7 Ways Business Leaders Can Speed Up Employee Onboarding

Dec 27, 2021 8 Min Read
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Onboarding Matters!

Being able to utilise the best talents for your business doesn't end once you hire the right people. Employee onboarding is just as important as the recruitment process. The former acclimate newly hired employees to their roles and the company's philosophies. In fact, the quality of your employee onboarding process can make or break the success of your business. 

According to studies, only 12% of employees find their employer's onboarding process effective. Since most employees think that a business's onboarding process requires improvement, do you know how to improve and expedite yours? What can your internal team do to ensure that your new hires become an asset to the business and not a liability? This article can provide answers. 

Here are seven ways business leaders can speed up the employee onboarding process: 

1. Complete Digital Onboarding Before The Employee Reports On The First Day

A common practice most businesses follow when onboarding an employee is to have them report to the office to sign documents for the entire day. Representatives from the HR department will use this day to explain the content of the offer letter, contract, and other related matters and have the employee sign the documents.

Supplementary reading: Digital Onboarding

Instead of spending an entire day for document signing, use technology and complete digital onboarding before the employee reports to the office. Keep in touch with the employee once they're hired and have them fill out forms for their payroll, tax forms, and benefits paperwork using online apps and software.

Most importantly, send out a copy of your company handbook and have the employee sign the document beforehand. Aside from expediting the document signing, this will also give the employee a chance to know more about your business. And if they do have questions, your HR can address them before the employee reports to the office. 

The advent of technology saves the employee and your team a lot of time from going through countless documents on the first day. This will definitely speed up your onboarding process.

2. Outline Clear Role Expectations

Giving a title to a new hire isn't often enough for them to fully understand their role in the company. Sure, you might hire someone to work as a finance officer, but what does the role really require? What responsibilities will the new hire have once they work in your business?

One of the first steps to speed up your onboarding process is to set clear role expectations with the new hire. When the new hire fully understands what their role is and how their role contributes to the business’s success, it'll be easier for them to move forward with the onboarding. Plus, setting expectations early will minimise friction and turnover. 

Take note of the following tips in order to effectively set goals with the new hire:

  • Inform the employee about the safety protocols observed by the company. For example, if you're a manufacturing business, the employee should know how to use the machines and what safety gear to use when working.
  • Outline role expectations with the employee. This means that you should carefully explain what the employee is expected at work. For instance, if they're going to work as a finance officer, they should be aware of their daily responsibilities and short- and long-term goals as an employee in the finance department.
  • Ensure that the employee fully understands and can uphold the quality standards implemented by the company. Allow them to ask questions about these standards before letting them work.

3. Organise All Onboarding Documents

Your team will use numerous documents after hiring a new employee. In general, your HR team will have to present an offer letter, a contract, and a copy of the employee handbook to the new hires. You might also need to provide the employee with their job description and performance plan, along with your company's mission statement and strategic plan. 

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To speed up your onboarding process, prioritise organising all the documents involved. Ideally, it's best to keep all documents in an online management platform to reduce errors and save time and effort from going through countless folders and drawers. 

By using an online management platform, you can put all the onboarding documents in one place and print them whenever necessary. This will prevent you from collecting stacks of paper that end up being crumbled and ensure that all new employees receive consistent materials.

4. Set A Schedule For The First Week

Aside from making sure that all the necessary paperwork is prepared before the employee reports for work, it's also important for your team to provide the best experience to the new hire. The hiring market is very competitive, and your new employee will likely look for other (better) employers if they find your onboarding process uninteresting or unsatisfactory. 

Read more: 10 Ways To WOW Your New Hire

Before the employee reports in your office, have your team set a schedule for the first week. This ensures the efficacy and productivity of your HR team as they don't have to regularly pause their tasks to give out tasks to the new hire, hence speeding up the onboarding process. 

Ideally, the employee's schedule for the first week should include a variety of activities to allow them to know their colleagues and what it feels like to work with their team. Don't forget to set up one-on-one sessions with the new hire and their managers, so both parties can manage their expectations and start building a healthy relationship.

5. Give The New Hire A 'Buddy'

Working in a new company with new people will require a lot of adjustment. This is especially true if the newly hired employee has never experienced working in your company's industry. They'll likely have tons of questions as they start working.

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One way to speed up your employee onboarding process is to set up a buddy system for the new hire. It's best to assign a tenured employee to help the new hire learn the ropes about the company. For example, if you recently hired staff to join your accounting department, assign one of your best accountants to work with that new employee. This will make it easier for the new hire to learn about their role and the company culture faster. 

And because their 'buddy' will actually have first-hand experience in the same department, work-related questions raised by the new hire can be addressed ASAP. For instance, if the new hire is curious about the best practices about their role in their respective teams, they can easily acquire answers from their buddy. This will significantly accelerate the new hire's ability to learn.

6. Extend Training Beyond Initial Onboarding

Learning the culture and working environment of a company requires a lot of time and doesn't happen after a couple of months. Research shows that some companies extend their onboarding for one year—and there are plenty of reasons why you should do the same. 

If you want to speed up your company's onboarding process, aim to extend training beyond initial onboarding. After you present necessary documents and endorse the new hire to their teams and managers, ensure that they have access to all the tools they need to learn and drive results for the business. 

Aside from making sure that the new hire has easy access to company documents essential for their positions, don't forget to include them in lunch-and-learn sessions, skills assessments, and certification courses. If available, have them watch structured training videos, as well. 

Providing ongoing training like onboarding training from SocialTalent for at least a year is an excellent way to ensure that the new hire gets to learn everything they need about their positions fast. Plus, this also boosts their morale, which can improve their productivity and retention rates.

7. Ask And Use Feedback

With the number of elements and processes involved, not every business can implement a flawless employee onboarding process one time. Often, the business has to go through several trials and errors to develop a highly-effective onboarding process.

Another way to speed up and improve your onboarding process is to regularly ask for feedback from the new hires. They have first-hand experience with your business's onboarding process and are the best persons to ask whether your existing practices are effective or require improvement. 

This may interest you: 5 Ways to Make Onboarding More Collaborative – And Why You Should

Does the new hire find your onboarding process welcoming, or do they think it's very confusing? Are they happy with the 'buddy' system, or are they expecting to see more mentorship programs? Do they want their team managers to be more involved in the onboarding process? You'll have answers to all of these questions when you ask for feedback from the new hire.

And with the feedback you get, make sure that you use it to actually improve your processes. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to ask for feedback and then throw the information they get out the window.

Onboarding Matters

The length of your onboarding process can affect your company's daily operations and its long-term success. Even if you hired the best talents, spending too much time to acclimate them to your company's culture and working environment would prevent you from getting ROI fast.

With that in mind, prioritise improving your existing onboarding process by implementing all of the tips presented in this article. Effective onboarding can get your new hires up to speed, allowing them to contribute to the success, growth, and profitability of your business ASAP.

About Author: Paolo Mendez is a full-time writer who focuses on creating business-related content. He aims to educate his readers about the ins and outs of the business industry to ensure their success. During his free time, Paolo loves to fish with his friends.

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This article is published by the editors of Leaderonomics.com with the consent of the guest author. 


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