What is New Employee Onboarding?

Published: 2/02/21 (Tue)

Provided by NDIRF Administrative Services Manager Nancy Reis, SHRM - CP

“Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 50 percent greater new-hire productivity,” according to LocalGovU’s Providing Effective Onboarding course. With this type of result, it’s easy to understand why organizations invest in new employee onboarding. Employee onboarding is the process of integrating and helping new employees learn about the organization, its structure, and its vision, mission and values, as well as providing them the information, tools, and training needed to become a productive member of the team.

One of the tools the NDIRF has developed to ensure our employees are effectively onboarded is a New Employee Checklist. This 51-item checklist holds us accountable for providing our employees with the introductions and information they need to feel welcome as well as the knowledge to understand how their role will contribute to our organization’s success. 

Our checklist features items you would traditionally expect, including an office tour, employee introductions, information about our benefits, and training on computer/electronic communications and security procedures, but one of the items on the list is to host a New Employee Lunch. The lunch celebrates the addition of our new employee as well as gives our existing employees the opportunity to reintroduce themselves to the new employee in a casual environment. In addition to this being an event enjoyed by new and existing employees alike, it further exposes new employees to our culture which helps them fit in and begin to form relationships with their new coworkers.  

New employees are also engaged in helping us improve our New Employee Checklist. After the checklist has been completed, we ask new employees for their feedback in-person or via paper survey. This engagement helps create rapport and trust with new employees, which further demonstrates our culture of listening to feedback and our commitment to creating a positive working environment for all employees. We also conduct periodic check-ins to see how the new employees are adjusting and whether they have any questions or concerns.

The four goals of new employee onboarding that are outlined and defined in LocalGovU’s Providing Effective Onboarding course include: 

1: Reduces Time-to-Productivity. Proper onboarding gets employees up to speed much more rapidly so that within weeks it is hard to tell the difference between new employees and seasoned employees.

2: Reduces Stress. Being a new hire brings a significant amount of anxiety. By providing your employees with all the information they need to know, it can reduce the negative affects employees’ experience. Instead, they are better able to concentrate and perform their jobs.

3: Reduces Turnover. Strong onboarding programs assure new employees they are valued and have all the necessary tools to succeed. Consequently, costly turnover is reduced.

4: Develops Job Knowledge. While training your new employee about the mission, vision, values, and culture of the organization, proper onboarding ensures that new employees have a full understanding of their role within the organization and how it relates to the overall mission of the organization. Upfront education prevents damaging mistakes down the road. By having an effective onboarding program, you ensure there is better assimilation of new hires into the company culture, higher time-to-productivity ratios, and higher employee engagement.

If your organization needs assistance with building or strengthening your new employee onboarding, check out Providing Effective Onboarding in LocalGovU, the NDIRF’s online training center that offers free professional development courses for our members and their employees. Visit ndirf.com and click on “Training” to log in or create your free profile today.

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