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On-Boarding Begins with a Spectacular Day 1

Think back to your first day on the job.  What sticks out in your memory?  If you’ve been with your team for a while, you probably remember your Day One fondly; typically, employees who experience an engaging and structured on-boarding program are 58% more likely to stay with a company for at least three years.

The following information, based upon Roth Staffing Companies’ own “Best Place to Work” on-boarding practices and extensive research, explains how Top Employers on-board their employees and position them for success and workplace engagement from Day One.  Utilize the data as a rubric to reevaluate your on-boarding programs and ensure that your on-boarding and Day One processes are cultivating top performers.

Day One Lasts Longer than Day One

According to Forbes, roughly 40% of newly hired employees fail within 18 months—that’s nearly half of all coworkers!  Additionally, 4% of new employees leave a job after an awful first day.  Yet, new hires who go through a structured on-boarding and training program are nearly two-thirds more likely than their unwelcomed and untrained counterparts to stay with a company for more than three years.

“Best Places to Work” ensure that their new hires hit the ground running from Day One by focusing on fulfilling the new hire elements that top performers find to be essential.

Successful On-Boarding: What Employees Want Most

Roth Staffing’s research has found that new hires, particularly top performers, define success in four elements.

  1. Clearly understanding responsibilities and how success will be measured.
  2. Deriving meaning and a sense of accomplishment from work.
  3. Being a part of the company culture.
  4. Building solid relationships with the team/department.

Describing the Role and What it Means to be Successful

48% of people who quit within the first year say it was due to the unrealistic expectations of the job.

“Employers need to give their employees a roadmap to success if they expect them to realize their full potential,” says Leila Malekzadeh, On-Boarding & Integration Specialist for Roth Staffing Companies.  “Top Employers define coworkers’ roles throughout the candidate assessment and interviewing process so that employees know exactly what is expected of them when they walk through the door on Day One.  Then, on a coworker’s first day, the manager makes it a point to sit down one-on-one with the new hire and review responsibilities, outcome expectations, the coworker’s career goals and strengths, and elements of the workplace culture like core values.”

Understanding the Broader Picture

In general, top performers crave meaning in their roles and feel accomplished when they understand how their work affects the broader company.  Employers can address this need through several strategies, such as:

  1. Give employees a work task to accomplish on Day One
  2. Provide a list of individual and team goals for the first week
  3. Outline a first-week itinerary to provide structure

Connecting with the Workplace Culture

“Pulling out the stops and decorating an employee’s desk is a great way to instantly bring new coworkers into the fold and show that your department and organization genuinely care about the employee’s wellbeing,” explains Theresa DelVecchio, Roth Staffing Companies’ Market Director.  “At Roth Staffing, we also always show the new coworker around the office and make introductions on the first day.  When new hires are on a first name basis and familiar with everyone in the workplace by the end of Day One, they no longer feel like ‘the new person,’ they feel like part of the team.”

Forming Significant Connections

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) has found that 60% of managers who fail during the on-boarding stage point to being unable to cultivate positive working relationships as the main reason.  On the flip side, research demonstrates that 87% of the top on-boarding and training programs include mentoring.  Having even one good friend in the workplace can increase retention by 25%!

Position new hires for success by implementing buddy and mentoring programs designed to be a resource for new coworkers.  Inc. Magazine recommends experimenting with various types of mentoring such as group, peer, one-on-one, and reverse mentoring (where lower-level employees teach middle or upper management) to determine which style works best for new hires in your workplace.

In addition to connecting new hires to mentors and friends within the workplace, top employers typically ensure that Day One includes both a group lunch (open to the team and coworkers from other departments) and undivided attention from the new hire’s manager.

“22% of new employees decide whether to stay at an organization during their first week on the job, and one-on-one attention with a manager every day during the first week can make or break a new coworker’s experience,” says Roth Staffing Market Director Peggy Baggott.  “Showing a new team member that they are your number one priority not only boosts morale but also provides an opportunity for them to ask clarifying questions, address concerns, give feedback about the new hire and on-boarding processes, and outline short- and long-term goals—all elements that are beneficial to the organization or department as well as the new employee.”

Salaried Employees Versus Hourly Coworkers

In Top Workplaces, the average hourly employee becomes “fully functional” three months after Day One.  However, this three-month timeline is not guaranteed; hourly coworkers report that achieving dedicated on-boarding time with upper management is the greatest challenge to successful on-boarding, according to SHRM.  With this in mind, Roth Staffing recommends that organizations and departments implement identical on-boarding processes, including mentoring programs, for both salaried and hourly coworkers.

On-Boarding Affects the Bottom Line

Employers may not realize the long-term financial impact of proper on-boarding.  A survey of sales professionals found that proper on-boarding can decrease the time it takes for a new salesperson to generate expected revenue from 60 weeks to 40.  This drastic timeline reduction can mean thousands of dollars in profit gained for your department or organization, not to mention a long-lasting boost in team morale that might also translate into financial achievements.

Overall, “Best to Work For” organizations take the time to implement helpful on-boarding processes that position their coworkers for success because it’s the right thing to do.  Top Employers like Roth Staffing Companies also understand that when they equip their new hires with the tools to succeed, they reap the benefits as well—lower turnover, higher employee satisfaction and engagement, and a “Top Employer” workplace!

 

Sources: CareerBuilder, Forbes, Inc., Training magazine, Partnership for Public Service, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), The Social Workplace, TalentBits, Sales Architects