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A scalable and effective employee onboarding process can support the growth of a startup and prevent employee churn and increase satisfaction rates. According to Harvard Business Review, an efficient onboarding process can boost new hire retention by 50% and increase productivity by over 60%.
However, many startups and even long-established companies are having trouble onboarding new employees – simply because they never paid much attention to this process. This article discusses a few ways how you can better adapt newcomers to your company.
The earlier your company’s lifecycle you develop and implement the onboarding process, the easier it will be to grow your team in the long term. Consider starting with an onboarding plan covering the newcomer’s adaptation period. And it’s not only about the first day or week at work – it’s also helpful to think of the onboarding period from a longer perspective: the first month, three months, half a year.
Within the onboarding period, the first day or two are the most crucial. From a practical standpoint, it is on the first day that you have the greatest impact on new hires and their impression of the new job. So, you’d probably be willing to create a positive experience where everything goes smoothly and predictably.
Introduce the new hire to your team
Social onboarding is just as important as a technical one. However, it’s often overlooked, so the new employee has to cope with this independently, trying to figure out who’s responsible for what and getting to know colleagues better. And while this can be a trivial task for an outgoing person, a more reserved or introverted employee might have difficulties and feel like a stranger in a foreign land.
To avoid this, introduce a new hire to the key people they will likely interact with and the relevant team members and external contacts if needed. Also helpful would be to attach an onboarding supervisor to the employee to have someone to ask questions or advice. Of course, a supervisor’s main task is to ensure that the newcomers are well adapted to the company and have everything they need for productive work.
Use onboarding checklists
The onboarding process entails several steps, from filling out HR forms and signing in for payroll and insurance to learning basic information about the company, setting up software, and getting access to corporate resources. Without step-by-step guidelines, onboarding can go off the rails and result in employee’s frustration and disappointment.
Following a checklist significantly reduces the chances of missing or confusing the onboarding stages. In addition, this is convenient for the new hire and the employer, making the overall process more transparent and straightforward. For example, you can use the Notion new hire onboarding checklist as a template or devise your own one.
Create a unified knowledge base
One of the common issues with startups is that, although the founders have access to all the information, the data isn’t shared across the team and therefore can’t scale. This creates a bottleneck that hampers the onboarding and adaptation process. The solution would be to create a company-shared knowledge base containing all the important data in a structured view.
With such a centralized database on hand, you’ll be able to provide new employees with a beneficial resource during onboarding. For example, you can include the company’s basic information, its mission, values, goals, organizational structure, departments, rules of conduct, information on benefits, a quick guide for newcomers, and many more.
Use onboarding software tools.
When your business grows, you might find it useful to automate certain processes to optimize time and resources. Onboarding, too, can be made simpler with specialized tools. For example, you can adopt HR management software with the onboarding feature instead of hiring extra HR managers or supervisors to handle the growing number of new employees.
For example, with Brainy HR, you can automate your onboarding process by creating templates for routine tasks. If hired, certain managers receive a checklist with tasks to set up a workspace, register corporate email, organize all accesses, etc. And the same works for the termination process. The HR manager can see the current status of the tasks and the responsible persons. Besides, there’s a database with all employees’ information which can also be helpful for newcomers to get to know their colleagues better.