Based on a resume, psychological testing, and interview, the most suitable job candidate was selected. It's time for the next step! And this is a step that has been talked less about before and that companies have often (unfairly!) neglected. This is a process that is considered one of the most important organizational factors in the overall functioning of employees today. This key step is the introduction of a new employee to the business and organization, popularly called onboarding.

The term itself originated in the 1970s and began to be actively used only at the beginning of this century. The initial definition of onboarding meant teaching a new employee the basics of work and work tasks, but today it encompasses much more. Onboarding is a mechanism through which the employee is introduced to the job and work tasks, to the organization and its culture and climate. Through onboarding, the new employee gets to know the team and all associates, sets work goals and facilitates adaptation to the work environment. More simply, it is the process of integrating a new employee into the new environment of the organization and its culture.

What are the benefits of onboarding?

Every company that practices this mechanism does it in its own way, depending on the type of work it does, the structure and the organization. However, what makes any onboarding program quality is its structure and consistency. It is important that the new employee feels welcome from the very beginning of the organization. The first socializing with co-workers, the welcome package, the schedule of activities and tasks, short-term and long-term goals, assigning mentors and first business successes - all this together contributes to adjustment. In the world of human resources, the unwritten rule is that onboarding lasts for at least the first 3 months. However, research indicates the importance of the entire first year of employment. Employees whose onboarding involved a full year of employment have a 25% higher retention rate in the organization, compared to those with onboarding of several months. This effect stems from the positive impact of this process on productivity, adjustment, employee relationships, and the overall work atmosphere. Quality onboarding is not just a nice aesthetic add on to an organization. On the contrary, the existence of such a program can have significant positive effects both for the employee and for the organization as a whole. Increased productivity comes first. A study by the Brandon Hall Group found that employee productivity, along with strong and quality onboarding, can increase by over 70%. In addition, the retention rate of employees in the organization grows by 82%! Also, the commitment of employees who have gone through a positive onboarding program experience can be increased 18 times!

Employee motivation is the key word

Investing time and effort in initial employee adjustment and learning is extremely important. Namely, it leads to the fact that the employee has a clear picture of what makes their job and what is expected of them in a short time. This contributes to a sense of value within the organization and motivation for the best possible work. With gradual employee training, there is no "idling" and thus their productivity can be brought to the optimal level faster. Such actions can also reduce the initial anxiety and stress that occur in almost every person who comes to a new job.

The initial idea of any onboarding process involves one person in the organization who will take special care of the new employee. Most often it is a person who has a similar (or the same) job as the new employee, and enough experience and knowledge. We call this person a mentor. Mentoring is based on the adjustment and initial steps. The employee should be explained the job and tasks and introduced to other team members. Initially, it is desirable to set short-term and long-term goals together with the employee and monitor their fulfilment. It's all the role of a mentor! And, most importantly - the mentor is the person who is present for every question and dilemma that a new employee may have. This kind of mentor is popularly called "onboarding buddy".

As many as 87% of organizations agree that appointing mentors can be effective in accelerating the expertise and efficiency of new staff. And what do new employees say, those who have met with their mentor at least once in the first 3 months? More than half of them, as many as 56% say it has helped them greatly in adapting to the new role.

What is the price of bad onboarding, or even non-existence of the same?

What carries most of the cost of a bad or no onboarding system into the selection and recruitment process is the turnover rate. As many as 20% of employees leave their new jobs in the first 45 days of employment. The cost of such fluctuations, the departure of employees from the organization and the search for a new one, is estimated to range from 100 to 300% of the salary of the employee who left. However, the price doesn’t just count in the money an organization loses at the expense of poor onboarding. Employees who are not introduced to the job do not know how to do their homework properly. They don’t know the co-workers they work with and don’t feel part of the organization. If, in addition, they are not sufficiently motivated for the job, then their productivity is very low. And not only that! Such employees are often unhappy and dissatisfied, which can indirectly affect the productivity of others and lead to a negative work atmosphere.

Ultimately, the benefits of quality onboarding are a sufficient motivator for as many organizations as possible to include this program in their business. By ensuring a quality onboard program, you get a happier and more satisfied employee and a productive, motivated person who will do their job well. Their contribution to the organization will certainly not be missed.