A positive onboarding experience goes a long way

A strong employer-employee relationship begins with the onboarding process.

While your recruiting experience has a significant impact on how your company is viewed by potential employees, your onboarding process is the first taste a new employee will have of how your company truly operates. If onboarding is a positive experience, chances are you your newest staff member will be productive and loyal team player. Rough starts, by contrast, can poison the well. If your company doesn't manage onboarding well, you may soon find yourself looking for a replacement, which costs valuable time and money.

Here's are three key objectives every onboarding process should have:

Sell them on the company culture

Culture means something slightly different to every organization, but one thing is true for every company: Employees who don't respect or support the culture won't last.

Onboarding is a perfect opportunity to clearly communicate the key tenets of your company's culture. Providing a brief history on the company, its founders and its leaders can help a new employee understand the roots of the culture which a key step towards accepting and embracing it. Including room in your orientation or having your new team member meet with a tenured employee who can add color to the company's background and values can have a long-lasting impact.

Onboarding is important for the establishment of a good employer-employee relationship.Onboarding is important for the establishment of a good employer-employee relationship.

Develop realistic expectations

Setting accurate performance expectations for new employees is key. Based on what you've learned through the hiring process, you know the breadth of your new hire's experience, so you should be able to determine what they can manage right away.

If he or she stumbles a bit in the beginning despite possessing the right skills, cut them a little slack. Help the employee determine where the breakdown is and make sure to explain how your organization may tackle similar processes they have preformed in the past differently. And don't forget to explain why. Your new employee can use that feedback to improve themselves and learn more about how your business operates, all at the same time.

Don't move at light-speed

When you're hiring to fill an immediate need, there can be temptation to train an employee quickly. If you move too fast, however, this approach will backfire. It's unwise to immerse new employees in a sea of information and assignments. Forcing people to consume information at a rapid pace doesn't help them retain it. In fact, it can have the exact opposite effect, increasing their chances of forgetting valuable principles and practices, which leads to costly mistakes down the line. 

The ideal employee experience of onboarding should continue over several months – and some choose to stretch it out over the course of a year. Something that long might not be viable for your company, but several months is absolutely doable. Within this period is usually when employees decide if they'll stick with an organization, or if they'll be heading back to the job-posting websites. In a nutshell, every moment counts.

An HRIS with onboarding capabilities makes it possible to connect and engage with employees as soon as they accept your offer. It also helps streamlines necessary new hire paperwork so you and your new hire don't have to waste time on that task on day one.