By Sonia Tshabalala, Regional People Director, Sage AMEA

Few moments matter as much in nurturing talent as the onboarding experience. The first few days and weeks after someone joins your company can set the tone for the employee-employer relationship for the months and years to come. Getting this important onboarding period right can help your team members get up to speed quickly, get them excited about their new job, and create a foundation for a great long-term relationship.

Sadly, many companies fail at giving new employees the right start. According to Gallup’s global research, 20 percent of employees either report that their most recent onboarding was poor or that they received no onboarding at all. However, those who reported exceptional onboarding experiences are 2.6 times more likely to be extremely satisfied with their workplace – and are thus more likely to stay.

There’s a lot more to onboarding than introducing your new hire to the team and giving them a working computer and a copy of the company’s HR policy booklet. Here are seven ideas about how People Companies can transform the way they acquire, engage and manage their people through the onboarding process:

  1. Make them feel welcome. Introduce new hires to the people they’ll be working with as soon as possible, so they immediately feel part of a team. partner new hires with a buddy, or team Ambassador, who helps them settle in and meet new people, contributing to the positive onboarding experience.
  2. Don’t leave it to HR alone: In many businesses, new employees spend more time with the HR team in the early days than with the colleagues they’ll be working with. However, they’ll feel more welcome if their manager and the team they work with play an active role in the onboarding process.
  3. Focus on culture: It’s important for each employee to know about compliance procedures and who to ask for help to resolve any IT problems. But it’s also essential for them to know about the things that aren’t written down in policies and strategy documents. Talk to them about the dynamics and the informal rules that make up the company culture. Highlight how your business focuses on equality and inclusion.
  4. Be transparent: Don’t hide the downsides of the job from a new recruit. Talk to them about tricky customers or times when some overtime is expected. The more they know about what they’re getting into, the better they’ll be prepared.
  5. Streamline the paperwork: Onboarding is associated with massive paperwork and numerous training sessions. If recruits spend all their time filling in forms and attending orientation sessions, it might take them longer to settle down with their teams. Tools like digital signatures and employee self-service can streamline the processes, making the experience faster and easier for employees and employers alike.
  6. Revisit your processes for the post-COVID era: With the move to remote and hybrid working likely to be a key part of the Future of Work, companies need to pay close attention to those working from home all or part of the time. Creating new onboarding processes and checkpoints for remote workers might be necessary. Think about how you can make the experience feel more human. For example, sending a care package before their first day or arranging facetime with a mentor.  Getting off to the right start

When you set new hires up for personal success, the outcomes naturally feed into your business success, which means you both win. Motivation and productivity will come naturally if you provide new recruits with the tools, knowledge, and support to do their best work and contribute their best ideas.

About Sage

Sage exists to knock down barriers so everyone can thrive, starting with the millions of Small and Mid Sized Businesses served by us, our partners and accountants. Customers trust our finance, HR and payroll software to make work and money flow.  By digitising business processes and relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, banks and governments, our digital network connects SMBs, removing friction and delivering insights. Knocking down barriers also means we use our time, technology and experience to tackle digital inequality, economic inequality and the climate crisis.

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