From first dates to networking events, you’ll never get a second chance at making a first impression. As humans, these early interactions we have with others have a large impact on how we view them moving forward. In fact, according to scientists, a person starts to form impressions of a person after seeing their face for less than one-tenth of a second.

Likewise, the impression an employee gets of a company in their first few days or weeks will set the tone for their entire tenure. And so, making sure this impression is a positive one is vital to ensuring your new talent has a successful onboarding experience and employee satisfaction. 

An onboarding experience that ticks all the boxes

But when it comes to it, creating a standout onboarding program isn’t very high on many businesses lists. A study by Gallup found that 12 percent of employees strongly agree their organisation does a great job of onboarding new employees. That means 88 percent of those surveyed don’t believe their organisations do a great job of onboarding. And that leaves a lot of room for improvement!

The truth is, for busy teams on a high-speed growth trajectory, it can seem like a lot of work and effort to create an engaging onboarding program for new recruits.

But the recruitment process is a costly activity in terms of both time and resources, and the effort shouldn’t stop once the contract is signed by your newest employee. Creating an excellent onboarding experience will ensure you are bringing the best out of your new recruits, setting them up for success. In fact, putting in that extra effort can make a huge difference. Strong employee onboarding is known to increase productivity, retention, and proficiency. Let’s dig a little deeper:


Lessen the chance of premature exits

As mentioned above, recruiting can be a long process. From writing attention-grabbing copy to go within the job ad, promoting it across job boards and social media, sifting through CVs and applications, to conducting hours of interviews with prospective candidates. After finally finding the perfect candidate to take on the role, the last thing you want is them to have a bad (or non-existent) onboarding experience and exit your business at the next opportunity they get.

A strong onboarding strategy is key to ensuring your new hire gets off to a brilliant start, feeling welcomed, comfortable, and understanding of their requirements within the business.

This will, in turn, improve their chances of staying. One study found that new hires who went through a structured onboarding program were 58 percent more likely to be with the same company after three years.


Happier employees equal more productive employees

It should come as no surprise that happiness makes people more productive at work. A study by the University of Warwick found that happiness made people around 12% more productive, showcasing that taking care of your employees can benefit your bottom line. 

Google is a prime example of a company that invests in its employees. The tech conglomerate offers a whole range of exciting perks, from free beer and ice cream, to free fitness classes and facilities. 

But it’s not just about the free snacks and lunchtime yoga sessions. Having an onboarding program that covers all bases goes a long way in enhancing your employee’s happiness and well-being, reducing the stress and anxiety associated with starting a new role.


The impact of a disengaged employee on your bottom line

So we’ve discussed some of the reasons how a solid onboarding program can benefit your business. But what are the implications of not optimising the employee onboarding experience?

Well, research shows that disengaged employees can actually have a pretty drastic impact on your business bottom line. Employees that perceive their work to be meaningful and purposeful feel much more immersed and engaged in their role. The result of this is a happy employee that is a whole lot more productive too, with companies with engaged employees reporting 2.5 times more revenue than companies with disengaged employees.

And where does onboarding come into all of this? Well, a successful onboarding program is one that engages your new hires from the outset. It’s one that clearly sets out the expectations of their role, communicating clearly the value of their position in growing the business. As a result of this, you should expect a much happier, much more engaged, and greatly productive employee. After all, what’s motivating about being chucked into the deep end without any clear guidance or introduction? 

A study by The Aberdeen Group further revealed the importance of onboarding programs when enlisting new employees. It reported that:

  •  66% of businesses with onboarding programs claimed a higher rate of successful assimilation of new recruits into company culture;
  • 62% had higher time-to-productivity rations;
  • And 54% reported higher employee engagement.


Time to reflect on your onboarding process…

Now we’ve covered why developing and implementing an onboarding program is so important to making your new talent feel welcome, creating a culture of happiness, and ultimately, benefitting your bottom line, it’s time to ask yourself whether your business is doing enough.

We’re not just talking about giving your newest team member a day to sit at their desk and work tedious working through piles of paperwork and monotonous orientation programs. We’ve all been there, and let’s be real, this has us counting down the hours on the clock rather than feeling hyped and ready to go. In today’s hypercompetitive market, you want to develop a standout onboarding experience that leaves employees feeling super excited for their journey ahead within your organisation.  

Drawing on Google again as an example, the tech giant’s success can be traced all the way back to the onboarding approach it takes with new hires. Its program focuses on five key elements:

  • Clearly defining roles & responsibilities from day one;
  • Matching new hires with peers;
  • Helping employees build social networks within the workspace;
  • Setting regular check-ins during a new hire’s first year;
  • Establishing an open-door policy.

In today’s digitally-advanced world, your organisation can develop onboarding strategies more creative and engaging than ever before. And with more remote roles than ever before, technology has become a fundamental backbone in many businesses onboarding programmes. 

Virtual reality (VR) is but one example of this, with the technology giving companies of all kinds of industries the opportunity to thrill and excite new hires with a rich, immersive experience. From learning about the company’s mission directly from the founder to virtual site orientation — the possibilities are endless and they’re coming thick and fast! 


Call on the experts

Establishing a strong onboarding process that engages new hires from the very start of their journey is clearly a must in today’s candidate-driven market. Here at HdE TALENT, we understand that putting these processes in place requires a lot of time and resources, leaving little room to actually focus on sourcing and qualifying CVs.  So, be sure to reach out for a chat today!