What Do HR Experts Have to Say about Onboarding?

Despite the importance of onboarding, the process if often overlooked. According to The Learning Match Maker, 91% of employees stay with a company for at least a year if that company has an efficient onboarding process. That number only drops to 69% after 3 years.

The onboarding process is often not conducted as effectively as it could be. So much time is spent finding and hiring great new employees when there is an open position that onboarding is largely overlooked. But that’s a big mistake and a missed opportunity. According to The Learning Match Maker, 91 percent of employees stick around for at least a year at a new company, the company has efficient onboarding processes, and 69 percent of them stick around for at least 3 years when the company has a well-structured onboarding program.

In an article for SHRM, Dori Meinert interviewed a number of HR professionals to share some of their most effective strategies for onboarding. Here are just a few.

Check-Off List

When onboarding takes on a too informal character, it can be easy to miss key elements. Having a checkoff list of the mandatory activities and key information helps ensure that nothing is missed. Consider having a checkoff list of general items as well as position-specific checkoffs for the first day, week, and month of a new employee’s tenure.

Post Their Photo

Posting an employee’s photo somewhere might seem a little embarrassing to some, but it’s a great way to help new employees meet their new coworkers. Some companies ask employees to send a photograph and a brief write-up about themselves that can be available in a company newsletter or intranet.

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Create Accountability

One of the greatest challenges in onboarding is a lack of accountability. While HR can play a role, ultimately managers must be held accountable for effectively onboarding employees. Too often, they see this as the responsibility of the HR department rather than taking personal ownership of the process.


And some common mistakes made by companies when onboarding are:

  • Having an employee start when his or her manager is out of the office
  • Leaving a new employee to eat alone at lunch on his or her first day
  • Being unprepared

Onboarding is a crucial part of the employee experience. It sets the tone for the employee’s time with the company and creates a first impression. Many companies don’t do a great job with onboarding, but following some easy-to-implement tips can help to both improve the onboarding experience for employees—and improve the overall quality of the onboarding process to ensure maximum productivity and engagement.

Lin Gresing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor for the L&D Daily Advisor.

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