Employee onboarding ensures the new employee has a smooth and positive transition into their new job role, and that they can contribute effectively to the organisation as soon as possible.
The ideal onboarding program will make the new hire feel welcome, valued, and supported in their new position, as well as provide them with the tools and resources they need to be successful.
An employee onboarding study by Cezanne HR surveyed over 1,000 employees in the UK and Ireland to find out what trends are emerging in employee onboarding.
Here are some of the key findings:
1. Employees prefer flexible working arrangements
With technology making the way we work easier than ever to be productive from anywhere, employees are increasingly expecting more flexibility from their employers. This is reflected in the survey results, with the number of employees working in a hybrid environment being 41.9% of those surveyed.
What does this mean for onboarding? Traditionally, onboarding has been about getting new employees up to speed with the company’s processes and culture. But with so many people now working in different ways, it’s no longer workable to expect everyone to conform to a single way of organized working. Onboarding needs to be more flexible and customisable, reflecting the individual needs of each employee.
This doesn’t mean that companies need to completely overhaul their onboarding process; rather, they should focus on adapting their existing process to fit the needs of their employees.
For example, they could offer more flexibility around when and where new employees are required to attend training sessions or allow them to work from home during their first few weeks on the job.
2. Employees want more clarity about their roles
One of the biggest challenges for new employees is understanding what their role entails. This can often be a source of stress and frustration, particularly if they feel like they’re not being given enough information or support.
The survey results show that nearly 17% say that their job is not what they expected it to be, and 13.5% say that they don’t understand what their manager expects from them. This highlights the importance of providing new employees with a clear and concise job description.
To combat this, companies need to provide new employees with a clear and concise overview of their roles during the onboarding process. This should include what the company expects from them, what their day-to-day responsibilities will be, and how their role fits into the wider organisation.
3. Employees want more social interaction
Today, the successful onboarding of a new employee depends on building relationships and getting to know your new team. This is especially important in the UK, where close-knit teams are the norm. In order to fit in, new employees need to build trust and rapport quickly.
The survey results reflect this, with about 42% of employees saying that they prefer to onboard new employees in person. However, with the ongoing pandemic, many companies have had to rethink their onboarding process and move it online.
This suggests that companies should therefore try to balance the two, using online tools to supplement in-person interactions. For example, they could use video conferencing to give new employees a tour of the office or set up regular check-ins with their manager.
4. Employees want more support during the employee onboarding process
Onboarding is no longer seen as an optional extra – it has become a key component of professional HR strategy. By ensuring that your new hires feel supported and welcomed from the moment they join your team, you can set them up for success and help them reach their full potential.
However, in the survey results, nearly 21.5% of employees felt their employer didn’t do enough to support them during the onboarding process. This suggests that there is still room for improvement in employee onboarding.
There are a few simple things that companies can do to address this issue. For example, they could provide new employees with a buddy or mentor who can offer guidance and support during their first few weeks on the job.
They could also keep the lines of communication open so that new employees feel comfortable asking questions and raising any concerns they may have.
5. Employees want more than just the basics
In the past, employee onboarding has often been focused on the basics – things like company policies and procedures. However, as the world of work has become increasingly complex, employees are now expecting more from their employer’s onboarding process. They want to be given the opportunity to learn about their role and the company, and to develop their skills.
Still, about a fifth of employees said that they didn’t feel like they learned and developed during their onboarding process. This suggests that there is a disconnect between what employees want and what employers are offering.
To close this gap, companies need to rethink their approach to onboarding. They should focus on providing new employees with the resources and support they need to thrive in their roles. This could include things like early access to equipment, mentorship programs, and opportunities to shadow more experienced employees.
6. Employees prefer a structured employee onboarding process
It’s no secret that turnover is expensive – in fact, the cost of replacing a single employee can be as much as twice their salary. This makes it even more important for companies to focus on retention and ensuring that their employees stick around for the long haul.
Onboarding is a key driver of employee retention. In fact, one in five employees has questioned their choice of employer because of poor onboarding experiences. This is likely because onboarding is the first taste of what it’s like to work for a company, and if it’s not up to par, employees are likely to look elsewhere.
To avoid this, companies should focus on making it engaging and informative, and on providing new employees with the resources they need to be successful. By doing so, they can create a positive first impression and set their employees up for long-term success.
7. Employees want more feedback
Feedback is essential for employee development. It allows employees to identify areas where they need to improve and provides them with the opportunity to learn and grow. However, in the survey results, only about half of employees said that they received feedback regularly.
Regular communication ensures that employees are kept in the loop and that they feel like they are part of the team. It also allows employers to identify any issues early on before they become bigger problems.
Companies should schedule regular check-ins with their employees and create opportunities for two-way communication. This way, employees will feel like their voices are being heard and that their development is a priority for the company.
Employee onboarding is a crucial part of the employee lifecycle. It sets the stage for an employee’s experience with a company and can have a lasting impact on employee performance, engagement and retention.
To ensure that their employees have a positive onboarding experience, companies need to focus on making it informative, engaging, and relevant to their needs. They should also provide new employees with the resources they need to be successful in their role. By doing so, they can create a strong foundation for a long and successful working relationship.