Maximizing Employee Engagement: a Guide to Effective Onboarding

Maximizing Employee Engagement: a Guide to Effective Onboarding

March 14, 2023

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The success of a company is strongly dependent on its onboarding experience. Employees are looking for a work environment that helps them learn, grow, and reach their full potential. But, most of all, they are looking for a place where they feel engaged.

Successful businesses support their employees with many benefits and activities, ranging from company getaways to flexible work situations. Organisations with effective onboarding show improved retention rates, superior job satisfaction, and performance improvement.

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is the level of an employee’s commitment and connection to the company they work for, and it results from a strong employer-employee relationship. When companies invest in an employee’s well-being, they invest back in the company.

In fact, when employees feel supported by their employer, they are 38% more engaged, 28% more likely to recommend their company as a great place to work, and 17% more likely to still be working there in a year.

Effective onboarding: why does it matter?

Fostering relationships is key to retaining top talent and maximizing employee engagement. Companies with mediocre onboarding experience cause new hires to quit their jobs a few months after being recruited. In fact, 1/3 of new hires quit their job after six months.

Employees need to feel part of the company from day one. It is crucial for companies to invest in talent management since it means investing in an organisation’s most important resource – its people.

The onboarding experience is vital since it enhances the employee’s confidence in taking on the new role and integrates them quickly into the team and projects. The employee’s engagement impacts the prospect of them staying with the company long-term, and they will most certainly invest in their skill development, which is a win-win for both the employee and the employer.

Employee retention is extremely important to most businesses and companies. When employees are invested in their work and engaged, they are less inclined to search for a better position and are more likely to stay in the company instead of pursuing new opportunities. According to statistics, effective onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%.

A guide to effective onboarding

Step I: Pre-boarding

Preboarding is the process of starting an employee’s onboarding experience before their first day. It is a period of time that can get them excited about their new job and keep them engaged until their start date.

1. Welcome kit

This is the perfect opportunity to send new employees a welcome kit, such as a water bottle, a notebook, or a mouse pad with the company’s logo. This can leave a positive first impression and convey that you appreciate your new hires. The team should also be encouraged to send them a welcome email or a phone call, so they feel more included.

2. Getting the paperwork done

Paperwork is the most boring, confusing, and frustrating part of the onboarding process. It is important to send paperwork before their first day, such as the employment contract, and payroll forms. A first-day agenda should also be included, so the new hires know what to expect on their first steps in the new company.

Step II: First Day

The first day is extremely important for setting the right tone with new employees. Day one is all about the agenda and orientation and it should be fun and informative at the same time.

1. Workspace

On the first day, the new employees should have their desks or office set up with anything they might need for work, such as a computer and a cellphone, logins, and passwords. This will make them feel appreciated and they can avoid wasting time doing such tasks on the first day.

2. Preparing the team

Successful onboarding is a collaborative effort. On the first day, the managers and the team should be prepared, and they should designate a mentor. They should save time to be with the new hire on the first day so that they do not feel neglected or lost. A good idea is to arrange a nice lunch out with co-workers to start the job on the right foot or give them a first-day gift.

3. Showing them around

When the new employees arrive, it is important to show them the key places in the office. At the same time, this is a great opportunity to introduce them to their co-workers and to the CEO. Organising some “get-to-know-me” activities with the team can also be a fun idea, while the employees can get to know the company’s vision, values, and history.

Step III: First Months

Studies show that new starters who receive a poor onboarding experience leave in the first year, so onboarding is an ongoing process that requires weekly or monthly check-ins to ensure the employees are engaged and happy with their work environment.

1. Check-ins

Regular check-ins can make the difference between an employee who stays in the company long-term and an employee who quits early. It is important to provide feedback and ask them questions about how work is going, how is their relationship with their mentor and co-workers, and if they need additional training or support.

2. Celebrate wins

The best onboarding process takes the experience until the employee’s first anniversary. Bringing people together is crucial to create a sense of belonging for the new employee, so a good way to do it is to keep track of anniversaries and prepare an appropriate celebration with the team. It is also important to acknowledge and celebrate small or big wins throughout their path in the company to make them feel valued for the work they are doing.

At PrimeIT, we take the happiness of our employees very seriously. If you are looking for a new challenge in your life and want to be a part of our engaged team, take a look at our job opportunities here!