For many companies bringing a new person into the business is a remarkably unrespected activity. And yet for new employees it is a very important and influential experience at a vulnerable time. Ask a group of your colleagues and friends and you will hear both hilarious and tragic ‘first day’ horror stories. Bad onboarding is felt hard and remembered long. If company culture is important to you then employee onboarding is the first impression that your new people get of that culture. See our whitepaper on this topic if company culture is an interest of yours – Employee Rentention white paper.
However the purest corporate goal of employee onboarding is time-to-productivity and of course productivity means revenue. The quicker a new employee can step into a full complement of daily operational activities the quicker your investment in them will turn to profit.
A real life example was a recent problem brought to us by a client that operates extremely heavy equipment in highly regulated environments like mines, harbours and infrastructure development. Each day one of their machines stood idle because of the lack of a driver meant many thousands of dollars of missed and irrecoverable revenue. Their goal was to hire and onboard new drivers/operators for the equipment in such a way that they had all necessary training, certification, uniform, personal equipment, safety gear and paperwork in place within the first few days of employment. Achieving rapid and robust onboarding was directly linked to the core process of delivering heavy machinery services to customers.
However, for most companies onboarding is poorly addressed in the HR IT systems landscape. Payroll, learning & development, human capital management and traditional HR systems all start from the premise that the employee is up and running. The process of bringing a new person into the business (and into each of these systems) falls sadly between the cracks for these systems and yet affects all of them.
Some good attention to the onboarding of your new hires will bring you the double benefit of improved corporate culture and quicker time to productivity.