Onboarding Success in Today’s Talent Economy

Kelly Carmody, Field Marketing Manager, SilkRoad
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Traditionally, onboarding has been defined as new hire paperwork and tasks required to maintain compliance and ensure day one readiness. But what about after day one?

In the current talent market, new hires decide if they are going to stay with a company within the first six months of employment. According to a recent Department of Labor study, 69 percent of new hires to take part in a structured onboarding process are likely to remain with a company for longer than 3 years. So, it stands to reason that companies should look to create an onboarding experience that is a compliant, yet memorable and continuous journey that goes beyond the first six months.

Successful onboarding experiences should:

  • Improve engagement
  • Improve culture
  • Reduce time to productivity
  • Ensure employees are tightly connected to organizational goals

Source: The Who, How, and Why of Onboarding

Let’s dig a little deeper …

Improve Engagement

Organizations should look to solicit feedback from employees about their experience after they are hired, at six months, 1 year, and when they are promoted, transferred, and ultimately, offboarded. This two-way communication will ensure that the organization can gauge employee sentiment to maintain an engaged and activated workforce.

Another way to improve engagement is to empower employees to seek opportunities for development or to try a different position or department for a period of time if they don’t feel that they are the right fit for their current job.

Improve Culture

Organizations that create meaningful moments or touchpoints throughout the employee journey are well positioned to foster an engaged workforce. Ultimately, it’s a chance to surprise and delight employees with personalized experiences at every turn.

Personal touchpoints are crucial to new hire success. Whether it’s aligning them with an affinity group, mentor, or buddy system, or even inviting them to coffee with the CEO.  All of which are opportunities to foster relationships and connections to encourage a sense of belonging.

Brand ambassadors can serve an important role by contributing to a corporate culture blog, posting about their experience on social media, or endorsing the company on sites like Glassdoor.  This helps the employee create and document their experience and it helps the employer create a sense of connectedness and an authentic brand voice all while improving retention and employee referrals.

Reduce Time to Productivity

A strategic onboarding experience that delivers the right information or content to the right person at the right time in their journey enables employees to deepen their connection to the organization and understand how their role impacts the overarching corporate goals at any given time.

For instance, sending a newly promoted manager content and training around their new role, how to manage a team, and how to provide feedback will ensure that they are able to quickly adapt to their new position and achieve success at a faster rate. So, at a time where many often feel overwhelmed with a new role, instead, they’re informed, connected, and engaged.

Connection to Organizational Goals

Employees that are consistently engaged and feel as though they are a valued member of an organizational culture that supports and develops them, and provides the opportunity to give and receive feedback on a consistent basis will be better able to understand their role and its impact on the organization’s strategic objectives.

This is achieved through a strategic onboarding process that goes beyond the new hire paperwork that is required for compliance. One that considers the employee experience at every touch point and is centered on ensuring that employees feel informed, engaged, and connected to the organization, its goals, and its culture.

Touchpoints throughout the employee journey that require realignment to organizational goals include:

  1. Onboarding – set job scope and performance expectations that map up to strategic business goals
  2. Transfers or promotions – reorient employees to organizational goals within the context of their new role, connect them to their team, and provide guidance on how to leverage multi-dimensional feedback
  3. Mergers, acquisitions, or reorganizations – communicate transitions, align teams and goals, and clarify expectations
  4. Offboarding – transfer of knowledge, provide opportunities for feedback, and provide employees with an organized way to wrap-up and transfer projects

Source: Talent Activation Roadmap

Strategic onboarding in the context of today’s talent economy needs to foster a sense of belonging to the corporate culture, provide opportunities for multidimensional feedback and development, and align new hires to organizational outcomes from day one. Doing so, will create an activated workforce that delivers exceptional value back to the organization for years instead of months.

To learn more about strategic onboarding, download the Ultimate Guide to Onboarding and Employee Transitions.

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