Contemporary employment trends have varied drastically from the traditional, linear tendency from times past. According to statistics published on Workopolis.ca, the average Canadian worker can be expected to change jobs 12 times over the course of their working career. The same article boldly predicts that upcoming generations may hold as many as 40 jobs in up to ten different career paths. With these stats suggesting that employees are bound to leave, what can an employer do to try and increase retention and save on the costs of turnover? That’s where an onboarding program comes in.
What is Onboarding?
More than just “orientation training,” onboarding is the “mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members.”
Onboarding is the training that new employees receive that includes work-specific instruction, information about the culture in the workplace, and a social component that includes support from coworkers.
Onboarding programs are shown to increase productivity by giving clear job expectations. As well, workers that feel accepted socially are likely to experience more job satisfaction. In fact, the link between onboarding and both increased employee engagement and organizational commitment is too strong to be ignored, because it has the power to drive the costs of turnover way down. This is especially important in companies that require employees with unique talents or skills that make retention even more important.
How to Create an Effective Onboarding Package
An onboarding package supplements the onboarding program. It includes physical, tangible items. The purpose of the onboarding package is to give workers something physical that connects the information offered through the onboarding program to the actual job and workplace. Onboarding programs include the following elements:
In order to set employees up for success, role descriptions and expectations need to be provided, and tools required for the job need to be made available. Coaching and mentoring from superiors, job training, and health and safety training are also an important part of providing specific role training.
Social acceptance is required for employees to feel that they have social support in their new roles. Recruiters don’t look just for skills; they also examine candidates for “fit,” meaning that they are confident that the employee will be socially accepted in the workplace, thereby gaining the support and camaraderie required for success.
Cultures vary so widely from company to company; give new employees the best chance of success by ensuring that they understand the unique culture at your place of business. Include a preview of your company’s values and mission, outline company norms, and give workers an idea of what the general work environment is like.
Use an onboarding package to supplement your onboarding program. Include the following in the package, and ensure that the employee receives it on their first day. Include items such as:
- Internal publications, such as handbooks, policies, and marketing materials
- Facility tour – be sure to highlight non-work areas such as bathrooms, kitchen, break areas, etc.
- A full set of job-related documents. Go over the information together. Include: work hours, attendance expectations, how to book vacation time, holidays, benefits, payroll, technology use terms, etc.
- Training schedule
- SWAG – nothing says welcome like branded swag. Include stationary, pens, apparel, a mug or tumbler, and anything else that might make new workers feel like they’re part of the team!
Ensure that workers receive onboarding packages the very first day; it increases the efficacy of the overall onboarding program. Onboarding packages also ensure that workers feel that they are part of the team right away, which has a positive impact on retention rates, productivity, feelings of job satisfaction, and organizational commitment.
OSG Can Help!
OSG offers online courses that deal with onboarding and new employee orientation: New Employee Safety Orientation, Organizational Culture Training, and more! To see a complete listing of the courses that they offer that cover all jurisdictions, Canada-wide, click here. Or, call 877-652-5262 today to speak to a health and safety advisor.
Written by Jennifer Miller | Curriculum Development Coordinator
Do you want to receive the latest and safest news directly to your inbox?
It’s easy! Press the button below to subscribe!