“Efficiency”, Harvard Business Review write, “is no longer the secret to superior performance”. Instead it is “critical for business leaders to adopt a productivity mindset”, to “reignite top-line growth”.
And there’s the crux.
For three decades the efficiency mindset worked fabulously – but now, a new mentality is needed to fuel growth.
It won’t come as any surprise to HR to see productivity taking center-stage.
After all, HR have long evangelized this golden goose of metrics.
We’ve understood for years that a more productive workforce means a more successful business; that improved productivity accelerates business growth and increases organizational revenue.
Indeed, the most productive businesses can in fact expect 30% to 50% higher operating margins than their peers, Harvard Business Review suggest.
“Driving sustainable productivity actually starts before an employee’s first day on the job. Successful organizations know the secret to consistent productivity lies in shifting the employee productivity curve, not at the middle of the employee lifecycle, but at the very beginning of - and throughout - the entire lifecycle”.
We’re talking about moving your productivity improvement strategies forward. Proactively laying a foundation for better productivity from the moment you sign new hires, rather than reacting once performance dips.
Which brings us to employee onboarding.
Probably not the first thing you think about, when you’re focused on productivity gains – but it should be.
Why does employee onboarding matter for productivity?
Strategic employee onboarding is vital to the productivity equation, because it works from three angles.
Like a one-two punch followed by a killer roundhouse kick.
First, employee onboarding shortens time-to-productivity* by getting new hires trained and integrated into your team faster. So new starters have the tools, engagement, confidence and network to be more productive, more quickly. 54% more productive, 34% more quickly, in fact. That’s business-critical, not just HR-critical.
* The link between productivity and organizational performance is especially clear if you look at consulting, where consultant performance directly correlates to organizational revenue. New consultants that aren’t yet productive aren’t spending billable time with clients; if you shorten time-to-productivity, consultants work with clients sooner, bill their time sooner and make the organization money sooner.
Then finally, proper onboarding establishes a culture of excellence from Day 1; you set the bar higher for productivity across your workforce. Because the truth is, poor productivity is sometimes acute but very often it’s chronic because it’s cultural. Reactive productivity measures are a classic case of shutting the door after the horse has bolted – but building an intrinsic culture of productivity keeps your business fighting fit long-term.
There’s your why.
Now let’s look at how you build an employee onboarding program that genuinely kicks a$$.
What does knock-out employee onboarding look like?
There’s a wonderful thing about employee onboarding. You get all these incredible, proven benefits (productivity aside, onboarding improves new hire retention by 50%, for example) – but it’s surprisingly simple to implement.*
*And hey, here’s your plug, minimum hassle for maximum returns is one big reason businesses like Bacardi,KPMG and Deloitte love Talmundo.
Build your onboarding program using these best-practice onboarding principles:
Defined process - create internal accountability for onboarding delivery with a defined, structured program. So everyone knows their role (including current employees and managers: this isn’t just an HR initiative) and holds their end up.
Digital-first – the most effective strategic onboarding program is software-based, so you can easily scale for as many new hires as you need without snowballing HR’s workload.
Clear roadmap – ensure new hires know what to expect and when, so unanswered questions don’t cause pre-start day anxiety. So your new hires can spend more time learning your company and thinking about ways to add value – and less time worrying.
Key introductions – make sure new hires know who they can talk to, and they’ll be more engaged (50% more, research suggests). And as you’ve no doubt heard from Gallup, teams with higher engagement are 21% more productive. Plus this means you share the responsibility for onboarding amongst teams, managers and mentors: that’s vital for success, as well as your sanity.
Streamlined admin – your onboarding program should automate the delivery of important paperwork, so new hires put time-consuming admin behind them before their first day. And so you don’t waste time chasing for compliance.
Culture-boarding – strategic onboarding isn’t just about giving new hires the training to do their job well. It’s about laying the foundation for your culture, so employees integrate into the business faster.
Simple – the best onboarding software is easy for everyone to use, however non-techie they might be. The interface should be intuitive with simple, clear navigation and easy integration with your existing tools, like your LMS.
Employee onboarding is a heavy hitter for productivity
The future of business demands business leaders obsess over productivity, Harvard Business Review advise, to cultivate the productivity mindset needed to drive profit and fuel growth.
Employee onboarding is a simple, proven strategy to do just that – helping new hires become productive faster, allowing established employees to spend less time hand-holding new hires and, most importantly, building a culture that empowers and inspires your people towards greater productivity all career long.