Onboarding programs are the first chance a new employee gets to see how your company functions. Often, much of the attitude they develop toward your organization develops during this time.

Effective onboarding programs lead to an increase in employee engagement and retention. Here are some top components of an effective onboarding program.

1. Defined goals

If you do not have defined goals for what you want an onboarding program to accomplish with new employees, it is unlikely to accomplish much of anything. The onboarding team should determine what it wants employees to know at the end of the process and then make sure those things get communicated during onboarding.

2. A team approach

The hiring team or HR staff should not be expected to onboard a new employee alone. The onboarding team should include representation from company leadership and the new employee’s department in addition to HR staff. Defining goals as stated above will help in deciding which team member handles which parts of the process and avoid overloading any one person unduly.

3. Explain corporate culture along with job expectations and rules

Understanding corporate culture has a lot to do with how well a new employee will assimilate into the organization. Some employees are good at picking up on culture, while others need things explained to them; the onboarding team can avoid problems by giving pointers about culture to new employees right away.

Codifying the corporate culture in writing may be difficult to accomplish, but an oral explanation may suffice in many instances. It may be possible to incorporate some of the cultural nuances into the written onboarding training materials by adopting a particular style, however.

4. One-on-one mentoring

Assigning a mentor to work with each new hire allows direct training and shadowing to take place so that new employees can learn their jobs, and it also gives employees a place to go with questions and requests so that any issues that arise can be resolved quickly.

A mentor can be a fellow employee on an equivalent level, a superior, or a leader in the company. Choosing a mentor may be an individualized decision based on commonalities with a new hire, or it may be a rotating position for a group of mentors that take turns mentoring new hires as they come into the company.

5. Start career pathing during onboarding

Retention will be greatly improved when employers show interest in and begin to guide the careers of their employees, and this process should start with onboarding and continue throughout the employee’s tenure with the company. Employees are more likely to stick around when they know they have a high potential of advancement, and career pathing programs help make the plan clear.

Thrive TRM tracks all hiring actions, including onboarding, and can support a robust talent management strategy that spans the employee’s tenure with the company as well. Schedule a demo to see what Thrive TRM can do for your company’s onboarding process.

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