Think back to your first few weeks on the job. What were your challenges? Did you find it difficult to define the company culture?
Companies typically onboard in one of two ways: either they have a very formalized, rigid structure or it’s the exact opposite with no real process at all. When there is no formal onboarding program, new employees must find the information and resources they need on their own. They have little support to transition into their new roles which leaves them feeling lost, increasing the time it takes to reach productivity. Not to mention, you don’t want your employees to feel alone and unsure of their roles, or those new hires might start looking for new jobs. You don’t want a new employee having second thoughts after the first week, especially when it could have easily been prevented with better onboarding.
The formal onboarding process provides a lot of policy, but not a lot of job specific knowledge. You’ve probably been through this type of onboarding before: you sit through orientation sessions with dozens of other new hires, try not to fall asleep during the lengthy PowerPoint presentations, and worst of all, any relevant information is lost because the sessions aren’t documented. The free lunch you get is nice, but it really won’t help you understand the company or your role better.
Onboarding should be much more than just orientation. The goal is to introduce new employees to the company, culture, and their specific jobs so they can start contributing as soon as possible. A great way to onboard new employees is with social. Research shows that 80% of learning happens in an unstructured environment, like conversations with coworkers. If you want your employees to learn about their roles, the company, and the organization’s culture, who better to learn from than their new colleagues? Using social makes this learning possible and makes onboarding a natural and simple process.
A good onboarding process does more than just welcome employees. Research by the Aberdeen Group shows that businesses with a standard onboarding practice had 54% greater new hire productivity and 50% greater retention of new employees. Not only is employee retention important for company culture, but a study by the Center for American Progress shows that it saves companies thousands of dollars. On average, for an employee earning under $50,000 a year, the cost of finding a replacement is about 20% of that employee’s salary, and that percentage increases for more senior level hires. Now, those are just the results for having a standard onboarding practice…imagine what the results would be for a great onboarding process. Social is a smart way to facilitate onboarding and save money for your business.
From the first day on the job, new employees can use social to get to know their coworkers and the company culture, find answers to questions, and access necessary resources. Their onboarding tasks can be automated and streamlined so they don’t feel overwhelmed by paperwork. New employees easily become actively involved in the organization and understand company specific business processes. These social features give new employees the boost needed to achieve faster time to productivity and increase the likelihood of retention.
Social onboarding is a win-win situation for companies and employees. New hires feel instantly connected to their colleagues and organization and have easy access to important documents. In return, businesses have more productive workers who are likely to stay with the company for a long time. So lose your traditional thoughts about onboarding and look for a social solution.
If you’d like to learn more about how a social solution can improve onboarding, contact one of our experts.