The first weeks at a new job are critical for both the employee and the employer.

The employee has to transition to a new environment and team, and the employer has to make sure the new hire has the resources necessary to make their transition as smooth as possible.

Onboarding is an opportunity to make an impactful first impression on your new hire. Having a solid onboarding process in place is a great way to win over your new employee, introduce them to your company culture, and get them set up for success. 

While nearly every company has some form of onboarding, there is a big difference between good onboarding and great onboarding.

So what is great onboarding and why is it so important?

First let’s answer – what is onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of training new employees and getting them acclimated to working at your organization.

Onboarding can include teaching new hires company compliance, training them on your processes and technology, and introducing them to your company culture.

Almost every business has some form of onboarding; whether that be giving new hires a quick tour of your facilities or having an in depth training program. No matter what your organization’s procedures are on onboarding, it is essential to have some type of onboarding process in place for new hires. 

But what you do those first days and weeks, and what happens after the initial onboarding is done can make or break your onboarding process and be the difference in your employee retention and keep your employees happy.

Great onboarding goes beyond papers and sitting in a desk watching hours of videos. Helpful and valuable onboarding means going above and beyond to make sure your newest employee has all the tools, resources, and understanding to feel confident to start their role in your company.

Why is onboarding so important? 

Onboarding is not only beneficial for the new hires, but it also helps the organization as a whole.

New employees who experience a structured onboarding process are 58% more likely to still be with the organization after three years. This is because onboarding helps reduce employee turnover and increase new-hire productivity. It also makes new hires feel more confident and prepared in their first few months on the job. 

Your onboarding process makes transitioning to a new job easier for new employees.

By thoroughly learning company procedures, they will be more confident when they begin working. Receiving the proper training will make new employees more productive when they first start working, as they will be fully prepared to hit the ground running. 

Onboarding also helps new hires learn company procedures and compliance inside out. It will also give them the opportunity to get to know their team members and become familiar with company culture. They will feel like they are part of the team from day one! 

What is the difference between good onboarding and great onboarding?

There is a difference between good onboarding and great onboarding.

Good onboarding offers the bare minimum to your new hires. This may include a quick overview of their job responsibilities, a quick tour, and some basic training.

This type of onboarding is still better than nothing, but great onboarding is really what is going to help your business maximize productivity and reduce turnover. 

A truly helpful and thorough onboarding process goes beyond just exposing your new employees to the essentials (like who they report to, where their work station is, and where the bathroom is). 

A great onboarding process has supervisors and managers involved.

Managers and supervisors are often very busy and fail to be involved much in the onboarding process. However, carving out time to complete a thorough onboarding process and welcoming their new associate can make a big impact.

Not only would this allow an opportunity for managers and supervisors to clearly communicate their standards and expectations early on, but it would also allow for the new associate to form a strong work relationship with their superiors from day one.

Another way to improve the onboarding process is by adding more hands-on training. A part of your process could be an opportunity to train with seasoned members of your team. This offers new employees an opportunity to learn hands on experience and become more comfortable in their new role. 

It also may include a thorough training on all company guidelines, compliances, and software systems. Touchbases, questionnaires, and computer learning could also supplement an onboarding process. 

Great onboarding will make your new employees feel like an essential part of your team from day one.

Your new employee chose your company for a reason, a thorough onboarding and training program reinforces their choice in choosing to work for you. 

What else can great onboarding do for you?

Creating systems and processes to develop in-depth and thorough training does a lot for so many different aspects of your business. For instance,  not only does it help to establish relationships and trust with employees from the start but it can also work as a way to attract and hire talented employees. 

If the word gets out that your organization is great to work at and makes sure to train and support employees you may find yourself with top talent finding you and asking for a job! 

Having the support for your staff from the start can also work to create an organic team of “cheerleaders” that work for you and also help drive business. Support is mutual, and once employees feel taken care of they feel invested in their job and the business overall. 

And it’s always important to note that it works really well in employee retention. 

Know what resources are available to help you.

If your onboarding process is just “good,” try expanding your training programs to make it “great!” Your business will surely benefit from it. 

Consult with the experts at GTR to learn what successful companies are doing to hire more efficiently and improve their onboarding process.