A new onboarding study reveals that companies have just 44 days on average to convince new hires to stay, and that first impressions make a lasting impression, for better or for worse.
The study released by BambooHR of 1,565 full-time U.S. employees and 500 HR professionals showed that 70% of new hires decide if a new job is the right fit for them within the first month, with 29% knowing within the first week.
Alarmingly, 44% of new employees have regrets or second thoughts about their new role within the first week, with 23 percent admitting to crying during their first week.
One solution to this problem is simple, the survey noted. New hires value workplace friendships more than meeting the CEO, with 87% hoping to make a friend at work, and 93% wanting to shadow a colleague.
The importance of employee onboarding
As news of labor strikes dominate headlines, the survey noted that many Americans are looking for new work, and this study brings to light how critical onboarding is to employee happiness, success in a new role, and whether new hires will stay long-term or not at an organization.
“These findings show that recruiting top talent doesn’t end with an offer letter,” said Anita Grantham, head of HR at BambooHR. “Smart organizations know that onboarding is actually ‘hiring phase two’ and is much more than a welcome email and a tech checklist. Those critical first 44 days need to create new hire confidence by continuing to advocate for the company’s mission and values, the importance of the role they fill, and the plans for growth and success a new employee can anticipate.”
Employees’ top frustrations with onboarding include a lack of clarity about who can answer their questions, inadequate training on company products and services, and technology issues.
Improving the onboarding process for new hires
To enhance the onboarding process, the survey provides an onboarding checklist that lists several essential tasks for managers and human resources personnel. This list should come in handy as managers seek to improve their onboarding efforts.
Onboarding task for managers
Recommended onboarding tasks for managers include:
Share the good news. Send a welcome email message introducing your new hire.
Assign your new hire a mentor and/or an onboarding buddy.
Invite your new employee to recurring, one-on-one meetings to provide regular check-ins.
Schedule your new hire’s first day meetings, prioritizing “introduction” calls with colleagues who will work closely with the new hire.
Coordinate a welcome meeting or a phone call to kick off your new hire’s first day.
Set up a welcome lunch with the new hire’s team, if appropriate.
Give the new employee an introduction to the business, including how his or her role fits in and any performance expectations you’ll have for their onboarding.
Take your new hire on a tour of the office.
Onboarding HR tasks
For human resources personnel, onboarding tasks include:
Send out a new hire welcome packet that contains the forms and documents new hires must complete.
Document the new hire’s role and compensation information in your HRIS system or records.
Add the new employee to the payroll.
Share essential company policies, including:
o Hours of operation
o Dress code
o Directions and parking information
o Reminders of what to bring on the first day (e.g., direct deposit information.)
Schedule introduction meetings to review paperwork, including benefits, direct deposit, and company policies.
If your organization conducts periodic employee reviews (such as after a 90-day probationary period), schedule these and other important milestones.
Ask new hires to complete a background check (if applicable).
Send the new hire to complete a drug screen (if applicable).
IT onboarding checklist
To-do items on the IT onboarding checklist include:
Create an email address for the new hire.
Set up account permissions for any platforms or software the employee’s role requires.
Prepare a computer and any phone equipment or tech accessories a new hire may need.
The survey also shared a few steps on the mentor or onboarding buddy checklist. Among the steps on this checklist:
Schedule regular check-ins throughout the first two weeks of the new hire’s time with the organization.
Invite new hires to shadow relevant meetings or projects.
Be responsive to ad hoc questions from the new hire throughout the day.
Ayo Mseka has more than 30 years of experience reporting on the financial services industry. She formerly served as editor-in-chief of NAIFA’s Advisor Today magazine. Contact her at amseka@INNfeedback.com.
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