Top reasons to implement a formal onboarding strategy

Onboarding is a mechanism in which new employees are welcomed and systematically oriented into their new workplace. Any successful manufacturing organization should have a well-established onboarding program that aids new employees, regardless of their level, to quickly integrate to their new environments and become productive.

Kevin Martin a Research Director at Human Capital Management in Aberdeen says, “Onboarding is not a nice-to-have, it’s a need-to-have.” So why is implementing a formal onboarding strategy so important?  Let us briefly look at some the reasons.

Welcoming employees

The quicker new employees can feel comfortable in a new job, the quicker they will begin to perform at the top of their ability.  They will begin to acclimate as they build rapport with other employees and assimilate themselves into existing work groups.  This sense of belonging helps them feel confident in their decision to join your company.  It is this sense of connection which may make the difference between having a long-term happy employee versus someone that quickly jumps ship.  Through a formal onboarding system, new employees can be systematically assisted to feel more comfortable in this new environment at a much quicker pace.  The positive affect of successful onboarding becomes apparent in their work, their productivity, and their confidence.

The learning curve

Any manufacturing executive would love to have a shorter learning curve from his or her new employees.  An effective formal onboarding strategy will ensure that employees are performing at the top of their ability much faster than an employee expected to “hit the ground running”, but given no support.  Sharing information such as performance expectations and responsibilities greatly reduces the downtime experienced by the new employees.  Constant reinforcement of areas where they are meeting expectations or excelling should be provided, along with a soft approach to dealing with shortcomings and getting things on track quickly.

Employee retention

A study done by Booz Allen Hamilton, shows that about 90% of new employees decide whether or not they are going to stay with their new employers during their first six months of work. In fact, most of them decide in just a few weeks of employment.  With a formal onboarding strategy, most employers are guaranteed of a significant increase in employee retention.  The cost of replacing staff has been estimated to be approximately 150% more the cost of losing the staff. The figure can even rise to 400% for manufacturing executives and technical staff with specialized knowledge.

Conclusion

So after you make that warm welcoming handshake with your new employee, do not stop there.  Ensure your new employee undergoes a structured onboarding program that will help him or her fit into your organization.  If your organization does not currently have a formal onboarding program, it may be a good time to inquire about one.  If you utilized an executive recruiter, they may be able to provide onboarding resources or consult with you to help develop your processes.  If not, there are numerous onboarding organizations out there that can help you as you begin this endeavor.  Your organization could be missing out on improved employee productivity and increased profit margins, take advantage of the benefits onboarding can provide.

Have you ever experienced a formal onboarding program?  What was your impression?  Did it help make you feel at home in your new job?

by:  Anjela Mangrum, CPC

Anjela Mangrum is the founder of Mangrum Career Solutions Inc.  MCS partners with industrial and machining manufacturing businesses to source and secure mid-to-upper level talent for operations, supply chain, and engineering positions.  They work to empower individual job seekers by helping them gain a competitive edge in their job search. For hiring needs contact Anjela at 513.753.3813 x101.

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