Why Your Employee Onboarding Process Matters for Years after It’s Over

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You might think of your employee onboarding process only in terms of getting your new hires prepared to work. After all, ensuring that new employees have the right tools and the skills is a critical aspect of onboarding. But even though this process may end within the first few weeks or months, its impact will be felt for years afterward. You need to design your process with this in mind if you want to succeed with your new employees. Here are a few reasons that your onboarding process matters for years after it’s over.

1. The Right Onboarding Process Will Instill a Strong Sense of the Company Values in Your Employees

A good employee onboarding process includes more than giving employees their login information or providing a laundry list of responsibilities and tasks. The process should also include an introduction to the company culture. Specifically, it should cover the company values and brand identity. If your employees don’t know your company values well, how can they represent them? If they don’t know your brand identity, how will they know how to reinforce it? How will they know if the customer service they provide is in line with it? If they don’t know the company mission or vision statement, how can they help to achieve it? By including the right training on these issues in your company’s onboarding process, you can be sure that all your employees are on the same page about where the company is and where it hopes to be. You can properly motivate employees so they can reinforce the company brand and help it to meet its goals. Don’t stop at sharing company values and goals during the onboarding process. Include plenty of examples and practice exercises to reinforce these concepts and make sure that employees understand them well. Then create ongoing training opportunities that reinforce these concepts.

2. Comprehensive Onboarding Can Create Mentorship Opportunities and Promote Social Connections

A good mentor can help employees reach their full potential. When employees perform at the highest level, they help the company become the best it can be. Make sure you assign each new hire a mentor as part of your employee onboarding process. Identify mentors within the company that not only have the superior skills and experience to guide new employees, but who also have the kind of personality and skills to be a good teacher. A good mentorship can last for years, and it can help both employees and mentors develop their strengths. Your onboarding process should also include activities that encourage social connections so that your employees can feel like they have friends at work right away and they feel comfortable. Some good ideas include happy hours, networking events, or other social outings. Many companies schedule a lunch between their new employees and their team or their department heads. For example, a small department would probably all go out to lunch with the new employee. In a larger company, just a manager would likely take the new employee out. When people feel like they have friends at the company, they will feel like they belong and will feel happier, boosting their morale and making them feel more connected and loyal to the company.

3. Proper Training Promotes Safety and Compliance With Protocols

Safety and compliance with company rules is critical. But often, employees lose sight of their importance over time, or stop being as vigilant about them. Your employee onboarding process should stress the importance of safety and compliance, and it should go over the expectations for each in painstaking detail. There should be no question of what the rules are, and there should be no question of how seriously your company leadership takes compliance. You might even need to err on the side of overemphasizing the rules. This is especially true for things like cybersecurity. Employee errors that lead to a breach of security can cost you — in dollars, manpower, and the trust of your customers. That first impression you make about upholding rules and expectations will go a long way. But you will still need to reinforce that message with additional training and messaging over time.

4. Good Onboarding Can Empower Employees and Boost Morale

Nothing will undermine productivity and potential quite like poor morale. Employees who aren’t happy won’t be motivated and won’t do the best job they can. They also won’t feel inspired to come up with new ideas and innovative solutions. A good employee onboarding process will seek ways to empower employees and boost morale so that they are motivated to do the best job they can. To start, the onboarding process should show employees how their roles impact the overall business strategy. They should show employees how they are important, and how the work they do affects the company’s overall success. Onboarding should also give employees a sense of autonomy. They should know where they stand in the hierarchy, but they should also know what power they have to make decisions or to implement new ideas. The more autonomy they feel they have, the more motivated they will feel. Other ways to boost morale and to make employees feel empowered right from the start include letting them know that they will have continual opportunities for training and professional development, showing employees potential pathways in the company for promotion and growth, and recognizing employees for their accomplishments early and often.

5. Create a Strong Onboarding Plan and Monitor Progress with the Right Software

A successful employee onboarding plan requires careful planning based on clearly defined goals for the immediate and long-term future. You need to plan not only what you want your employees to accomplish in those first weeks and months, but also for what kind of employees you hope they will become in the long term. Once you have that plan in place, you need digital tools that enable your employees to actualize these goals. Using the right software can help you with multiple aspects of your company’s growth. For example, you might be expanding your company as part of a large-scale change process, which includes a lot of new hiring. In that case, you need a change management platform like WalkMe to help you monitor the process and ensure each employee has adequate support. WalkMe helps your employees to learn processes and to ensure smooth software transitions, which reduces frustration and internal support. You’ll be able to better manage your change process, and you’ll improve your chances of success.
Jason is the Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog. Jason established the Training Station blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to training, learning and development.