Onboarding is More Than Just Paperwork

What if I told you that perhaps the single most important thing you could do to guarantee that you integrate, train, and retain a new hire long-term has no formal process and there are zero dollars in budget for it? If you’re an HR professional given the responsibility of ensuring the initial success of your new employees, you would certainly feel like you weren’t being given all the tools that you need to succeed. Anyone else looking at the situation would likely agree that the lack of process and budget to something so critical is bad business, at the very least, and maybe even considered negligent.

Yet, in the 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey, it was revealed that 81 percent of companies have no actual budget for onboarding, and 35 percent of companies pay zero dollars (nada, zilch) on onboarding. No those aren’t typos. 10 percent of surveyed companies cited no onboarding program or best retention practices at all. All-in-all, those are dire numbers that can have tremendous negative effects for both companies and employees.

The statistics and surveys are everywhere that support the tremendous results of when a new hire is properly onboarding. 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding (source).  But I’m not going to hammer home all the stats out there that overwhelmingly support everyone upping their onboarding game.

It’s critical to understand that onboarding is much more than just paperwork. But let’s take a step back and see it for what it really is:

It’s your company’s best opportunity to take care of your employee. If recruiting is like dating and hiring is like marriage, then I know that marriage means more work, that continues…throughout the years…without stopping. It’s ongoing! A proper onboarding program not only integrates your new hire into the culture, it should also train him or her, and even help in his or her career advancement. I assume that the majority of people would say that they care about their company, at least enough to preserve their own job. And generally speaking, most people would say that they care about their coworkers and employees, at least to the degree of having a working relationship. So if you care about your company, and you at least care about the productivity of your employees, proper onboarding sets in motion the opportunity to develop the employee that you want and need for your business.

Saying that people are our most valuable resource is one thing, but it’s another to “put your money where your mouth is.” The simple step in making this jump is to integrate a formal, and well-designed onboarding program that fits the needs of your specific company. It is the proven, most effective process you can integrate to develop the current productivity and engagement of your employees, while retaining them and helping shape their future advancement.

It’s your company’s best opportunity to take care of itself. Quite simply, employees who have gone through onboarding are more engaged, more productive, and stay in the job longer. Just like any other business decision, the financial obligation required to support a new system is something that has to be considered, and this is nothing different for onboarding programs. What gets lost a bit in translation is the cost vs. ROI. Engaged and productive employees create a tremendous ROI (source). Without onboarding, many employees take over 1 year to even reach full productivity, and some never reach the designation. Onboarding can provide the tools required to bring a new hire to productivity while also providing quantifiable metrics that actually measure productivity.

The last several years have seen the advent of not only great onboarding programs, but platforms that operate in the cloud, offering automated processes that provide efficiency, speed, and even compliance. Like our Xenqu platform, these cloud-based solutions are both customizable AND cost-enabling. We are now in a time where businesses can affordably protect the future of their company’s workforce, productivity, culture, and ultimately bottom line.

Now is the time to see beyond the mounds of paperwork of I-9s, insurance documents, and all the other forms that need to be filled out, and see onboarding as a major tool to propel the success of your employees and company.