Onboarding For New Hires: The Importance of HR

The Business Blocks

A key to a good onboarding program is not only its implementation, onboarding for new hires requires patience and consistency.

Companies must be able to track and sustain it. Starting a program but not maintaining it may result in a bad employee experience. Hence, companies must consistently use a proper onboarding process to ensure employee satisfaction and retention.

A consistent onboarding program leads to better employee performance and a good company image. With a proper onboarding process, employees will feel a stronger connection with the company, thus resulting in a higher engagement. Good employee engagement can then translate to better performance. Ideally, they will recommend the company to their friends and relatives if they are happy in their working environment. Hence, it will enhance the image of the company. It will attract more talented people to apply and work in the company.

How Does a Bad Employee Onboarding Experience Affect Your Company Culture?

Poor onboarding experience dramatically affects the company culture. Some of these effects are the following:

  • Their onboarding experience can affect how they see the company values in them—having poor onboarding experience may result in employees feeling unwelcome and ill-prepared for work. If they feel unappreciated and not confident to work, they will lose motivation, impacting their performance.  
  • Poor onboarding can result in employees not fully understanding the company policies and the importance of their compliance. If companies fail to instill the value of these policies in them, employees might take them for granted and not fully observe them.
  • It may lead to trust issues within the company. If the employees had a bad onboarding experience, they might negatively perceive the company. They might view the company as unreliable. It may also lead to disharmony among employees when new hires join the team. In this case, they may be reluctant to convey their concerns to the appropriate authorities since they cannot rely on the management to resolve the issue.
  • It can lead to a high turnover of employees. Employee retention can be at risk when new hires are dissatisfied with their onboarding experience. When they feel unhappy and unappreciated, they may not want to stay and work in the company.
  • Poor onboarding can eventually lead to bad company practices. Non-compliance with company policies, disrespect of company hierarchy, and low productivity can be part of the everyday working life of the employees. Eventually, these behaviors may become part of company culture and practices.  
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Is your Onboarding Process For New Hires Manual and Outdated?

A manual and outdated onboarding is an onboarding process that highly depends on human intervention. It is based on old-fashioned techniques and relies heavily on human judgment. The beginning up to the completion of the process requires the physical efforts of the Human Resource Department.

Some of its features are the following:

  • The HR department manages the entire process manually. Administrative work, such as completing forms, generating, and submitting reports, requires manually inputting details and manually sending them. Also, all interviews need the physical attendance of both the interviewee and interviewer.
  • The orientation, training, and seminars require the physical presence of the trainers and participants. Hence, it may be a challenge when the location of the activity is different from the site where the employee is assigned to work or when there is an emergency, and the participants cannot physically attend.
  • Since the system is manual, the information generated is based solely on human judgment. For this reason, it is susceptible to errors. Thus, it requires great attention to detail. A secondary reviewer may also be helpful to check the reports to spot and correct the mistakes.
  • HR does the email communication manually. Unlike automated systems that generate emails automatically, HR has to respond to all emails and write each separately.
  • The human resource department will need to store many physical documents since printed paper evidence most transactions. HR usually prints out requests, job offers, authorization letters, personnel information, approval, contracts, and the like to process them.

Here are some adverse effects of the manual and outdated onboarding process:

  • The human Resource department spends most of its time performing administrative and routine tasks. In a manual and obsolete onboarding process, the activities require manual inputs. It takes a substantial amount of time from HR. On the other hand, the objective of the onboarding process is to assimilate the employees into the company. They need close guidance from HR during this period. Hence, new employees may feel lost, with their concerns unaddressed, since HR spends more time completing administrative tasks than engaging with them.
  • HR may commit significant mistakes. Since HR manually inputs the data, they may commit mistakes determinantal to onboarding for new hires that, when missed, may result in incurring fines and penalties on the part of the company, or worse, legal troubles. For instance, HR may miss submitting a government-required form for a new employee. Another example is inadvertently releasing highly restricted and confidential data to unauthorized employees. These faults can be costly and damaging to the company’s reputation.
  • The system is prone to loss of documents. Since printed papers evidence most transactions, HR needs a proper storage facility to secure their data. If the facility is unsecured and unrestricted to employees, they may lose documents. Again, it may cause the company to incur penalties or lawsuits if the lost documents contain confidential information.  
  • HR may fail to resolve the concerns of employees. Since HR spends most of its time doing administrative tasks than dealing with employees, new employees may feel lost. Also, since all emails are read and responded to manually, HR may miss some emails. Hence, some of the employees’ concerns may be left unaddressed.
  • HR processes the transactions slowly. Since HR processes all transactions manually, they have to review all forms submitted individually. It is time-consuming. Hence, it will result in slow processing of employees’ data and requests, resulting in delayed outputs.
  • The physical documents are prone to alteration. Some employees may commit fraud since most of the data are in physical papers. They may alter some of their information since it is difficult to verify a large volume of data in printed documents.

Has your onboarding for new hires process been updated for Remote Onboarding?

The onboarding process aims to assimilate the employees into the company – to equip them with the essential skills, tools, and information to become productive members of the company. Hence, companies adopt different strategic measures to develop an effective onboarding program.

With the majority of the employees now working remotely, the onboarding process for onsite employees may not apply to those working offsite– thus, the need for an update to the remote onboarding process.

It is a challenge for HR to monitor the new employees that work offsite. Remote employees find it hard to access the tools and materials to perform their functions. Moreover, offsite employees may have difficulties establishing effective communication for not meeting personally.

With remote onboarding, HR can monitor and assist the employees without physical presence. It grants employees easy access to tools and information available in the company portal, enabling them to study the materials anywhere and anytime.

Also, remote employees can connect and build relationships with other employees without going to the office. Thus, the traditional onboarding process is transformed into remote onboarding through digital and virtual platforms to support new employees working offsite.

The following are some examples of what can happen if the onboarding process is updated:

  • Trainers conduct training and seminars virtually. There is no need for the participants and the trainers to attend physically. Trainers can teach the participants and present their materials by meeting online. If the participants have questions and clarifications, they can also ask the trainers directly as virtual meeting platforms allow live interaction among the attendees.
  • Onboarding materials and guides become easily accessible to remote employees. HR can post the onboarding materials to the portal. When employees want to study the materials, they will have to log in to their accounts and access them. These materials include the employee handbook, pre-recorded video instructions, and company policies and processes.
  • Employees’ exams and the checking thereof also happen through the web. Employees can immediately know their rating after the test. Usually, the exams consist of theories and practical sections. If the employees fail the theoretical exam, they will have to study the materials again before retaking the test. If they pass, they can go to the next phase. In the practical section, they will have to apply what they learned by conducting the process.
  • Employees can communicate faster and easier. Establishing effective communication and building relationships is essential in ensuring that new employees can adapt to the company’s culture. Through virtual platforms, remote employees can meet online and communicate. Cross-training and collaboration of employees from different teams also become possible through this.
  • The organization of tasks is more manageable. HR can post the onboarding activities employees need to complete in their dashboard. Hence, employees can check their accounts if they have new tasks. Once they start working, they can change the task status to pending or completed if they have already finished the activity. Hence, employees can easily track their progress by checking the activity’s status.
  • HR can quickly review employees’ performance and immediately provide feedback to employees. Close guidance of HR is necessary to ensure that new employees adapt well to the company. Through digital platforms, HR can quickly review the progress and productivity of new employees. Also, HR can easily send their feedback.
  • HR can easily monitor the employees’ satisfaction. HR can periodically conduct surveys by posting them to the company portal. From the survey results, they can devise strategies to ensure employee satisfaction.
  • It reduces the load of administrative work of HR. With most of the transactions stored and processed on the company’s platform, it reduces the routine work of manually processing data as some processes can be automated and streamlined. For instance, HR does not need to check new employees’ exams. The company system can already rate them. For requests,  they can establish criteria within the system to automatically reject those invalid ones.
  • Slow and disruption of internet connection and electricity can be challenging for remote employees. Employees working offsite will need to have a strong internet and electric connection. In case of trouble, they have to prepare an alternative internet provider as a backup if their connection is interrupted. They also need a backup laptop to ensure that they can still work even if they lose electricity.

The Great Resignation and How a Review of Your Process May Keep People in Your Business Longer

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In 2021, a historic mass resignation of employees occurred in the United States after the government failed to provide the employees the essential working protection during the pandemic. This phenomenon is called The Great Resignation. Professor Anthony Klotz, a Management Professor of A&M University, coined this term, predicting that many workers would quit their jobs after the pandemic ends.

The phenomenon began in the spring of 2021, peaking in November, with 4.5 million resignations in that month. The highest rates of resignation are among those mid-career employees and those belonging to the technology and healthcare industries.

Some reasons that gave rise to the phenomenon are the following:

  • Poor treatment of employers to their workers – The employers’ lack of support and consideration during the pandemic caused dissatisfaction to workers.
  • Lack of work-life balance – Many employees had to work from home as many businesses were not permitted to operate. Hence, many employers failed to observe the regular working hours of their workers. Many employees had to work even beyond working hours, sacrificing their resting time.
  • Low compensation – Because of the pandemic, the cost of living increased dramatically, with the employees’ salaries remaining the same.
  • Search for a better career – During the pandemic, many employees reevaluated their career choices and changed their career paths.

Some effects of The Great Resignation are the following:

  • Slow reopening of the economy
  • Continued rising of prices resulting to higher cost of living
  • High unemployment rates
  • Many businesses were able to reevaluate their employees’ treatment and working conditions.

In summary, the Great Resignation occurred due to the employees’ dissatisfaction with their working conditions. Several aspects influence the employees’ sentiments; nevertheless, their onboarding experience is a crucial factor contributing to this. Hence, it is essential to ask for reviews from the new employees regarding their onboarding experience. It speaks out what they feel about the company.

Poor employee feedback shows a need for the company to revise its onboarding process. Good reviews from employees show that they adapt well to their workplace. It indicates a good start between the company and its employees. Companies should not neglect these reviews as they provide valuable employee satisfaction information.

Conclusion – Onboarding for new hires is not hard.

With a consistent proper onboarding for new hires process, employees will feel a stronger connection with the company leading to a higher engagement and, ultimately, good performance.

When employees are happy with their companies, they will recommend the company to their friends and relatives. It will enhance its image and attract more talented people to apply and work for it.

In contrast, poor onboarding experience negatively impacts the company culture. It will lead to employees having low morale and low engagement. They will feel unappreciated and not confident to work, thus, losing motivation and affecting their productivity. When they feel unhappy and not valued, they may not want to stay and work in the company.

Employees may not also follow the company policies. If companies fail to impart the significance of these policies, employees might take them for granted and not obey them.

Employees might view the company as unreliable. It may cause a lack of trust within the organization. Also, it might result in disharmony among employees. Eventually, these behaviors may become part of company culture and practices.  

It is, therefore, essential to have a consistent onboarding program as it has a significant impact on both the employees and the company.

Companies must also keep their onboarding process updated. With many employees now working remotely, the onboarding process for onsite employees may not apply to those working offsite.

Updating the onboarding process involves transforming the traditional onboarding process into a remote process through digital and virtual platforms. It ensures that new employees will be adequately acclimated to the company, whether working onsite or offsite. It will also enable the company to support the new employees better; thus, preventing dissatisfaction from their onboarding experience.

The employees’ dissatisfaction with their working conditions gave rise to the phenomenon of The Great Resignation. It emphasizes the value of having good reviews on the onboarding experience of new employees. Good feedback from employees indicates that they are adapting well to their workplace.

Several aspects contribute to employees’ dissatisfaction, but one key factor in preventing this is to ensure that they have satisfactory employee onboarding. It is a good start in ensuring employee satisfaction and retention. Happy employees go above and beyond their responsibilities, thus leading to better productivity.