Why employee onboarding is so important

Why employee onboarding is so important

Even before you start recruiting for a position, you should be prepared to make a new employee’s introduction to the business as smooth and comprehensive as possible.

Onboarding (also known as induction) is a broad, structured process to provide a new team member with all the tools, information, and insight they need to quickly become an effective contributor, while at the same time integrating them with the company and its culture.

Sure, you could set the person up with tools they need, give them the company handbook, and tell them to get cracking on some initial tasks, but don’t expect great results.

Onboarding is an investment in the long-term development of your people and your business. So let’s look at the main reasons you should have a thorough onboarding process for all new employees:

  • Gets them up to speed faster – a structured approach fully prepares an employee for their position and provides support as they grow into it, which minimises disruption to the business.
  • Higher employee engagement – successful onboarding gets the employment relationship off to a solid start, boosting confidence, job satisfaction, and ongoing engagement.
  • Better staff retention – Research has proven that employees who complete a structured onboarding process are far more likely to stay with the company, which saves time and money in the long run.
  • Teaches about company goals and culture – successfully establishing a new employee while showing them how they contribute to the business’ wider goals helps connect them to the company and the existing team.
  • Supports good hiring decisions and recovery from poor ones – induction is a crucial time for new workers to decide if the job matches their expectations and it also quickly shows employers if the person is right for the position.
  • Sets a base for further learning and development – initial job training lays a good foundation for ongoing growth and helps the business find out about a new person’s aspirations, so you can design a development plan to build their skills.
  • Better customer satisfaction – research shows that positive employee experience leads to better customer experience, which improves overall business profitability.

This article provides more reasons why every organisation should take onboarding seriously.

What is employee engagement and why does it matter?

What is employee engagement and why does it matter? 

Employee engagement will improve your bottom line. It leads to better quality/service/productivity, resulting in higher customer satisfaction, increased sales (repeat business & referrals), and ultimately, higher profit.

An engaged employee is a team member who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work, and who takes positive action to further a company’s reputation and interests and achieve their goals.

More importantly, what does a disengaged team member look like?
The symptoms range from a negative attitude, poor communication, absenteeism, lack of initiative, laziness, lateness, lack of participation, and doing the bare minimum at work… all the way to actively damaging the company’s work output, culture, and reputation.

The impact of having a single disengaged team member can be catastrophic.
The effects are not limited to their own poor productivity and output. This person can infect the core of your culture; damaging morale and lowering the performance of the entire team. They could even cause the resignation of a key team member or, if client facing, cause irreparable damage to your brand.

Improved employee engagement leads to improved productivity and performance.
Numerous studies have proven that companies with engaged employees significantly outperform others. Why is this? People who are engaged in their role want to come to work, therefore take fewer sick days. This ultimately leads to reduced team turnover and less unproductive time spent recruiting and inducting new employees.

Not surprisingly, team members who are engaged feel more supported by their peers and are more likely to work collaboratively, leading to significantly less re-work and wastage. Also, fewer workplace accidents and incidents occur when team members are engaged. All of the above reasons contribute to much higher productivity and profitability.

The Engagement-Profit Chain* is another take on why engagement improves performance:
Engaged employees leads to… higher service, quality, and productivity, which leads to…higher customer satisfaction, which leads to…increased sales (repeat business and referrals), which leads to…higher profit levels, which leads to…higher returns.

There is a difference between employee happiness and employee engagement.
Your team could be happy but not necessarily working efficiently and productively to deliver optimum outcomes.

A number of factors can influence and improve employee engagement. These include developing and utilising Core Values, documenting an effective Organisational Chart, providing clarity on the roles and responsibilities in your organisation, and introducing KPIs to help define what a good day’s work looks like for your team.

Need help building a happy and high-performance working culture? Get in touch.

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant

*The Engagement-Profit Chain was created by Kevin Kruse