generally follow the same approach for all new employees. Whether you hire one or 10 new employees, they’ll all have the same orientation. Now that you know the basics of onboarding and how it differs from orientations, you might be wondering how it can benefit your company.

Easier Learning Curve

New employees will have an easier time learning the duties and responsibilities for their respective job if your company has an onboarding process. All jobs have a learning curve. Without any prior experience, new employees must learn the proper steps to perform their job. For some employees, it may take weeks to familiarize themselves with their new job.

For an easier learner curve that allows new employees to acclimate more quickly, look no further than onboarding. During a new employee’s onboarding process, you can explain his or her duties and responsibilities while also showing the new employee how to perform his or her job. Onboarding is a personalized experience, which is one of the ways in which it differs from orientations. When you onboard a new employee, you can create a personalized experience that acclimates him or her more quickly.

Improved Productivity

With an onboarding process, new employees will be more productive. Research, in fact, shows that onboarding increases employee productivity by over 70%. Productivity is determined by several factors, one of which being the knowledge of a given job. New employees can’t perform their job in a productive manner if they are unfamiliar with the required duties and responsibilities. For increased productivity, you should consider creating an onboarding process for your company’s new employees.

During an employee’s onboarding process, you can walk him or her through the steps. You can’t expect a new employee to be productive unless he or she knows how to perform the job. Orientations, unfortunately, offer limited insight into specific jobs. Most orientations are generalized so that they are relevant to all or most new employees. Onboarding offers a solution. Since it’s customization, you can use onboarding as an opportunity to explain and show new employees how to perform their respective job.

Lower Turnover Rate

Onboarding can have a positive impact on your company’s turnover rate. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), over two in three new employees say they are more likely to stay with a company at which they are hired if they have a positive onboarding process. As a result, your company may experience a lower turnover rate if it has an official onboarding process. How can onboarding result in a lower turnover rate exactly?

New employees may quit if they lack the necessary knowledge — or the confidence — to perform their respective job. When this occurs, they may quit. Onboarding will encourage new employees to stay with your company for a longer period because of the knowledge it provides them. A lower turnover rate is just one more way onboarding can benefit your company.

Easy to Do

Of course, onboarding is also relatively easy to do. While it takes longer than orientations, you can create an official onboarding process with minimal effort. Alternatively, there are human resource (HR) service providers that specialize in onboarding. They can help your company create the perfect onboarding process. And as mentioned above, onboarding will make it easier for new employees to learn their respective job, improve their productivity and encourage them to stay with your company for a longer period.

Brent Hermansen