There are many people that talk about the customer experience (CX) or the user experience (UX) but it’s less common for those same people to be as passionate about the employee experience (EX).
The interesting thing is that more often than not, no matter what digital transformations you make, and no matter what business investments you bankroll, if your employees are not having a positive experience, not well trained, and don’t feel like they are empowered, your customer experience will fall apart at some point.
A positive employee experience all starts with good onboarding. According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), it’s the prime opportunity to win over the new employees. It is also the magic moment when these individuals choose to be highly engaged or disengaged with their new employer. That is why 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. If you use this time to make a positive impression and connect on an emotional level with the new hires, you’re giving them an experience that will mean something to them.
- Overwhelm new hires with tons of paperwork and collateral to read, new hires can easily get lost in reading page after page
- Be inconsistent with your onboarding methods, if employees see certain groups being treated differently, they may think that it’s not fair or shows favoritism and that can lead to disengagement, arguments or lawsuits
- Forget to include basic instructions that you may take for granted, like where to park, who to ask for or what to do once you enter the building, it makes the company look disorganized
- Onboard the same way year after year, just because it’s the way you’ve done it before, the program should evolve with technology, policies and feedback to get better over time
- Tell new hires stories about your organization’s history and the big-picture vision for the future
- Explain your company’s values and what they mean on a deeper level to the people within the company
- Talk about training and career development and how it helps employees grow and provide actual examples of employees that have progressed
- Have employees talk with different people to start developing connections and learn more about their stories
- Use technology to streamline the administrative process and let new hires find and absorb information on their own time
- Test your current recruiting and onboarding experience
- Follow up with a survey and ask if there was anything else that would have been helpful for them to learn during onboarding and try and build that into the program in the future
A structured onboarding program can help drive retention and performance. New employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58 percent more likely to be with the organization after three years. And organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 50 percent greater new-hire productivity.
Test Your Onboarding Experience
Every few years you should test your recruiting and onboarding experience. You can hire a third-party company to evaluate your methods, but one way to get a good idea of what the experience is really like is to send some of your personnel, as undercover, through the process. It will be good for them to experience the recruiting and onboarding process again from beginning to end. Especially if they have been with the company for many years, they may have forgotten what it feels like to be recruited, excited, scared, new, etc.
From the standpoint of a new hire that knows nothing, they may see gaps in the onboarding process, or inconsistencies that can be reconciled quickly. They may also be able to help recruiters restructure the onboarding narrative to present a clearer picture to new hires.
When new hires feel welcome and prepared for their jobs, they are able to start successfully contributing to the company’s mission.
While new employee orientation may simply be the first step in a journey that can take weeks and sometimes even months for new employees, it is one of the most important steps of the employee experience. It engages the minds and hearts of the new hires and helps keep them interested, engaged and retained for years into the future.