One of the most pressing questions on every recruiter’s mind is, “How long should your employee onboarding process be?” Too short, and the employee will feel not well enough informed. Too long, and the employee might feel that they are overwhelmed with details.
Employers can dedicate anywhere from one day to six months to onboarding. The time and costs invested in onboarding a new hire can directly reflect on their productivity. But is there a parameter on the exact optimum length of the employee onboarding process? Let’s look at some factors that may help you plan your employee onboarding process right.
Factors to Consider When Planning the Length of Your Employee Onboarding Process
The onboarding time varies from a few hours to a few months. The majority of companies believe the ideal onboarding time must be around three months. However, research claims that companies that engage in onboarding procedures throughout the first year of an employee’s joining amount to a higher employee retention rate. It allows new hires to feel comfortable in their new work environment with time, become more productive, know whom to contact to get their questions answered, adapt to company culture, and build better employee relationships. Despite these suggestions and research findings, many companies still allow only a week or even less for employee onboarding.
Learning and development
A longer onboarding process with additional time can allow employees to gain new skills that help them create better solutions to the work challenges during their first year. Employers must provide new hires with both technical and soft skills training programmes. Continuing education throughout their first year will provide them with the right tools to develop and engage more in organisational tasks leading to enhanced growth of your organisation.
The onboarding process can have two approaches. The first includes the transactional aspect which includes the mandatory paperwork and filing. The second includes relation-building with other employees and team members. This aspect is known as relational onboarding and it goes a long way into making the new employee a part of the organisation. Employees who have better work relations with their colleagues are more likely to perform better and stay longer than those who do not.
Collaborative learning is yet another tool for enhancing employee relations. Instead of making a single employee learn new skills in isolation, collaborative learning aims at making the learning process more inclusive. It involves providing the new hire with an opportunity to bond with colleagues, share knowledge and experiences, and thus better learn about their role in the company. For your employees to have this immersive experience, you can either help them learn from existing employees or form batches of new employees across all departments and engage them together in learning activities.
Technology for onboarding
Companies are now investing in technology to help aid the onboarding process. Automation in onboarding can reduce the efforts required to help employees learn new skills. It can be efficiently done using online tutorials, video lectures, and online tests. Businesses only need to maintain a centralised onboarding management system which will ensure a reduction in the time and costs required for paperwork, opening new accounts, granting access rights, etc. Companies must acknowledge that technology cannot replace human involvement in the onboarding process. In-person discussions and problem-solving have their advantages.
Last but not least, employee engagement might be the most crucial consideration in the employee onboarding process. Organisations that only adopt the transactional approach to employee onboarding might fail to generate the employee engagement that is required for the growth of the organisation. While companies that succeed in making their new employees feel connected with colleagues and have better work relations tend to garner the highest employee engagement. Employees who feel valued, challenged, welcomed and motivated are going to engage in work with higher enthusiasm and get better results.
Optimising your onboarding process with Sentrient’s HR
Sentrient’s HR platform provides powerful workflows that make employee onboarding easier for your HR personnel and managers. It provides support throughout the whole process with modules for information collection, induction training, workplace compliance courses, HR policies and procedures, and online forms. It also features a simple and efficient online onboarding dashboard to make the process easier for new hires and existing employees.