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5 Ways to improve your onboarding experience

Reading time: 5-10 minutes

Onboarding has never been more critical than it is today

Employees want to feel at ease and comfortable, whilst their employers want them contributing as quickly as possible. These are often proven to be conflicting viewpoints. Push your employees to start contributing too quickly and they feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Give them too much time to find their feet and they may never feel that their role is of importance.

A study by BambooHR showed that “employers lose 17% of their new hires within their first 90 days due to ineffective onboarding”. Whilst statistics released by UrbanBound noted that “a standard onboarding program increases retention by 50%”. This is a substantial difference and re-enforces the notion that a great onboarding experience can prove to be a massive differential over your competitors.

Now that we know how important it is, here are 5 ways to revolutionise your onboarding experience.

1. Reach out before they start

A common occurrence that many are familiar with. You have received a new job offer, signed and sent the contract off, only to hear nothing till the day before. This is simply no longer good enough. There is no longer an excuse to not keep in contact with your employees before they start working for you. There are now so many different methods of communication available to us.

TalentVine recently published an article noting that “the period of greatest risk is that from acceptance to start date”. During this time, employees are still in contact with other potential employers and have not yet developed a natural loyalty for their future employer. This makes it important to keep them engaged and to check in regularly with them. If they know that you are excited for them to join and are constantly telling them this, then it should be enough for them to put off any other potential offers.

2. Personalise the content for them

Everyone wants to feel special. Sending out generalised content that every new hire receives is not the way to go about this. New hires want to see their name, their role and the information that pertains to them and not every member of your organisation according to a recent Harvard Business Review article. We all know that feeling when you get a 100-page document and deep down you know that only 10% of it is relevant to you. Compare that to a 10-page document that deals solely with information relevant to you alone. The more relevant the content the more likely people are to engage with it.

3. Get them familiar with what is expected

Nerves are a common occurrence with starting a new job and it is often attributed to the fear of the unknown. Steve Errey at the Muse discussed how the more new employees know and can relate to, the more at ease we ultimately feel. Organisations who have not set out a plan for new arrivals, often end up increasing the stress and anxiousness of an already difficult day.

New employees want to feel valued and one of the easiest ways of doing this is by preparing for their arrival. Zenefits remarked that sending a structured plan detailing what is expected and what you expect in return, is a great way to ease anxiety in new employees. This allows both parties to be on the same page in terms of expectations.

4. Ensure your onboarding experience is always up to date

Ensure your onboarding experience is always up to date. Recent times have shown that even the best preparation can end up being thrown out the window in minutes. Being able to make changes quick and easy is now more important than ever. SHRM’s study ‘Transforming HR through Technology Systems’ mentions how requiring 3rd party authorisation to make changes are proving to be detrimental in times of constant flux.

Changes need to be made by those with direct knowledge of the situation and these changes need to be communicated immediately with the affected parties. Keeping an open line of communication is vital in keeping future employees trust and confidence. There is nothing more disheartening than receiving and going through reams of information only to find out that it is outdated and irrelevant.

5. Offer them an opportunity to provide feedback

A 2018 Forbes article stated then that data was considered to be one of the most valuable resources available. In the 3 years, its importance has grown from strength to strength. Employees are also genuinely willing to provide you with their feedback which can be used to make critical decisions. Analyse the data you receive and use it to constantly improve your onboarding process for all future recruits.

Onboarding is a process that requires constant changes to keep it up to date and relevant. A successful onboarding process helps alleviate stress from new starters and in turn, they feel far more comfortable. This results in them getting up and running and being productive at a much faster rate. Here at PageTiger we truly believe in the power of a successful onboarding process. It requires time and effort and is something that can constantly be optimized to be more successful.

How we use PageTiger

We use our own software to onboard all new recruits and have seen the positive effect that this process can have.

Each pack is personalized to the new starter to include their role and responsibilities. We also utilise the analytics suite to monitor engagement levels and ensure compliance.

Any changes to the process are quick and easy to make, ensuring it remains up to date.

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