Synergy HR Corner | Onboarding Tips

by Wyetta Ford (ISS Mechanical)

We all have that thing. . .you know, that thing that gets you fired up, excited and energized. You know that thing that you stay up all night to accomplish or the thing that you volunteer to do around the office that brings you pure joy. Well for me it is onboarding. I have a genuine passion and love for high quality, organized and deliberate onboarding. A successful, well organized Onboarding plan can be the differentiator in your market as a quality employer that has their stuff together. I understand onboarding takes time and energy and resources, however, research indicates the time invested in onboarding outweighs the cost of losing an employee. Recent estimates indicate the average cost to replace an employee is around 16% of their annual salary for a mid level employee and up to 213% for a highly experienced and educated position. Imagine that would be $4,800 on a $30,000/year employee. WOW. Statistics also indicate proper onboarding reduces turnover up to 50%.

The cost associated with losing an employees is one reason for my passion related to onboarding, however, the deep passion comes from that innate human desire to be a part of something, to be a part of a tribe and to be valued. Effective onboarding demonstrates from day 1 your desire as an employer to bring this person along in your culture and company.

Here’s a few tips to remember when creating or implementing your onboarding plan for All new team members:

  • Onboarding begins before employment. The way you schedule interviews, conduct interviews, communicate with the candidate and prepare them for their first day is their first impression of your company. At ISS, our owner and the direct manager calls EVERY employee before their first day of employment. This is our welcome mat, and we have found great success with this effort.
  • Onboarding should last 6 months to 1 year. If your onboarding is a single day event, you are likely missing some important details. No one, I mean no one learns something from a single introduction of information. We all learn from repetition. Day 1 should be orientation, giving a new hire the basic policies to help navigate regular work situations (ie. Handbook, drive time, organizational chart, etc.) Day 2-180 should be geared to provide your new team member many opportunities to learn the same thing. A single training event leaves room for miss information and an overall overload of information.
  • Consider a 30-60-90 day plan to help a new hire have a clear understanding of what is expected in the first 90 days. The plan will not only community a clear direction for the new hire, but it also gives managers a road map as to a new person’s success and capabilities. I love a check list and a 30-60-90 day plan is am excellent tool to hold both the employee and manager accountable.

Consider implementing 1 of these ideas with your next new hire, a pilot program, if you do not already have similar tools in place. Measure the success and make it your own.