In a fast-paced or hot employment market, onboarding challenges can be exhausting and frustrating. However, putting a lot of time and effort into the process is worth it. Often, an employee’s first few months determine how well they’ll perform and how long they’ll stay.
Employees shouldn’t be expected to “wing it,” no matter how straightforward their role or duties seem. If you want to create a rockstar team, you need to improve your onboarding strategy.
The Value of Onboarding
Successful onboarding programs do their best to engage, educate, and ensure compliance.
Company reviews on JobSage prove that onboarding plays a big role in boosting your business and providing the education your employees need to help them settle into their roles. But an onboarding strategy has to include company policies and processes to be successful.
Without an onboarding strategy, employee engagement will suffer. A dip in engagement will lead to higher rates of absenteeism, poor performance, and low productivity across the board.
Some employers will quickly push through the training process to replace who they lost due to the Great Resignation. But when it comes to onboarding, slow and steady wins the race. To reduce employee turnover and recruitment costs, you need to reevaluate your methods.
How to Solve Onboarding Challenges
Although slowing down your recruitment strategy sounds detrimental to your business, it’ll actually help your new employees fully integrate into your company and its culture.
Challenge One: Condensing Information
In a hot hiring market, employers will try to condense everything a new employee needs to know on the first day. Everything from signing onboarding paperwork to learning new processes is taught the minute someone new walks through the door, leading to immediate overwhelm.
But that’s not all. New employees also have to learn everyone’s name, adjust to different personalities, and feel out the nuances in your office politics, all on day one. Yikes.
Ideally, hiring managers will onboard employees slowly over the month, but that might not be viable in a hot market. You can condense most of the onboarding process to a week by separating your strategy into sections and using technology for online learning and paperwork.
Challenge Two: Lack of Role Clarity
A large number of hiring managers won’t tell candidates the truth about their job or the role their employees are expected to fill. The Harvard Business Review discovered that employers are afraid their candidates will quit once they know how boring or difficult the job actually is.
Some employers will keep up this charade until the employee is settled into their role. What results is an onboarded employee who has no clue what they’re supposed to be doing.
To start, it’s essential that employers try to explain the employee’s job duties on all job posts to attract the right candidates, even if it means waiting longer. If your new employees feel you weren’t forthcoming with your expectations, rework your onboarding package for future hires.
Challenge Three: High Expectations
Filling a role that was previously held by a high-quality employee isn’t an easy task. Employers may be tempted to give just as much work to their new hire to maximize productivity, or their newly onboarded employee may take on too much too quickly to impress their managers.
Unless you step in to stop this, your employees will start to be overwhelmed with work. New employees have a hard time saying no because they want to be seen as hard workers.
While you may have high expectations for your workers, it’s crucial that you gradually add to their workload. In your onboarding process, explain that you’re giving them a reduced amount of work to help them get acquainted with their new job, not because you don’t trust them.
Challenge Four: Culture Alienation
Office politics is a challenge to navigate for new employees, especially if the company culture encourages backstabbing. Businesses that reward individuals rather than teams will foster resentment and unhealthy competition, which may alienate your new hires from the word go.
However, a culture doesn’t need to be that dysfunctional for an employee to have difficulties fitting in. Managers need to address culture alienation immediately to reduce turnover.
Hiring managers should introduce new team members to every department during the onboarding process. Shadowing and cross-training initiatives will help employees make at least one friend at the office, which improves the likelihood that your top talent will settle in.
Challenge Five: No Communication
About 70% of employees avoid having difficult conversations with their colleagues and employers, showing that a lack of trust is a widespread problem. Most of the time, your new hires won’t ask you questions or voice their concerns, even if you say that they can.
Employees are often burned for speaking up, so they’ll do everything they can to figure out their role by themselves without input. However, this tactic ends up getting them in trouble.
While there isn’t a lot you can do to convince your new hires you’re trustworthy; you can support them when they make a mistake. Explain that you aren’t angry and that they can come to you for help at any time. This solidifies that you’re here to support their overall performance.
Challenge Six: Onboarding End-Date
While the initial onboarding stage has a vague end date, it can’t be the same for everyone. Some employees need more time to grasp concepts, but as stated, your hires are unlikely to ask for help. At the same time, they’re unlikely to ask for promotions or training opportunities.
It shouldn’t be left to your employees to ask for raises or the chance to learn new skills. You should track metrics in your workplace, so you can acknowledge talent and coach effectively.
With that in mind, make sure that your onboarding program stays engaging year after year with on-demand, virtual training materials. That way, your employees can refer to it during regular touch-base meetings and ask questions or concerns about your culture and policies.