Onboarding New Hires: Experience vs. Process
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Onboarding New Hires: Experience vs. Process

Employee onboarding is an important part of the hiring process. Introducing your latest teammate to the company and its culture and providing them with the tools and information needed to get the job done is the primary objective.

But that does not mean the onboarding process has to be stale and boring. In fact, evidence suggests that the best way for a person to retain valuable information is to learn it in a meaningful way.

Human resource professionals frequently discuss best practices for onboarding employees. They want to make sure the process does not feel like one more box for the employee to check after being hired. As the benchmarks for success evolve to center around engagement and culture more, so should the onboarding process.

It is important not to confuse onboarding with orientation. Each process serves a specific function. Orientation is the paperwork and other routine tasks employees must complete once hired. Onboarding is a more comprehensive process that can last up to a year.

Companies generally take two approaches when it comes to onboarding their new employees. The first is the experience-based route and the other is process-focused. Figuring out which method drives the best results for your company is key to new hire retention. Statistics suggest that companies with an impactful onboarding process improve their new hire retention rates by 82 percent and boost productivity by 77 percent.

Process-based onboarding tends to feel like something you must endure, rather than a memorable learning experience. Employees know there is a planned beginning and end and understand that if they hit all the required points, the process will be deemed a success. When new employees feel like they are just going through the motions, it can leave them with an initially negative view of their new employer. Failure to engage your new employee can have lasting effects on their morale and productivity.

When it comes to onboarding, experience-based is becoming the preferred method. Employers acknowledge that an experience is something most people remember because it engages their emotions and makes them a part of something bigger. Giving new employees a sense that they’re on a meaningful journey as they join your company’s team will not only improve retention, it will boost overall productivity.

Depending on how the onboarding process is handled, the experience your new hire has will either be viewed as positive or negative. Building an onboarding protocol that combines short-term gratification with long-term success is the ideal combination for producing a positive experience.

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