Here's What Happens When You Improve Your Onboarding Process

Here's What Happens When You Improve Your Onboarding Process
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Within six months of starting a new job, employees tend to make up their minds on whether or not they want to stay with the organization. So, what causes employees to leave?

Related: Why Everyone Hates Onboarding (and How to Make Everyone Love It)

A 2015 report from LinkedIn on job-switching may have some answers. It surveyed more than 10,500 workers who had changed jobs and found that 59 percent of respondents said they'd moved to pursue better opportunities and a stronger career path.

The message, then, is that it’s important to inform new hires about their opportunities at your organization and provide them with an engaging onboarding process that prepares them for their role. A poor onboarding process fails to do that, and likely causes productivity to suffer as a result.

Evidence: The TINYpulse 2015 Employee Engagement & Organizational Culture Report found that 24 percent of the 4,000 employees surveyed said their productivity suffered from not having the tools they needed to do their jobs.

The onboarding process, then, is essential for engaging employees, to maintain productivity, keep turnover low and build strong teams. It impacts the most important metric to measure: quality of hire, which typically factors in performance, ramp-up time, cultural fit and tenure. Want to strengthen your own onboarding process and improve quality of hire? Here's how:

Ask employees for feedback.

Tenured staff members are a great resource for HR. They can provide feedback about their experience with onboarding and offer insights into what components failed and which ones were effective.

And feedback has value: It’s hard to fix something when nobody knows where the problem lies. In contrast, continuous feedback guides consistent improvement and helps build a meaningful, engaging onboarding process.

If you collect input from current employees, make sure to conduct surveys targeting newer hires, to get their perspective.Then build this into performance evaluations, to give new hires a voice. They should be encouraged to speak up when they feel disengaged or misinformed.

Compile feedback from all these channels and look for details, specifically about team members feeling disengaged, bored, unenthusiastic or lost. Also note where they feel fully invested and excited about their roles. Take note of the aspects they cite to communicate expectations, and at which point they've felt they had the tools for success.

Related: 4 Ways to Determine If Your Onboarding Process Is Broken

Use data effectively.

Train your management team to pull data and appropriately measure the quality of hire. This metric shows the maturity and effectiveness of the entire talent acquisition process. Track employees from the start of their employment. Note issues in their performance to identify where the onboarding process may have failed.

Combine these performance analytics with the source of hire to see where the company is finding the best talent. As the old adage goes, “Fish where the fish are.” When companies prioritize their sourcing efforts and direct their attention to the outlet that brings in the most qualified candidates, they waste less time and resources on screening lower-quality talent.

Look at cultural fit. If new hires are not aligned with company values, focus on writing better job descriptions that more effectively communicate what the company wants, to attract better candidates.

Bottom line: Teams need to know how to analyze and articulate how the onboarding process is performing under the scope of quality of hire. When employee metrics are combined with quality of hire, HR can continuously improve both its recruiting and onboarding processes.

Create fun interactions.

Based on the results of employee feedback and data analysis, create a more informative, engaging onboarding process.

Show that the company invests in its staff and communicate to new hires the growth opportunities available. In a 2015 North American workforce report by Learnkit, 89 percent of the 421 employees surveyed said they felt it was important that their employers support their learning and development, and 53 percent acknowledged that they would like their jobs more had they had better training.

Aside from being informative, training needs to be fun. Create an interactive experience using gamification, or inspire competitions using entertaining contests. Implement software that requires participation from employees. When people interact with a curriculum, they learn and retain more information.

Related: Why Companies Need to Think Carefully About Onboarding

Bottom line: Employees should be excited from day one. Design a team-building program to introduce new hires to their fellow new hires, and bring the team in to get everyone acquainted. When the whole company feels a strong sense of ownership and loyalty, employees will stay and contribute to growth. A successful onboarding process is the secret to improving quality of hire and building a team of loyal, dedicated employees.