A successful onboarding process is vital for organisations to foster a sense of connection and engagement among new hires. Recent research suggests that companies may face a significant turnover rate—up to 80 per cent of their staff—if their onboarding process leaves new hires feeling disconnected from their role and the company's overall mission.
Having a consistent onboarding process ensures all new hires have a similar experience, regardless of their location or role, which is especially critical for multinational companies, says Katherine Loranger, Chief People Officer of Safeguard Global, a global workforce management company.
Loranger has observed that many companies continue to rely on outdated processes that result in a fragmented culture, such as not setting clear expectations or ignoring cultural adaptation during training.
“Outdated onboarding processes can hinder the success of remote and hybrid workforces, especially during the critical first few weeks on the job. Employees who feel unsupported or undervalued during their first few months are more likely to leave their job, leading to increased turnover rates,” she adds.
In an interaction with People Matters, Loranger emphasises the importance of avoiding three common mistakes to ensure a seamless integration of new hires into their organisations.
Absence of a clear and consistent onboarding plan
For remote and hybrid workers, inconsistent onboarding plans can be a problem. For these workers the consistent plans provide for better information to be shared and for experiences to be more welcoming and easily navigated, especially if people in different regions or departments are responsible for supporting the onboarding of the new hire.
A well-developed onboarding plan should include a clear timeline with specific goals and objectives tailored to each individual new hire. Companies should also have a designated onboarding team who can ensure the process is consistent and thorough. This team should be responsible for developing the timeline and goals, coordinating trainings and meetings with other departments and answering any questions from new employees.
Failure to properly communicate expectations
Clear communication helps ensure that new employees understand their job responsibilities, the company's culture and values and the expectations for their role. It’s through clear communication that companies can also foster a sense of trust, making new employees feel welcomed, supported and empowered to succeed in their roles.
Clear guidance on what is expected of the new hire and the level of performance they’ll be measured against should be shared transparently. This will aid new hires in feeling more confident in their ability to perform the duties of their role effectively and avoid delays in productivity.
Overlooking cultural nuances
Onboarding can be a challenging time for new hires, especially if they are relocating to a new country or working in a new cultural environment. Different countries and regions may have various customs and expectations when it comes to work, communication and business etiquette. It's essential to take these differences into account and adapt the onboarding process accordingly to maintain an inclusive work environment.
Onboarding teams can also support new hires in navigating these challenges by providing resources for cultural training, ensuring all onboarding materials are accessible and regularly collecting and implementing feedback.