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Your employee onboarding experience is a vital process, arguably one of the most important aspects of running a business. If it’s done badly, it can negatively impact your new starter’s view of your business, as well as potentially damaging relationships with their new colleagues.

But when employee onboarding is done right, you create a happy and valuable team member that pays in dividends for your business. Read on to discover five key features of a great employee onboarding process.

If you deliver a negative employee onboarding experience, your staff turnover rate will increase as a result. Here are ten turnover statistics you need to know to help guide your strategy beyond the onboarding process.

Identify clear support networks for your new starter

There’s nothing worse than starting a new job and not knowing who to report to when you have a query. And between new systems and complicated processes, your new employee will have lots of questions in the first weeks at your business.

As such, it’s vital that you put in place a support structure that is clear and transparent. Leave no room for doubt — if your employee is unsure who they should speak to, they’ll keep their query to themselves which might negatively impact your business as a result.

A strong onboarding experience should assign a single point of contact to the starter as a mentor, monitoring the new employee as they ease into their new role.

Ensure all IT systems are set up ahead of time

Virtually every business has at least one, if not more, digital system that new starters need to be set up on. From computer logins to swipe-card access, there’s a lot of tech-related admin required before a new employee can start working.

However, this often gets overlooked or neglected until the last minute. As a result, the new starter arrives at work, only to sit around twiddling their thumbs because they haven’t been given access to the requisite systems and files. This is bound to give them a sour onboarding experience.

Create a list of required systems and file access tailored to each role in your business. This serves as a checklist for you to run through before your new starter arrives. Set a deadline for completion for at least a week before your employee’s first day to allow for any delays in setup.

Let your new employee hit the ground running

The first month of an employee’s time in a new role very often goes towards little real, beneficial work. Either the business wasn’t prepared in time, or they’re reluctant to hand over trust of a project to an ‘untested’ employee.

But this is a waste of your time and theirs. If you’ve taken the time to vet, interview, and hire a candidate, then you should hit the ground running to

Ultimately, the best thing for both your employee and your business is to throw the new starter in at the deep end.

Your new starter doesn’t necessarily need to lead a project entirely, but getting to grips with work on a low level helps them feel like part of the team and become more cognizant of their role within your business.

Yes, there may be some teething issues. But these happen with any new starter in any role, so get them out of the way early. This will expedite the integration process and keep your new employee happy and productive.

Don’t forget the value of company culture too

While it’s important that you get the most out of your new starters by having them hit the ground running, you shouldn’t expect stellar results from the off. It takes time to get used to a role, even if your new employee is familiar with the work.

Consequently, you should avoid talking about productivity targets at first. Instead, focus on integrating your new starter into your company culture as part of your onboarding experience. Set tasks that build a rapport with your new starter’s team members. Emphasize the perks of the job, and perhaps set aside time for a social event to showcase your company culture.

These are little acts that are often seen as frivolous indulgences by businesses, but they play a vital role in integrating your new employee into their team. If a new starter feels more comfortable as part of a team, they will be more eager to contribute towards shared goals as a result.

Use multichannel tech to enhance the onboarding experience

Gone are the days in which a new starter would spend their first day of orienteering in a darkened room, watching dated videos from the Eighties explaining everything from health and safety to meeting etiquette.

Instead, we live in a world in which we demand multichannel. We want to consume media in a variety of ways, like on-demand streaming services or mobile devices.

Similarly, HR professionals should embrace multichannel technology to deliver a diverse, more engaging onboarding experience. Interactive content such as quizzes or scavenger hunts, immersion in your business’s social media channels, written exercises — all these and more go towards creating an onboarding experience that speeds up your employee’s integration into their team.

This is ultimately more rewarding for your new starter as well. A multichannel experience delivers greater value to your new employee, helping them become more cognizant of their role, both within their team and as part of your business as a whole.

Lean on digital tools for cohesive employee onboarding

Employee onboarding has evolved massively over the past 30 years. And even in the past decade, there has been a dizzying array of tools created to help firms streamline their onboarding process for new recruits.

For example, take the messaging and project management app Slack. It’s a conversation hub, throwing new employees into the thick of it from the off. And because you can view past discussions and files with ease, a new recruit can get a feel for their new team’s processes in an organic way, expediting their onboarding naturally. You can even gamify the experience a bit more by asking people to answer and ask fun ‘get to know you’ questions — Slack is great for casual ‘watercooler’ chat.

On the HR admin side, Digital self-service portals let new employees set up their own personal information, rather than relying on several different departments and reams of dull paperwork. It’s all about empowering staff to take control of their experience — whilst also reducing admin and data overheads for businesses.

Online payroll software keeps all an employee’s pay information in a single hub so you can quickly and efficiently manage any deductions or shifts in pay grade — without having to pay out extra for clunky payroll integrations. Find the digital tools that work for your business — bigger businesses might even want to invest in dedicated induction software like InductNow.

Ultimately, digital tools help expedite an employee’s onboarding by handing them the reins. It gives them autonomy over their new role, letting them navigate unfamiliar terrain at their own pace.

Onboarding your new starter can make (or break) an employee’s experience of a role. A stellar onboarding process creates a rewarding employee-employer relationship that benefits your business time and again. Follow the tips above and you’ll craft a great employee onboarding process that works for you and your new employee.

Author Bio:

Kayleigh is a senior writer at Micro Startups, your online destination for everything startup. We’re dedicated to spreading the word about hard-working solopreneurs and SMEs making waves in the business world. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe @getmicrostarted