"Some companies fly by the seat of their pants, but you really need to figure out where you're lacking and take steps to fill in those gaps," Sanders says. "For instance, intuitively, you know new people will need computers, phones, paperwork to fill out, but those processes and rules can't remain unspoken. You have to write down every step and explain how and by whom it will be done," Sanders says.
If you're relying too much on certain HR managers or other management, it may be more effective to delegate tasks among a larger group of people, he says.
There should also be extensive follow-up and feedback to identify any aspects of the onboarding process that aren't effective for current and new employees, he says, with a focus on new-hire satisfaction and on making sure the mission and values of the company are aligning with new hires' experiences.
"You also should test and refine the process constantly; it shouldn't be static," Sanders says. "You want to make sure it's smooth, simple and that every employee is buying into the process and seeing positive results."
While onboarding can be expensive, it is one of the most crucial aspects of retention, and 75 percent of survey respondents said that thorough onboarding processes were well worth the time and energy spent.
"Onboarding is tricky, but if it's done right, the business reaps the benefits and employees are more likely to stay," Sanders says. "For new hires, those first few days and weeks can seem like they're 'drinking from a firehose' as far as getting and absorbing all this new information, but good employers can make sure employees aren't drowning."
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