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15 employee onboarding best practices to follow in 2022

According to a study we conducted, more than 70% of small and mid-size companies said they plan to hire talent in 2022. Also, the hiring managers of more than 52% of organizations feel that the average length of an onboarding program should be a month or more.

During our interviews for the study, we also found that to retain new hires, you need to spend more time onboarding them. However, it’s not just time that does the trick.

Effective employee onboarding can increase your employee productivity by almost 70%. Hence, creating a strategy for employee onboarding and making sure it covers all ground leaving no scope for error, is of essence. 

While an onboarding process may vary from organization to organization, we found that following a few best practices can help foolproof your hiring and employee retention in 2022. Let’s take a look at them all!

Make paperwork a less tiresome experience

Right from the background check of the new hire to personal data and proof of experience, paperwork and documentation form a major part of employee onboarding. The whole process of submitting the relevant information to filling the mandatory onboarding forms is often an overwhelming and tiring procedure for the new hire.

The first few days are when the employee tries to understand the work and the organization. Filling too many forms and being burdened with paperwork can break the flow and directly affect the confidence of the new hire who is already quite nervous.

If organizations find a way to automate onboarding documentation, it could give new hires the option to complete the paperwork as per their convenience, along with subtle reminders to edge them on, it would put new hires at ease and also allow HR personnel to find more time for one-on-one interactions with the new hires. In the long run, this could drastically improve employee experience.

Send out a team video

An important part of employee onboarding is introducing the new employee to the team. While in the office this is often done with the help of gatherings and in-person introductions, but with the workplace transforming into a hybrid one now videos are our next best bet. 

Creating a team video and sending it to the new hire is the quickest way to engage them and also introduce them to their team members. Such videos can be a compilation of small clips where the team members introduce themselves and how they are looking forward to knowing and working with the new employee. This is a perfect way to establish human connection in the times of remote working, or even when you are relocating an employee and the onboarding procedure is remote.

If you’re looking to make your work easier and creating video sounds like a task to you, employee onboarding tools can help create these videos and automatically send it to the new hires. Additionally, these videos also take the load off of the HR department in terms of introducing new employees to their teams.

 Assign an onboarding buddy

Another one of the employee onboarding best practices is assigning an onboarding buddy. This buddy is basically an existing employee who knows the organization in and out. Having an onboarding buddy helps the new employee adjust better and know the organization and its practices. This makes the entire ‘coming on board’ experience a little less overwhelming and easier for the new employees.

A good employee onboarding tool helps you choose the right ‘buddy’ from your team, based on the tasks or the team that a new hire is a part of. It also helps lay out the steps that the onboarding buddy needs to take to effectively introduce the new hire to everything that’s important.

So, match your new hire with a buddy who has enough time on their hands to interact and show around. Also, send out timely reminders to the buddy to ensure they check in on or simply have a water cooler chat with the new hire. Letting the buddy and the new hire know that this is a time-bound and temporary partnership might also help ensure both are invested more in it.

Create a first day checklist

First days are when the new hires wish to create a good first impression. The continuous tussle between trying to give their best shot and trying to complete all the forms and requirements can often turn overwhelming and lead to a very tiring first day, which affects the employee experience negatively.

To avoid this barrage of confusion and chaos, it is one of the employee onboarding best practices to create a first day checklist and send it to the new hire in advance so that they are prepared when they come to work.

An employee onboarding tool can help create and share this checklist with the new employee. It can also let them automatically update this checklist as they move through the tasks one by one.

Set up an induction and a team meet-up

Once the aforementioned things are done, it is the responsibility of the HR to conduct and complete the induction process and also introduce the employee to the team. Keep in mind, that induction is not the same as onboarding and definitely cannot be used as a replacement for the detailed onboarding process.

Whether it is a simple introduction to the briefs or first week targets or about the job role, there should be a detailed agenda charted out for new hire induction. Also, remember to loop in or mark the relevant team members on the email detailing the induction agenda. This helps the new hire know who are the relevant team members involved in respective tasks and also helps them feel welcomed in the organization.

If you use an onboarding tool, it can automatically send out invites to team members that are required to be present for the induction meeting.

Create module-based training sessions

Employee training sessions and development plans are a great way to enhance employee experience and promote employee growth. Replicating the same model for new hires can be highly beneficial to employee retention.

Provide the new hires with the requisite tools and training needed to understand the goals, vision, and mission of the company. This training should also help them adjust well in their job. There should also be the option for module-based training sessions wherein the new hires get a chance to come back to the HR or the HR tool with their questions.

If your employee onboarding tool comes with an AI-powered knowledge bank, answers to repetitive questions are available in a conversational format for new hires to access whenever and from wherever they need to.

 Automate your FAQs

FAQ automation is not something many organizations deem important. However, despite having an onboarding buddy and a clear checklist in place, there are times when the new hire may have more questions. That’s when the need for FAQ automation arises.

The best practice here would be to have an onboarding tool that has a query management module in place, wherein all the FAQs, along with their solutions, are stored and made accessible. This helps the new hire extract the correct answers instead of getting inaccurate information from half-baked sources.

Create a pulse survey

Surveys are important when it comes to gauging the employee sentiment. There should be repeated surveys at various levels of onboarding to understand how the employee feels about the process, the people, and the workplace. This will help you understand the problems or pitfalls and also give you sufficient time to find solutions.

Again, a good employee onboarding tool or software should be able to create surveys by mapping various points of an employee journey, including the onboarding journey of a new hire. The tool should also be able to use the results of such surveys to create insights that can be used to make the processes better.

Share goals and OKRs

It is extremely important to clearly communicate the OKRs or Objectives and Key Results with the new hires. This helps them feel involved and engaged and helps them align well with the goals of the organization. 

The first few months after an employee joins the organization are critical and help pave the way for the rest of the journey. Sharing goals and OKRs will help them make better decisions and will also help them be more accountable.

Inspire your new hires

Each employee journey is different, but the success of one can be enough to inspire others.

A good and efficient onboarding process creates a good impression of the company in the hiring market, thus pushing the best talent towards them, whom they can hire when the need arises. Further, continual reinforcement of the company’s vision, mission, and growth within the organization helps inspire the already hired new employees.

Have a plan for probation management

Ideally, employee onboarding starts with the hiring of the employee and ends with their probation. Clear and effective planning is required so that the employees have a positive outlook and approach towards their probation period, rather than be intimidated about the fact that they are being judged and assessed. 

The probation period should be treated as a training period where the employee is provided with all the tools and practices that help them adapt better to the organization’s vision and mission, and help them evolve into assets for the organization.

Celebrate anniversaries and wins

Employee appreciation is important. Even more so, when the employee is new and needs that constant push and validation to perform well and in the right manner. Always remember, a little acknowledgement goes a long way.

Humans constantly seek validation and it helps them perform better. Celebrate the little moments of your employees’ lives, be it a work anniversary or a wedding one.

Set up one-on-one meetings

Communication is a very important aspect of employee experience. While virtual meetings, emails, phone calls and messages are almost a part of everyday communication, it is important to have regular one-on-one meetings as well, for that personal touch in the conversation.

The journey of the new hire need not be entirely digital as you take the help of an employee onboarding tool. It also needs to be humanized and HRs are the ones who can give the whole process a human touch with the help of one-on-one meetings. Connect with them and ask them the relevant questions, and try to understand whether or not they feel comfortable and how you can enhance their experience in the first few months to make them feel more welcomed.

Get an all-in-one onboarding software

Employee onboarding is different for each employee, but the procedure remains the same. Hence, investing in software that would help automate the repetitions while you take care of the human aspect of hiring becomes essential.

The correct proportion and combination of man and machine in the form of HR managers and credible employee onboarding software can help create a robust employee onboarding system, making the employee journey and employee experience a smooth one.

Continually improve your onboarding procedure

It’s not just about investing in an employee onboarding tool and creating a process. The aim is to continually improve the procedure. This is possible when you utilize all the features of a good tool, especially the various surveys that can help collect data and project it in the form of insights, and aim to continually improve the process.

You have to continuously make an effort to monitor the onboarding procedure by seeking feedback and conducting surveys,  which helps weed out the worst practices and embrace the best ones.

Want to know more about how employee onboarding has evolved over time and what to pay attention to in 2022? Download our State of Onboarding report today.

While it may look like a mammoth task, employee onboarding best practices are quite simple to implement and adapt via a tool. All you need is a bit of time to set up the process. And after that, you have to assess and monitor the data to improve the onboarding. Need someone to guide you around? Our experts are right here to help you out. Schedule a demo today!

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