Webinar Highlights: Best practice for onboarding in the online environment

21 September

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Webinar Highlights: Best practice for onboarding in the online environment

This week, we welcomed Ilse White, Corporate Learning Researcher and Richard Harte, UI/UX Specialist from the Learnovate Centre to host a dedicated webinar for our network.

Ilse and Richard presented their recent research on the best practices for onboarding in an online environment, with plenty of valuable insights for anyone involved in planning onboarding for remote colleagues. 

Here are the key takeaways from the session:

Onboarding Definition

Onboarding is defined as “the process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly” (Bauer, 2010).

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What currently does not work well in onboarding?

  • Often a ‘one-size fits all approach’

  • Focus on what employee needs to impart

  • Rather than on what the new employee needs

  • Structured support is not always in place

  • The social aspect of onboarding can be overlooked

  • New employees don’t know what to expect

  • New employees do not know what is expected of them

  • Get feedback from the new hire

What currently works in the online environment?

  • Set expectations and provide a roadmap of activities

  • Organize a warm welcome

  • Complete pre-work online

  • Agree and set assignments

  • Provide online mentorship

  • Encourage online collaboration

  • Ensure tasks are relevant and specific

  • Get feedback from the new hire

Why it’s important to consider the remote onboarding experience

It can exacerbate challenges such as isolation and lack of breakout, technology fatigue due to countless new apps, lack of socialisation as employees cannot meet colleagues and getting access to resources and context as most of the time they don’t know who to ask.

Learnovate Centre Research Take-Aways & Data

1. Bad onboarding impacts retention:

  • 17% of new hires leave an organization during the first three months of employment

  • 33% of new hires look for a new job within the first 6 months

  • Half of all senior outside hires fail within 18 months in a new position and half of all hourly workers leave new jobs within the first 120 days

  • Efficient and effective onboarding is not the norm, despite a strong business case

  • 88% of new employees say their organization does not provide a good onboarding experience

  • 33% of new hires look for a new job within the first 6 months

  • Replacing an employee costs an average of 16-20% of that employee’s salary

  • Total turnover cost per employee can be anywhere between 100 – 300% of the individual’s salary

2. There’s also a misconception that onboarding is a one-day, one-off process.

  • Onboarding is a process of acquiring, accommodating, assimilating, and accelerating the new employee and starts well before the first day

  • Onboarding takes a minimum of 90 days but can stretch well past the 1st year. These first 90 days are crucial for the success of the newcomer

  • It is key to align all stakeholders from recruitment to line manager  in the process and ensure efficient handovers of responsibilities

3. Onboarding effectiveness increases if there is a high-quality psychological contract

  • The psychological contract defines the level of trust and commitment between employer and employee.

  • High levels of trust and commitment create organizational cultures where employees are more creative, innovative & profitable than others

  • The objective of onboarding is to ensure the employee adds value while feeling valued and empowered to contribute their skills and knowledge of responsibilities

4. Onboarding practice needs to consider the new employee’s Personal Identity

  • Onboarding was traditionally focused on familiarizing the new employee with the organisation’s identity

  • Forgetting about the new employee’s personal identity…

  • Denying a new employee to express their personal identity can suppress their authentic strengths and skills

  • This leads to missed opportunities for the individual to be their best self and for the organisation to benefit from that

Learnovate Centre recommendations for best practices for onboarding in the online environment:

  • Define the psychological contract. What value is put on people?

  • Understand the value of onboarding to the success of your organisation

  • Build the onboarding process from a business perspective

  • Align the onboarding process with the employee’s needs

  • Leverage/align technology but don’t force it. Consider the JTBD

We’d like to express our thanks to Ilse and Richard for sharing their research and insights. To learn more about the Learnovate Centre, click here.

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