Getting a new starter’s induction right is crucial for their long-term success.
Get ahead of the competition with these helpful tips.
Cathryn Newbery is Head of Content at Ciphr, a leading provider of people management solutions.
With many UK employers struggling to fill vacancies and retain great people for the long term, it’s essential that hospices and other organisations get their onboarding processes spot on so new starters are happy and engaged, and become productive team members as quickly as possible.
Data suggests that the onboarding phase – the period between offering a candidate a contract and them being settled in their new role – is critical. According to a Gallup poll, just 12% of employees believe their organisation does a good job at onboarding, yet a separate study found that 93% of employers believe that the onboarding phase will help new hires decide if they want to stay with that organisation.
What do we mean by ‘onboarding’?
‘Onboarding’ is another term for a new starter’s induction phase. This onboarding programme will typically include the period before the individual joins your organisation (this period is sometimes referred to as the ‘preboarding’ phase), as well as the person’s first day, weeks and months. This critical time is when your new team member becomes immersed in your organisation, understanding its culture, mission, and values, as well as get acquainted with their new team, manager, and role. A successful onboarding phase will set them up for future success at your organisation.
Five tips for creating a better onboarding experience
1. Understand your current onboarding process
Before making any changes to how you currently onboard new starters, first seek to understand your current processes and the impact they’re having on individuals, line managers, and teams. Surveying new starters after they’ve completed this phase will give you valuable insight into what you’re doing well and where there’s room for improvement.
2. Identify your biggest preboarding risk factors
The preboarding phase is often overlooked but it’s important to get it right so you set up your new starters for success. Risks you might face during this phase include:
- Counter-offer from the individual’s current employer or another organisation
- Slow to share contract information
- Individual fails references or background checks
- Long period between contract offer and start date
- Lack of information ahead of their first day
A common theme of these risks is a lack of clear communication between candidate and employer – in both directions. Timely, clear, and comprehensive communication can go a long way to mitigate these risks, with technology likely to play a key role in helping you achieve this.
3. Tailor the experience for different groups of people
Although you’ll want new starters to enjoy a similar experience when it comes to joining your organisation, you’ll need to tailor that experience based on their location – whether they’re part of your healthcare or office team, for example, or work in a retail store – and their seniority. A good onboarding programme will include standard task lists and meetings that all your people will complete, with a layer of tailored sessions and activities depending on their specific role. Onboarding software can help you to personalise this experience for your new starter.
4. Support line managers
The success of an onboarding phase depends just as much on a new starter’s line manager as it does on the HR or people team. While HR is responsible for much of the admin – such as arranging contracts, payroll, and IT setup – it’s down to the line manager to help the individual settle into the team, understand their role, and start working effectively. Don’t assume your line managers are up to the job; equip them with the right skills and expertise to not only structure the new starter’s first few weeks effectively, but also to coach and support them.
5. Invest in the right technology
Specialist software such as Ciphr’s integrated HR solutions for hospices can help mitigate some of the risks and challenges we’ve discussed by streamlining administration and improving communication. Ciphr’s onboarding portal gives new starters access to vital information ahead of their first day – such as about their team, and your mission and values – as well as the ability to complete vital tasks like providing payroll details and booking pre-arranged time off. Integrating an onboarding portal with your central HR software – such as Ciphr Connect – reduces the amount of manual administration and data entry your people team needs to carry out, enabling them to focus on more important tasks such as crafting induction programmes and supporting line managers.
Find out how specialist people technology can not only help improve your onboarding experience but also help you more effectively manage your people and people data.