First things first— what exactly does onboarding mean?
Onboarding is defined as the process which new employees undergo to familiarise themselves with the organisation, as well as acquire the necessary skillsets that will aid their transition into becoming viable members of the company. Proper onboarding is a key factor in every company’s hiring process, particularly with regards to retaining new talent and ensuring their smooth integration into the workplace.
According to SHRM Foundation’s Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success, we can ascribe four characteristics to the employee onboarding process. These characteristics are known plainly as the Four C’s. Naturally, abiding by all four C’s would be the most holistic approach. However, different organisations end up adhering to these characteristics to individual extents, ultimately determining the degree to which they succeed in their onboarding procedure.
The most basic level in onboarding requires laying out ground rules related to company policies and other legal regulations, so that new employees are aware of all the Dos and Don’ts of the organisation.
Expectations of employees and their respective roles in the company should be put across clearly from the start. As always, communication is key.
Company values, habits and other organisational behaviours fall under this general category. Employees should be prepared to align themselves with the existing work culture, as representatives of their organisation.
Professional networking and building of interpersonal relationships are integral to fitting in and becoming a productive team player. This final step is probably the trickiest bit to tackle in the onboarding process and, alongside Culture, often gets overlooked across numerous organisations which adopt more passive onboarding strategies instead.
At a glance, an effective employee onboarding process can be marked by 4 simple stages:
Let’s dive into the details below!
After the list of successful candidates have been finalised, the offer letters sent out and the contracts signed, providing new employees with welcome introductions will do well in preparing them for their first day of work. These introductions could take the form of a friendly email or a candid video conference call, during which they can be given an itinerary of their first week, including other relevant information about the company and job scope.
Welcome introductions not only orientate employees to their roles, but also provide an idea of the responsibilities and expectations required of them from the get-go.
Naturally, new employees will have to be supplied and briefed on the different software and tools operated by the company. When collecting their work tools in person, take the chance to bring employees on an engaging office tour and introduce them to the faces they will be working with in the foreseeable future.
Use this opportunity to warm employees up to the workplace— showcase the organisation’s best features, such as its dynamic environment and inclusive culture.
It shouldn’t be taken for granted that employees with former industry experience already know all the ropes. After all, the way one company runs its business may differ greatly from another. There’s bound to be some confusion when stepping into a new organisation, so it’s vital that employees are equipped with sufficient knowledge to help them get started.
In organising onboarding training, HR can collaborate with the relevant departments to run employees through their responsibilities, the company’s code of conduct, brand image, and other important rules and regulations to be taken note of. Remember to exude patience and remind employees never to hesitate in asking questions, in the case that any doubts should arise.
Building strong professional networks commences from day one. Apart from office tours and introductory greetings, further steps can be taken to encourage new employees to fit in and bond with their coworkers. Some feasible ideas include:
As always, higher job satisfaction drives productivity— so don’t hold back from being creative and exploring different ways to get employees to become accustomed to their surroundings and settle down into their roles.
After taking these four steps into consideration, you might want to check out Forma, a no-code platform that helps you manage business workflows with high efficiency and little effort.
Forma is a digital platform that allows you to build customisable business processes like employee onboarding without code, via an easy, drag-and-drop system.
Apart from managing workflows, you can also collect information through the creation of custom forms (with special features such as digital signatures) that can be connected to your personal database. These forms come with an array of templates so you don’t have to build everything from scratch. Think of Canva, but for businesses exclusively.
Here are some examples of the processes supported by Forma:
It’s convenient and fuss-free! Learn more about how it works here.