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Employee Onboarding: Top Trends to Follow

If you think employee onboarding trends are well just simply trends, then you need to look at the facts. According to a recent survey by Jobvite, 33 percent of employees quit in the first 90 days. So those first three months are critical to acclimate these employees into your company. And why did they say they quit?

  • 43 percent of employees reported their day-to-day role wasn’t what they were told they would be doing.
  • 32 percent stated that company culture was a reason for exiting early.

And another company, Click Boarding, reported some further results about the benefits of good onboarding:

  • 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.
  • New employees who went through an onboarding program were 58 percent more likely to be with the organization after three years.
  • Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 50 percent greater new-hire productivity.

Benefits to employee onboarding

So as you can see, the statistics don’t lie. You need to keep and retain your top talent and the best way to do this is through employee onboarding trends. But before we dive into what trends to incorporate, there are several benefits onboarding can offer besides keeping your workforce. Here are some other benefits.

1. Save your budget

It costs a lot more to lose an employee than to gain a long-term one. Think about the resources needed to source top talent, administer continual learning and get these new team members up-to-speed quickly. It takes valuable company time and time is money.

2. Boost your reputation

In the digital and social media age we live in, it’s not hard to get an employee perception of a company within a few clicks of a keyboard.  So what will a potential employee find? If they are up for a job where they know there is high-turnover and basically unhappy employees, they are more willing to look elsewhere. So having a strong employee onboarding program will boost your market value and help you secure top talent,

3. Sets expectations

The onboarding process should be a time to give an employee the ins and outs of the organization. It basically sets the tone for their career at your company. This communication is key. It offers a snapshot of the job duties itself, the company culture and gives an overview of where the company sees itself headed short and long term. By creating this clear image of the company an employee is entering, these new individuals have a clear picture of what they are signing up for. And when everyone is on the same page, there’s less confusion and less turnover. 

4. Creates an emotional connection

Whether a new employee knows a few co-workers at their new job before they start or not, the environment is foresign to them. In order to make the transition easier, employee onboarding offers a chance to connect personally with a new hire. During the process, new employees have a chance to meet team members, different departments and maybe even potential mentors to leverage during their time at their new company. These personal bonds help solidify new employees quicker making their transition more comfortable. 

5. Builds trust

Employee onboarding also builds a strong team environment. Many if not most organizations believe in a flat environment where any employee is free to voice their thoughts. Through the onboarding process, you can show who to turn to within the organization to give feedback regardless of seniority. This builds trust and a sense of cohesiveness to new employees from the start. They instantly feel they are free to give their opinions on how the organization can run smoother or more efficiently. This also makes the company stronger gaining outside perspectives on processes and procedures that could use a makeover.

What are the top employee onboarding trends?

Now that you know how employee onboarding can help your organization, what are some best practices or trends to use? Here are our suggestions to integrate your new employees quickly within your organization.

Pre-Onboarding is a must

Everyone talks about onboarding, but not many mention pre-onboarding. Basically, before your new employees step foot in the door, how do they prepare for day one on the job? If you develop a through new employee welcome packet you start company communication right away. This builds company culture from the moment they accept the offer. 

This should be in two stages. One, should be a letter or email letting a new employee know who they will meet with on the first day, what the company dress code is, where they should park and any other pertinent details. Then, once they meet on day one, have a through welcome packet with some key details like:

  1. New hire press release or email - This is a copy of what you sent the team and/or company about this individual. 
  1. CEO welcome letter - You want all new employees to understand the company goals from the beginning. This letter should outline these and reinforce company culture. 
  1. Paperwork and forms - As much as everyone hates the amount of paperwork on day one, it’s necessary. However, this process can be streamlined by adding many of these forms to a learning management system. That way, they can be filled out quicker electronically. 
  1. Company culture - Next, you want to give a snapshot of what current employees feel about your company. This could be a copy of an internal newsletter or even a short video with employee testimonials. Whatever format it’s in, the key is to instantly connect this employee and the company.
  1. Management and team structure - No matter what size your company is, navigating it can be tricky for a new hire. To make this process easier, provide a one-page sheet of key contacts. For example, who do they see for computer issues, who do they go to for payroll concerns and who do they see in management if they have concerns. This will acclimate new employees quickly and show that you have an open company communication policy. 
  1. Employee handbook - Including information about dress code, hours of operation, paid days off, etc. is a good employee onboarding tactic. This gives a general snapshot of the company from the employee perspective. 

Personalize it

According to a recent survey conducted by Appirio, 47 percent of workers are less than fully engaged in their current jobs. The same survey stated that bonuses and compensation weren’t enough to keep employees happy. The end result was employees need more these days and feeling personally connected to the company is of utter importance. So this should start with when they enter the company. That’s why personalization is one of the employee onboarding trends worth noting. 

So how do you incorporate this into the process? You want to choose onboarding materials that place importance on this individual’s skill sets to the greater good of the company. So for example, a video showing the day-to-day operations of the company from each department. That way every new hire can see how their team helps meet the overall company goals. Another example could be communication guidelines showing how every team member has a say or voice in how the compay can work more productively. 

Add a social component

Family will always come first, but when you spend on average 40 hours or more a week at work, you want co-workers who offer a similar connection. That’s why making these new individuals feel welcome from the start is so important. And adding a social component is another one of the employee onboarding trends that’s valuable. 

The best way to do this is by forming bonds early on. For example, you can assign senior team members to be soundboards for more junior team members. Or you could hold a team retreat when new employees start. Another way to do this is to offer information team lunches as a chance to get to know one another on a personal level. Any of these methods put the emphasis on the employee as a person versus on their skill sets.

Make learning and development important

According to Global Talent Monitor’s report on workforce activity shows that the lack of future career development remains a key driver of employee attrition mentioned by 40 percent of employees leaving their jobs. That’s why it’s critical you offer ongoing learning at your company. Employees need to feel you are giving them just as much value as they are giving you. By offering a robust, learning and development program, you are adding to their skill sets. 

In terms of onboarding, getting new employees up-to-speed quickly, is vital. For example, using learning modules to go over job procedures, company jargon and short-term company goals is important. This material sets the stage for new employees to hit the ground running quicker. That way they spend less time trying to familiarize themselves with company protocols and more time contributing their skill sets on the job. 

Stress collaboration

Although there are various sized companies, if you start several new employees at the same time, creating a recruiting class of sorts is beneficial. Collaboration as one of the employee onboarding trends bonds these new employees together. That way they always have co-workers to turn to as a similar stage within the company. 

Onboarding Checklist

An Ultimate Guide for a Successful Onboarding Process

Stay organized and consistent

By developing an employee onboarding checklist, you can keep your HR team organized throughout the entire.process. Consistency will help make sure you have all the components each time and don’t miss anything in times of a heavy recruiting process. Plus, it will better highlights areas of improvement moving forward.

Streamline company communication

The larger your company is, the harder it is to coordinate onboarding across departments. So it’s smart to sit down with the various managers and see where you can streamline the process. For example, how long will it take IT to set up a workstation? When will training start? How soon will new employees receive important company emails? The sooner an employee is able to work, the better for him or and the company. 

Make the process flexible

There are various levels of employees. Some are fresh out of college starting their careers at your company. Others are senior level managers. Executive onboarding looks different than let’s say onboarding a new grad. Make sure you take this into account. A manager for example needs a more high-level overview of the company during onboarding. So include current company goals, meetings with various department heads and feedback from customers. The goal of onboarding is to give the right tools to each new recruit. This will help make everyone’s jobs easier from the start.

Learn from peers and competitors

Just as you would expect the employees you hire to take their assigned training and improve their skills, so should you. From reading books about onboarding to attending industry conferences to taking note of what your competitors are doing are all important ways to help your onboarding. Plus, make sure you survey each employee about their experience. Take note of what could be improved. The more time you spend in perfecting the process, the faster you’ll get everyone up-to-speed. 

Use an off-boarding strategy

As much as you invest in onboarding, employees will still leave for various reasons. That’s why you should build an off-boarding strategy to find out what could have been improved while they were at your company. Some of the feedback could help retain top talent in the future that’s on the fence about leaving.

Why employee onboarding trends matter

By getting into the practice of a good onboarding experience, you form bonds with your new team members. They feel accepted from the start and the company gains valuable employees. Employee onboarding trends are evolving with advances in technology, communication becoming more central and people expecting more individualized support. So spend time creating a solid plan, taking note of improvements and making sure each new team member is acclimated as thoroughly as possible. Why? Because this extra time spent onboarding can equate to more productive employees who want to grow with your company long-term.

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