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Onboarding. NOT a waste of time!

scrabble board pieces spelling onboard, mentor
23 October 2023

The Great Resignation isn't just a thing in America, my friend. Labor shortages and market turbulence are happening worldwide. Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia - they're all feeling the heat. Skilled or unskilled, nobody's immune. So, if companies want to survive this labor market rollercoaster, they better invest in employee onboarding.


But here's the kicker: onboarding is even trickier now with remote and hybrid work. It's like trying to assemble IKEA furniture without the instructions. A survey from Workable found that remote onboarding was the biggest hiring challenge during the pandemic. And even before all this virtual stuff, more than a third of companies didn't have a structured onboarding process. Yikes!


To make matters worse, organizations often underestimate how long it takes for newbies to really get the hang of things. The average onboarding program lasts 90 days, but according to Gallup, it actually takes a whole year for new employees to reach their full potential. Talk about a slow burn!


Now, here's where things get interesting. Only a measly 12% of employees feel their company does a good job onboarding newbies. That leaves a whopping 88% with lackluster experiences.


But wait, there's hope! Companies that implement a formal onboarding program can see 50% greater employee retention and 62% greater productivity among new recruits. That's some serious ROI right there. According to Gallup, employees who have a positive onboarding experience are almost three times as likely to feel prepared and supported in their role. Confidence boost alert!


So, how do you create an onboarding plan that doesn't make new hires run for the hills? Here are three steps to get you started:


Set clear goals and measures for success:

  • Make sure your goals cover compliance, clarification, culture, and connection.

  • Ask questions like: Do employees know the rules? Do they understand their job expectations? Will they grasp the company culture? And how will you maintain work-life balance?

  • Oh, and don't forget to measure success with both numbers and feedback from your new hires. Quantitative and qualitative.

Create a multi-departmental onboarding team:

  • Get HR, relevant teams, key stakeholders, and even the CEO involved.

  • Introduce new hires to their team ASAP and make sure everyone knows why they were hired.

  • Help newbies build relationships with stakeholders by giving them a cheat sheet of names and important info.

  • And hey, don't forget to connect new hires with the big boss. It's like getting a backstage pass to the company culture!

Use technology to streamline administrative tasks and free up time for coaching and connections:

  • Have new hires register on an onboarding portal, watch a welcome video, complete paperwork, and receive their customized program.

  • Track their progress throughout the program and adjust accordingly.

  • And make sure this fancy new platform integrates with your HR system for easy tracking and evaluation.


I create a course called "How To Be A Great Employee". In large part because companies were not onboarding their employees well...if at all. Even when there is a great onboarding session by company standards, it doesn't always translate into helpful for the new hire. This course teaches employees how to take their career into their own hand. Starting with how to excel at their jobs beyond the thing they were hired to do. (which matters more in many cases) You can learn more HERE!



The key to successful onboarding is setting clear goals, involving the whole gang, and providing support every step of the way. With a killer onboarding process, you'll boost confidence, engagement, and retention. 



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