Boulder, CO, 17th Nov 2021, ZEXPRWIREYour profits are growing. Your revenues are increasing. And now that you have more orders and more customers, you need to expand your team to keep up with demand.

When you’re a solopreneur or a very small business owner who’s mostly hiring friends and family, you can get away with a few handshakes and a hiring process that looks and feels like a jigsaw puzzle. But once you start becoming a more mature business? An excellent onboarding process is a must.

So what you can do to help your new employees hit the ground running? Believe it or not, a simplified onboarding process allows managers to improve employee productivity, satisfaction, and engagement in one fell swoop. Keep reading to learn more about how you can simplify your company’s onboarding experience.

Why Does Onboarding Even Matter?

For certain types of managers, the key to identifying top-notch employees is to make a regular practice of throwing people into the deep end. If this is your school of thought, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of onboarding.

By the numbers, however, it turns out that companies with excellent onboarding processes are often able to retain 50 percent more staff members than those who skip the onboarding process altogether. As it turns out, an underdeveloped employee onboarding process doesn’t just lead to sluggish productivity — it could be costing your company money. Here are some of the biggest reasons why onboarding matters:

1. It Lets Candidates Have a Smooth Transition

Professional athletes are as highly skilled as it gets at their jobs. But if you watch closely, you’ll notice that even all-stars like Steph Curry and LeBron James will often need a few games to shake off post-injury rust and return to peak performance.

If these guys, who we can all agree are undeniably good at what they do, need time to ease into their roles, imagine how it is for people who are new to your company. A solid onboarding process allows new hires to orient themselves quickly.

2. It Gives Clarity

Imagine how much harder it would be to get things done if your equipment was always in a different place or if your passwords were constantly being moved to different folders. Even if you’re a rockstar of a manager, your productivity would suffer in those circumstances, right?

Your company more than likely has its own way of doing things. And someone who’s stepping in from the outside might not fully understand what it is that you want them to do or how you want it done. Solid onboarding ensures that everyone, from your managers to your new hires, is able to start off on the same page.

3. You’re Busy

Whether you’re a business owner or a key decision-maker in your company, chances are that your schedule is jam-packed full of jobs and tasks that need to be done today – or better yet, yesterday. New staff members often need to be trained up.

If you were to sit down and guide everyone through their work, you would never get anything done. Solid onboarding makes it possible for you to make more progress with new hires in less time.

Here’s How You Can Simplify Your Onboarding Process

We’ve talked about what onboarding means to your company and also about why it’s important. But what practical steps can you take to make employee onboarding as painless as switching on your coffeemaker in the morning? By our count, there are at least five ways that you can simplify your onboarding process.

1. Use a Checklist

In 2017, the Harvard Gazette reported on how the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health discovered that surgery-related patient deaths could be reduced by 47 percent just by implementing one thing. What was the single change that drove such dramatically improved results? Using checklists.

Here’s why:

Checklists can provide consistency from person to person. When you’re relying on your memory to get things done, it’s easy to forget crucial things or to leave things to the wayside. But when you have a set checklist, it becomes a lot harder to make mistakes when you’re training someone.

2. Put All the Important Information in One Place

Have you ever met someone whose office or bedroom was in a constant state of organized chaos? While it’s not unusual for some employees to be that type of person, very few people start off that way on day one.

And whether you’re dealing with information on benefits, product information, or quarterly KPIs and task lists, new employees will often be referring to the same pages over and over again to start. By making sure that all of this stuff is kept in the same, easy-to-access place, it becomes a lot easier for new employees to refresh their own memories without having to send emails that are basically variations of the question, “Where was this thing again?”.

3. Have a Plan for Tracking Progress

From movies to music and popular books, it’s not unusual for fans of the same genre to wildly disagree on whether or not a new product is good. After all, terms like “enjoyable” or “skilled” can be quite subjective when you get right down to it.

When you’re working in a professional capacity, you don’t want to be in a situation where you’re relying on subjective opinions to determine if your new employee is progressing in the right direction. That’s why it’s important to make check-ins and reviews a key part of your onboarding process. Being on top of things like projects and tasks can make it easier for you to set expectations and correct problems before they have a chance to become major issues.

4. Think About Using Videos and Text

Some people learn better when instructions are spoken. Others do better when they can watch a video or read a page of painfully clear instructions. And even then, there are still others who are at their best when they’re able to look over people’s shoulders and literally see how tasks are done.

Until you’ve gotten to know someone on a personal level, you can’t always be sure which end of the spectrum your new hire may be sitting in. And when you’ve got quarterly goals coming up and a bunch of projects going on, it’s easy for people to start feeling overwhelmed and lost if they don’t have access to information that feels digestible to them.

By incorporating videos or podcasts or simple pages of extensive text into your onboarding process, you can give new hires more opportunities to learn about your company in a way that works for them. In many cases, making sure that people can retain and internalize all of their most important information is almost always a major part of the battle when it comes to training and onboarding.

5. Enlist a More Senior Employee as a Professional Mentor

Even if you’ve hired someone who has spent the last 20 years working in a freelance capacity, the job description isn’t the only thing that people have to acclimate themselves to when they join a new company. The teamwork and communication element of working at a new place often has its own learning curve.

In the world of science, very few people can say that they’ve made a totally novel, standalone discovery. There’s almost always another field of research or another fundamental discovery that’s informing the new experiment.

What this means for you, is that even when you’ve put together the most comprehensive onboarding process possible, there are still key elements that a new hire may not be able to put together until they’ve seen it all in action. To that end, asking a more senior member of your staff to act as a professional mentor and guide can be a fantastic way to integrate new hires.

If you’re a parent, then you already know that kids often be forced into being friends after they’ve reached a certain age. And in some ways, there’s a similar dynamic at play in professional workplaces. Peer mentors can do a lot to help new employees feel at home.

Start Simplifying Your Onboarding Process Today

They say that a major part of human resources is simply figuring out how to train the recruits you hire. But at the end of the day, onboarding is often easier said than done. A simple onboarding process ensures that your new employees will always have what they need in order to succeed.

Want to learn more about onboarding, HR, and business? Read our site to find more posts like this!

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