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employee experience leadership culture onboarding process orientation process recruiting retention team building what is onboarding Mar 16, 2022
Benefits of an Effective Employee Orientation Program

Let’s assume, as dangerous as that can be, that our onboarding process is at least good enough for folks to stick around beyond that 45 to 90 day window we looked at last time…  Now we’re cooking with gas, right? Maybe not quite yet!

The article I referenced before from Hireology stated that “It takes an average of about 8 months for a new employee to start producing at their maximum capacity.” It also shared that “Approximately one-third (33%) of new hires look for a new job within the first six months.” A while back, I found some similar stats in another article that I detailed in a page called The Importance of Employee Retention that suggested it took around five months to get a new team member up to speed, but those even covered progress we could expect to see along the way. I won’t go into all that again here but you’re welcome to circle back to it if you like…

Regardless of whether it’s five months or eight months before we can expect a new team member to be at full productivity, it would serve us well to make sure our onboarding process is geared at earning their engagement through every step of the process - especially if a third of all new hires really are looking for a new job within their first six months because that’s certainly not leading to higher productivity! For what it’s worth, Hireology also suggested that “A standardized employee onboarding process leads to 50% greater productivity than non-standardized onboarding.” We’ll dig more into just how much we can stand to gain through those productivity increases next time… For now, let’s stick to the time involved.

As I said when we started down this path, the most frequent reason I’ve heard companies use for not developing a true onboarding process is the time it requires - both from existing personnel to lead the process as well as how long the new employee is held back from doing the work they were hired for. But when we consider the one in five that leave within the first couple of months, requiring us to start the hiring process all over again, could getting good at the onboarding process actually suck up more time than that? I don’t think it does! The difference though lies in where our hand is forced. There’s typically nothing pushing us to create an onboarding process that truly invests into the new team member but we usually don’t have a choice when it comes to hiring enough additional bodies to get work done - and that’s where the revolving door starts spinning!

Like putting any new system into place though, this can be extremely painful on the front end… But if we do it right once and stick with it each time we bring someone onto the team, it becomes part of the culture and sooner than later helps those new folks feel like part of the team much faster. And then we start seeing the increase in productivity sooner too. We’ll work through that next time so we have some hard numbers in hand, and after that we’ll start putting together some practical steps that will make an onboarding process effective in just about any organization…