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Importance of Onboarding for New Hires

Onboarding can be a smooth ride for new employees or it can be a traumatic experience that makes them want to flee. The quality of the experience is largely determined by the HR department's approach.

Onboarding is today's term for new-employee orientation. What used to be a quick tour with reams of paperwork has turned into a longer process focused on cultural alignment and employee acclimation.

The Onboarding Process

HR Dive makes a distinction between onboarding and new employee orientation. Whereas orientation is an event, onboarding is a process that continues over time. HR Dive names four components in the onboarding process:

  • The orientation, which includes high-level agenda items and business strategies, as well as practical information like where to park and eat lunch
  • Preparation of the new employee for the job, with the possible inclusion of mentoring and job shadowing
  • Introductions that acquaint new hires with key staff members
  • Key resources with information on where new hires can get assistance

PeopleAdmin calls onboarding an opportunity to convey the organization's brand and values, explain the professional culture, state organizational expectations, and provide the tools for the employee to successfully transition into the new position.

HR's Role in Onboarding

In many organizations, onboarding falls to HR, according to Compli. In some organizations, it is the responsibility of several staff members from different departments. In either case, HR holds three primary responsibilities in the onboarding process:

  1. Introducing new employees to the company culture to aid in their long-term performance and retention.
  2. Assessing the supports that employees need for success, starting on the first day and continuing through the onboarding process.
  3. Presenting essential information regarding benefits, company policies, payroll and work environment.

Effective Onboarding Strategies

A focus on employee success from day one makes for effective onboarding, according to HR Dive. It helps to welcome new employees while helping them discover how they can contribute to company goals and success. Other strategies include:

  • Providing support that makes new employees want to come to work and giving them training to do the job well.
  • Helping accelerate new-employee transition into a job. It should also connect new hires with departments outside their core team to help them better understand the organization's culture and structure.

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Sources:

HR Dive: 5 Questions to Help Rethink Your Onboarding Process

PeopleAdmin: What Is Onboarding Exactly?

Compli: Onboarding as a Shared Responsibility: The Roles of HR, Management, and the Executive Suite

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