HR Management & Compliance, Recruiting, Talent

Onboarding Like a Boss

What are the various steps of the employee onboarding process, and how many companies implement each of these steps effectively? Moreover, how does onboarding at your organization compare?

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A study conducted by HR Daily Advisor Research, detailed in the report, “2017 Strategy Onboarding Survey: How to Activate New Employees,” provides insight.
The survey includes responses from 401 individuals, the majority of whom are managers, working in various industries at companies of all sizes across the United States as well as globally.

Getting Onboard

Research finds that 75 percent of respondents work at organizations that have a formal onboarding program.

  • Among these programs, 91 percent include compliance-related paperwork.
  • More than 80 percent include a briefing about the company, a briefing about job expectations, coworker introductions, and a policies or handbook briefing as part of the program.
  • And more than 70 percent include benefits enrollment paperwork, a facility tour, and phone, computer, and email training.

Pre-Onboarding Activities

Not all employers wait until a new hire’s first day to begin the onboarding process. Close to half of respondents surveyed, 45 percent, say their company engages in onboarding activities before an employee reports to work.
These activities include:

  • filling out forms before the first day of work;
  • conducting informal calls or sending emails to keep enthusiasm high;
  • scheduling in-person meetings; and
  • introducing the new hire to coworkers.

Some employers go even further; they send flowers to a new hire upon acceptance of an offer or send a welcoming gift to the employee’s home address.

Building Relationships

With the understanding that onboarding is about more than paperwork and workplace orientation, companies focus heavily on building relationships.
Forty percent of surveyed companies have a buddy or mentoring program for new employees. Job shadowing is another approach, as is providing a dedicated trainer.
These efforts intend to do more than build goodwill, however. Sixty-two percent of employers aim part of their onboarding program at getting employees to work productively as soon as possible.
Nevertheless, relationship building is high on the list of priorities, with 79 percent of companies indicating that it is “very important” that employees have good relationships with one another. Likewise, 79 percent of employers say that it is “very important” that new hires assimilate into the company culture.

Ongoing Effort

How long does the onboarding process typically last?
Thirty-five percent of respondents, say onboarding at their company is a one-time process. Although the length of the process varies, 70 percent indicate onboarding is finished by the end of the first quarter at the latest.
At 17 percent of companies, though, onboarding is “never-ending.”

Evaluating Effectiveness

Companies do review metrics related to onboarding. These include:

  • turnover/retention;
  • performance measures;
  • time to full productivity;
  • cost per hire; and
  • engagement survey results.

Even so, 45 percent of respondents say their company does not evaluate the onboarding program.

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