Blog Post

    5 warning signs that your employee onboarding program will fail

    We hate to be Debbie Downers, but bad onboarding—or none at all—is a recipe for disaster. Roughly 33% of respondents who had quit their job within the first 6 months said that they had barely received any onboarding, according to the Aberdeen Group.

    Below are 5 common warning signs that your employee onboarding program won’t succeed, so you can fix things before they go wrong and take the necessary steps to keep those talented hires you had worked so hard to recruit.

    #1 Everyone has the same information

    If you promote the same onboarding program for all employees, you are overloading everyone with unnecessary information.

    For instance, an accountant working for a car dealership doesn’t need to know vehicle details like a car salesman does. Forcing a new accountant to sit through 3 days of (irrelevant) training about the latest vehicle models is a surefire way to make her cry tears of boredom.

    Talmundo-smiley-happy-pink How to fix it:

    Customize the onboarding process for each type of position so that
    employees only receive information that is relevant to their jobs. Then, break it down into 90-minute chunks. Nathan Kleitman, a renowned sleep researcher, found that the human body undergoes “basic rest-activity cycles” throughout the day while awake and asleep. Basically, the average person can only focus for 90-120 minutes at a time before needing a break.

    #2 Chaos is your onboarding programmes middle name

    No roadmap for the onboarding process? It could cause employees to mentally check out. New employees that go through a structured onboarding program are more than 50% likely to stay with the organization after three years, according to The Wynhurst Group, which probably influences how prepared and engaged they are from day one.

    Talmundo-smiley-happy-pink How to fix it:

    O.C. Tanner
    reports that 60% of companies fail to establish milestones or goals for new hires. It’s no wonder that most employees around the world are disengaged! Organize your onboarding program around specific goals, milestones, and deadlines—such as memorizing your company’s mission and values —to ensure that the program keeps employees on track to success.

    #3 Too much alone time

    Relegating a new employee to the corner computer to work on modules all day… that’s like being the new kid at school, forced to sit alone at lunch. Leaving employees to course through the onboarding process on their own is not OK for all parties involved (or uninvolved).

    Talmundo-smiley-happy-pink How to fix it:

    Get all your stakeholders involved in onboarding, from the employee’s manager to the executive team. One Netflix engineer, for instance, mentioned that his onboarding process involved the company’s Chief Product Officer, CFO, and CEO, who taught him about the company culture. He loved it so much that he went online to brag about it! This is the stuff staff brand advocates are made of!

    #4 All work and no play

    We get it, onboarding is serious work—it’s the first step toward preparing employees for success. That doesn’t mean that it has to feel serious.

    A Great Place to Work Institute, which compiles Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, has found that more fun at work is highly correlated to employee satisfaction. In other words, dry, hours-long onboarding sessions can make new employees disengaged—fast. In other words: boring onboarding stinks.

    Talmundo-smiley-happy-pink How to fix it:

    Reassess your approach to orientation and check out some new onboarding software. Additionally, switch things up throughout new hire training. Give new employees one piece of free swag every day for their first week or develop a scavenger hunt that helps familiarize them with their new office.

    #5 A short honeymoon period

    Your new hire’s first day is an important moment because it’s your company’s first impression, but no one stays engaged at an organization long-term because of a happy first day at work. UrbanBound reports that as much as 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days in a new position.

    Talmundo-smiley-happy-pink How to fix it:

    Show new hires that you care about their happiness past day one. Create a new employee checklist with milestones scattered throughout the first day, week, month, and 6 months. Employees who experience the longest onboarding programs get up to speed more than 30% faster than workers in the shortest programs, according to UrbanBound.

    Want to build an engaging onboarding journey that WORKS? Download our free 'Future of Work' whitepaper today.
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    Topics: Onboarding
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