New employees who complete a structured onboarding program with clear goals are 58% more likely to still be with their organization after three years.
How can you retain your employees and ensure this is the case at your organization?
Structuring your onboarding program around these five goals will help ensure you cover the content new hires need to be successful.
- Impression – Affirm the new employee’s decision to join the organization.
- Introduction – Build the employee’s understanding of the organization.
- Integration – Ensure that the employee understands their role, how they contribute to their team, and how their team adds value to the organization.
- Immersion – Build the employee’s knowledge of the functions, processes, and skills required for success in their role.
- Independence – Validate that the employee can perform the critical functions of their role.
A structured onboarding program can boost employee retention, improve new hire productivity, and result in higher profits for your organization, but how do you make sure your employees start on the right foot?
Our five goals of onboarding can help inform the structure of your program and ensure that it’s successful.
This article will define what onboarding is, discuss its four phases and importance, then break down each of the five goals of onboarding.
What Is Onboarding?
Onboarding is the process of introducing a new employee to their role, organization, and team. A comprehensive onboarding program is critical for three reasons:
- Creates the first impression a new hire has of an organization.
- Affirms a new employee’s decision to join an organization.
- Sets a new employee up for success in their role and within the organization by providing them with essential information and skills.
A high impact onboarding program is important for creating a great first impression on your new hires. When done well, onboarding affirms a new employee’s decision to join your organization and sets them up for success in their role.
Onboarding can be conducted in-person or online and can incorporate immersive technologies, like augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR). A comprehensive onboarding program ensures employees are successfully beginning their journey down a path of personal development, professional growth, and success.
Roundtable Learning’s Four Phase Approach To Onboarding
At Roundtable, we recommend conducting onboarding through four main phases:
- Orientation — Introduce the new hire to the organization and key team members, explore the organization’s values, and review the handbook, important policies, and related compliance materials.
- Role Training — Teach a new hire about their day to day job duties and any information they need to achieve long-term success.
- Transition — Train organizational leaders so that they can help new hires gain a solid understanding of their position and become fully productive.
- Ongoing Development — Create plans for continued career and personal growth so that both the individual and organization can reach their goals and achieve success.
Each of these four phases come with their own goals and materials. We recommend structuring onboarding in line with these four phases to ensure you make a strong first impression, inform the new hire of their role and the organization, and help them achieve full productivity as soon as possible.
The Five Key Goals Of A Comprehensive Onboarding Program
What are your organization’s onboarding goals? Perhaps you want to decrease employee turnover or maybe you want to improve new hire productivity.
Regardless of your organization’s onboarding goals, our expert team at Roundtable has outlined five main goals of onboarding that can help inform your own program design and ensure that your desired outcomes are met.
By keeping these five goals in mind, your organization can more easily design an onboarding program that provides a seamless beginning to an employee’s new role.
First impressions matter, which is why the first goal of any onboarding effort should be to create a positive first impression on the new employee and affirm their decision to join the organization.
The first impression is made during the orientation phase of onboarding. The impression is established by how the goals and values of an organization are conveyed, as well as how the welcoming process is handled.
Organizations can make a good first impression on a new hire by completing the following steps:
- Prepare paperwork, office equipment, and other essential materials for Day 1
- Provide a tour, map, and organizational chart
- Welcome the new hire with SWAG (stuff we all get)
- Check in regularly
By completing our recommended steps above, your organization will make a trustworthy and professional first impression on a new hire, allowing them to move forward feeling supported and confident in their role.
For the second goal of onboarding, an employee is introduced to key elements of the business. These elements could include:
- Business units
- Different products
- Customer bases of interest
- Different locations of the organization
The introduction occurs during the orientation phase and is meant to further build an employee’s understanding of the organization. A new hire needs to understand the ins and outs of their new organization to feel comfortable, get to work faster, and excel in their role.
Additionally, introducing new hires to more minor elements can go a long way. This could include introducing new employees to local lunch spots outside of the office or showing them where office equipment is located within the office.
By completing the introduction goal of onboarding, organizations allow their new employee to feel better integrated into the company culture. In doing so, the new hire will feel more secure and confident about their new space and role.
As an employee becomes integrated into an organization, they begin to focus more on their role or perhaps their department within the organization. Integration is a goal that occurs during the role training phase of onboarding, which is when employees discover how they fit in and how the work they complete adds to the organization’s bottom line.
Successful integration results in:
- The employee understanding their role
- The employee discovering how they contribute to their team
- The employee learning how their team adds value to the organization
Immersion happens during the role training phase of onboarding. Immersion builds an employee’s knowledge of the following three factors of an organization’s culture:
When an employee is fully immersed in an organization, they understand the culture and are better equipped to achieve success in their role. Immersion makes an employee feel more integrated into their new team and workplace, while also showing the value of the work they complete.
Independence is the meta-goal of onboarding, meaning the new hire can work independently and reach full productivity. Independence occurs during the transition and ongoing development phases of onboarding.
During transition and ongoing development, organizations validate that the new hire has the skills to perform their job successfully and continually evolve within their role. This goal ensures the employee is a self-starter and can perform the critical functions of their role independently.
All Aboard With Onboarding!
In this article, we’ve covered what onboarding is, its importance, and the five main goals we recommend each program should strive to achieve. By keeping these goals in mind, your organization can design a comprehensive onboarding program that is sure to impress new hires.
Let’s get started building a successful onboarding program at your organization and ensure each of the above goals are met!