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5 Employee Onboarding Best Practices That Spur New Hire Success

April 23, 2021 | Jenna Berris

5 Employee Onboarding Best Practices That Spur New Hire Success (1)Increased retention. A strong company culture. Better work performance. Less turnover. These are just a few of the benefits of a solid onboarding process. In fact, Glassdoor found that great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%. Unfortunately, a Gallup survey also found that only 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job of onboarding new hires. And, according to research, employees who had a negative onboarding experience were twice as likely to look for other career opportunities in the future.

Considering the cost of turnover is upwards of $3,500 dollars per employee, it’s clearly in everyone’s best interest to get the onboarding process right. So, what goes into creating an engaging, educational and supportive onboarding experience in 2021? Here are 5 best practices providers should implement today.

1. Complete Paperwork Before Day 1

Many companies are holding tight to that first-day ritual of having new hires fill out mountains of paperwork when modern technology gives employees the ability to sign most paperwork electronically.

Talent acquisition software, like OnShift Employ, uses automated prompts to encourage new employees to complete pre-hire paperwork via their candidate portal prior to their first day. This allows employers to easily capture, organize and collect legally required and organization-specific paperwork before an employee begins. Integrations with common HRIS and payroll systems allow for a seamless, streamlined experience for the candidate and the company.

Reducing the amount of paperwork on day one allows HR teams to create a much more engaging first day. Instead of combing through tedious forms, new hires can participate in fun activities and get to know their coworkers.

2. Create A Wow-Worthy Welcome

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and this saying definitely applies when it comes to the way you welcome new hires. Show them you are excited to have them start before their first day by sending them a small handwritten note.

On their start date, roll out the red carpet. While one provider literally does so, I’m speaking figuratively here. Treat your new hires like celebrities by getting the team excited about them starting. Make sure all staff members are aware when a new employee is due to start and share a few fast facts about them – such as where they worked previously and a favorite hobby. Encourage team members to introduce themselves when they see that new hire around the community.

Other great ideas include a welcome basket with some company swag and a small gift card and or ordering lunch from their favorite restaurant to enjoy with their new team.

Check out our First-Week Employee Onboarding Checklist to make sure you don’t miss a beat.

3. Make Onboarding Exciting & Engaging

Let your new hire know what to expect over the course of their onboarding experience. Since the senior care industry’s turnover rate is highest during an employee’s first three months, your efforts should take place over this timeline.

Again, refrain from taking that old-school approach to onboarding where new hires spend days in a room sifting through paperwork and watching training videos. Instead, create a quick-hit brochure that clearly illustrates what their first three months will look like. This resource can then be used to track key milestones as they get acclimated and as a tool for managers to measure progress during regular one-on-ones.

Take some time to review the process at a high level and then get them out on the floor. Conduct a tour of your community, introduce them to their new colleagues and residents, and review your benefits and perks. These are surefire ways to get your new hire excited about their role and boost engagement right off the bat.

Consider using surveys built specifically to keep new hires on track. The automated surveys in OnShift Engage, our employee engagement software for senior care, gather feedback on three key areas - communication, cooperation and employee support – at key intervals throughout the first 90 days. The data collected prompts managers to check in with new employees to make them feel heard and ensures a consistent onboarding experience across all communities. Plus, these surveys can provide valuable insights to help you refine your onboarding process so that new hires thrive.

While these surveys can provide great insights, they shouldn’t replace regular one-on-ones with managers. Managers should be meeting with newer employees on a more frequent basis during those first 90 days to address any issues, concerns or questions early.

Mentorships are another critical component of onboarding. Click here to learn how to build a program that resonates with new hires.

4. Implement Onboarding “Buddies”

According to research from Gallup, those who have a best friend at work are 7x more likely to be engaged in their job. They also tend to be happier, healthier and more productive. And a Microsoft-piloted “buddy” program confirmed this. They paired 600 well-respected and high-performing employees with new hires to share their boots-on-the-ground experience and help acclimate them to their roles and responsibilities.

Fifty-six percent of new hires who met with their onboarding buddy at least once in their first 90 days on the job reported that this buddy helped increase productivity in their role. That number increased to 73% for new hires and buddies who met two to three times, 86% for those who met between four and eight times during the same period, and 97% for pairs who met more than eight times.

The buddy system also resulted in improved employee satisfaction. New hires with buddies were 23% more satisfied with Microsoft’s onboarding process than those who did not have a buddy, and that percentage increased to 36% after 90 days. 

To identify potential buddies within your community, look for your stand-out employees. The performance dashboards in OnShift Engage give management visibility into key metrics like clocking in and out on time, not calling off for a period of time and picking up open shifts. 

5. Pace Your Process & Remain Flexible

Avoid throwing too much information at your new hire all at once. Instead, use a structured onboarding process that introduces them to new processes and materials over the course of about three months. Make sure key concepts and procedures are understood before moving to the next step of your program.

It’s also important to keep in mind that not everyone learns at the same pace. Modify your onboarding and training program to accommodate different learning styles, age groups, backgrounds, etc. Specifically, when it comes to technology, understand that some are savvier in this area than others. Make sure you adjust training as needed and practice patience. Just because someone needs a little more attention in a certain area as a new employee does not mean they won’t eventually be a tenured top performer.

Slow & Steady Wins The New Hire Retention Race

The Human Capital Institute (HCI) states that most organizations conclude their onboarding process just after the first week. Without the proper resources and support, new hires are ill-equipped to handle their new responsibilities. This also tends to send the message that your organization is not invested in their success.

By simply having a structured, strategic and comprehensive onboarding program in place, you’ll already have a leg up on the majority of your competitors.

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About Jenna Berris

Jenna Berris is a Content Marketing Manager for OnShift.

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