Excerpted from Onboarding: Creating Value in Today’s Organization by Tara Kachaturoff. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved in all media.
You never get a second chance to make a great first impression. While first impressions start with the candidate’s initial interface with the organization — usually with the corporate website and then through interface with internal recruiters, the next most significant interface happens during a formal orientation program. By investing in creating a solid, comprehensive program, with some customization for each candidate, an organization can reap a number of benefits. Let’s explore some of the more important ones:
#1 Get everyone on the same page. A program is different than just doing something haphazardly. A program has a plan and a flow to accomplish a specified set of tasks. A program is a system that can be repeated, consistently, over and over again. By conducting an orientation program, the company ensures consistency in the delivery of key information. As with any program, there may be times where certain portions might be customized to accommodate the special needs of the new hire. Benefit: systematized and consistent delivery of information.
#2 Strong start. We all know how much energy we have when we start our days with exercise and a healthy breakfast.The same thing applies to an employee orientation. It’s the fortifying welcoming energy that provides the employee with a strong start to their career. It sets the tone of what’s to follow. For the organization, the primary benefit is that they can use this program to extend the value of their brand and to validate to the new hire that her or she made the right decision. Benefit: energetic welcome.
#3 Reduced turnover costs. A 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey indicated as much as 25% of new hires leave the after first year. An effective formal orientation program is probably one of the most effective ways to reduce employee turnover and its associated costs. First impressions mean a lot and the manner in which an employee orientation is designed and executed can make all the difference as to whether or not an employee stays committed to the organization or not. Benefit: reduced costs. (Source: 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey: ://hriq.allied.com/pdfs/AlliedWorkforceMobilitySurvey.pdf)
#4 Reduced recruiting costs. Lower turnover means lower recruiting costs. It’s costly in terms of time, money and other resources to replace someone who leaves an organization. A 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey indicated that it cost $11k on average to fill a vacant position. Much can be saved by not only having a strong recruiting process on the front end, but also by following up with an equally strong orientation program that provides participants with the tools and information they need to succeed in their new position. Benefit: reduced costs.
(Source: 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey: http://hriq.allied.com/pdfs/AlliedWorkforceMobilitySurvey.pdf)
#5 Faster path to productivity. An effective orientation program that quickly and efficiently acclimates the new hire to their physical, social, and online environments as well as to their job duties and responsibilities will result in them achieving higher levels of productivity faster than they otherwise would. Reducing any uncertainty, providing answers to questions, and introducing new hires to procedures and processes in an easy-to-understand, logical, and applicable way will reap amazing benefits to not only the employee, but also to the organization. Benefit: achieve productivity faster.
#6 Talent retention. Companies spend a lot of time, money and energy finding the right person for the right right position. Once they do, their goal is to retain them and develop them into an even more beneficial corporate asset through training and development. A strong orientation program reduces uncertainty, creates an atmosphere of safety and support, and demonstrates that the employee is a valued addition to the team — all things that would encourage employees to stay. In addition, when others find out “how” the company onboards new hires and then continues that treatment going forward through additional training and development opportunities, rest assured others will want to hire on. Benefit: talent retention, extension of the brand beyond the organization.