Onboarding plays a crucial role in a company’s success. In order to ensure an efficient and effective transition for new employees, certain potentially fatal mistakes need to be avoided. In this article, we invite you to discover the main mistakes to avoid and the repercussions of a failed onboarding on the health of the company.
The onboarding process: a strategic lever for engaging and retaining employees over the long term
Onboarding is a process that brings together a series of actions whose main objective is to facilitate the integration of a new recruit into the company. Today, faced with an unstable job market, recruitment difficulties and increasingly demanding profiles, companies have to be ingenious in attracting and retaining the best talent.
The introduction of a coherent and effective onboarding process, in line with the corporate culture, is proving to be a powerful lever for long-term employee commitment and loyalty. In fact, according to a study carried out by Workelo¹, more than half of employees who have benefited from a satisfactory and successful induction process stay with the company for more than three years.
Putting in place an onboarding process helps to strengthen the employer brand by demonstrating the company’s concern for the physical and mental well-being of its employees.
¹ Source d’information : Workelo.eu – The major challenges of onboarding [Infography]
What mistakes should be avoided when onboarding a new employee?
1. Neglecting to prepare for the arrival of a new employee (pre-onboarding)
Pre-onboarding is the intermediary phase between recruitment and the employee’s integration into the company. It’s a crucial stage that shouldn’t be overlooked if you want to prepare the candidate’s arrival properly and make it easier for them to take up their new post on the big day.
Consequently, it is the responsibility of the manager to carry out a series of actions such as: informing the members of the team and assigning a “tutor”, setting up an office with all the necessary equipment (computer, telephone line, entry badge, etc.), managing the administrative documents (employment contract, tax forms), planning one or more training sessions to familiarise themselves with the company’s procedures or preparing the schedule for the induction day (introductory meeting, welcome lunch, tour of the premises, team building activities, etc.).
In the weeks leading up to recruitment, it is important to maintain constant contact with the new employee, not only to pass on the essential information they need to take up their new post (documents to be provided, work schedule and timetable, access map, etc.), but also to reassure them and give them a positive and encouraging start to their professional experience.
🚀 Our advice: to make a success of your pre-onboarding, it’s vital to be organised and tidy, to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. To do this, draw up an onboarding checklist summarising the essential points to consider!
2. Lack of clarity about the company’s expectations and objectives with regard to the employee
When a new employee joins the company, they are starting their career in an environment that is still unfamiliar to them. It is therefore essential to communicate the expectations of the role and the responsibilities associated with the new position clearly and precisely.
In addition, it is important to ensure that the company’s overall objectives are aligned with those of the employee in order to promote harmonious collaboration and focus the team’s efforts on achieving the objectives in question.
A lack of clarity and transparency about what the company expects from its employees could lead to misunderstandings or misconceptions with harmful consequences.
On the other hand, in the interests of reciprocity, it is also important to talk to employees about their own expectations of the company, particularly in terms of their career development objectives or their development within the organisation.
🚀 Our advice: organise an introductory meeting to clearly explain the company’s strategic vision, as well as expectations regarding roles and responsibilities, expected performance and objectives to be achieved. Encourage an open and transparent culture of exchange so that the employee feels comfortable asking questions to clarify certain points.
3. Adopt a generic and impersonal approach to the integration process
Each employee has a unique profile (personality, skills, experience, interests), so it is particularly advisable to adopt an individualised approach to the onboarding process. Personalising the onboarding process helps to reinforce the feeling of value and recognition by demonstrating the company’s genuine interest in the employee.
In this way, the employee is seen as a unique and valuable individual to the organisation, rather than just another strategic asset. This has a significant impact on motivation, commitment and long-term retention.
On the other hand, personalising the onboarding process according to the employee’s profile and needs speeds up their integration into the company. As a result, they will quickly feel at ease in their new working environment, and therefore more productive on the job.
🚀 Our advice: listening and communicating are the keys to a successful personalised onboarding, as they enable you to easily identify the specific needs and expectations of your new recruit. You should also take the time to gather feedback from your employees so that you can adjust your induction strategy to offer an ever more positive and engaging experience.
4. Offering inadequate or insufficient training
Training is a key part of the onboarding process, with the main aim of familiarising the new employee with the company’s culture, policies and procedures, and enabling him or her to acquire the skills needed to do the job.
Organising coherent, structured and relevant training sessions demonstrates, on the one hand, the company’s investment in the development of professional growth. On the other hand, it helps new employees to become aware of the challenges of their role and responsibilities within the organisation.
Training also encourages smoother integration with the rest of the team, while enabling employees to align themselves more quickly with the company’s vision and objectives.
🚀 Our advice: invest in comprehensive digital learning systems that include gamification elements to offer your employees a more personalised, immersive and engaging learning experience.
5. A lack of regular communication/follow-up in the weeks following integration.
Onboarding is a continuous process that is not limited to the first day of employment, but extends over a longer period of time, from 3 to 6 months, depending on the company’s policy.
Encouraging open and transparent communication and ensuring regular follow-up in the weeks following induction are of vital importance. First of all, this will ensure that the employee adapts easily to their new working environment, the team members and the constraints of their new role.
What’s more, regular monitoring gives you the advantage of identifying and resolving potential problems more quickly by taking concrete action, which in turn helps to strengthen the sense of belonging.
Accompanying the new employee step by step as he or she takes up the post also enables the company to analyse the integration strategy as a whole and to highlight strengths and weaknesses.
🚀 Our advice: to ensure proper follow-up as part of the onboarding process, you can plan regular one-to-one meetings or organise a round-table discussion with the various team members to take stock of the situation, gather feedback from employees or answer any questions they may have.
Failed onboarding: what are the repercussions for the company?
An unsuccessful onboarding can have disastrous consequences, both financially and in terms of the employer’s image. Did you know? According to a study carried out by Workelo², the cost of a failed onboarding is around €7,000. A considerable sum. However, beyond the purely financial aspect, a poor quality induction process can potentially lead to :
- Reduced productivity: an ineffective induction process can lead to misunderstandings or misconceptions about the new employee’s role and responsibilities within the organisation. As a result, not only can this hamper good relations between the various team members, but it can also delay the progress of company projects.
- Increased risk of turnover: according to a study carried out by Payjob, 6 out of 10 employees decide to break their contract themselves during the trial period. A disengaged or badly integrated employee may consider exploring other professional opportunities. This talent drain can result in extremely costly additional expenditure for the company (recruitment campaign, training of new employees, etc.).
- A bad reputation for the company: ineffective onboarding can damage the company’s reputation. An employee who is unhappy with his or her induction process may share the bad experience with others, which may dissuade potential talent from applying for the company’s vacancies. Negative feedback can quickly spread and impact the company’s image in the eyes of customers and business partners.
² Source of information: Workelo.eu – 10 key figures for onboarding