Lifelong Onboarding: the journey that doesn’t end

How long does your team onboard for?

Ask HR managers from companies all over, and most of them will tell you it’s important to get onboarding right during an employee’s first few weeks. Some will say that preboarding is a crucial aspect of the onboarding program too. But how many pay attention to what happens after? Lifelong onboarding is a key feature of the best onboarding programs, that accelerate time-to-productivity and save HR departments time and money.

Little effort is spent by many organizations on keeping staff onboard after their initial welcome period. Past the three-month or six-month period in which new hires are integrated into the company, the matter is often considered done and dusted. Those individuals are left to ‘get on with it’ with no more company support. This is a huge mistake, believes niikiis founder Carlos Hornstein, who thinks that employees should be continuously looked after so that they stay “as enthusiastic as they are on their first day at work.”

In the modern workplace, employees constantly need to upskill and reskill to maximize success in their roles, so their onboarding journeys are never really over. Even when changing roles within a company, people need to undergo successful onboarding to feel fully comfortable in their new position. When you change the onboarding program to include the entire duration of an individual’s time within a company, you ensure that motivation and engagement levels remain as high as they did on Day 1. 

Keeping up communication

How can HR professionals make onboarding a continual process for the workforce? It seems essential that they do, considering that 47% of companies say their top metric for onboarding success is measuring how many new-hires stay on for more than one year. Making your onboarding system an ongoing one will really help increase retention rates.

As with all relationships, business or otherwise, communication is key. Don’t just send new hires resources to get them acquainted with their role and the organization: make sure they understand everything they’ve received! If you check in regularly with staff to make sure their initial onboarding period went smoothly, and that they feel comfortable and capable in their position now, then you’ll be able to help deal with any hindrances to their productivity.

Consider employing somebody whose role is chiefly aimed at helping workers feel like a good fit for the company – a quick LinkedIn search reveals that there are currently over 1,500 Chief Happiness Officers listed! 56% of employees don’t feel valued by their employer: by having somebody whose job is to connect with these people, you can seriously lower turnover rates within the company.

Another important part of communication is giving continuous feedback: employees appreciate feeling as if they are key players within the company, and regular commentary helps enforce the notion that they are. Consider giving regular one-to-one performance evaluations to provide helpful guidance, and having a ‘reward and recognition’ program such as “employee of the month” to shine a spotlight on top performers, or send ‘shout-out’ messages to highlight great work. You can also empower staff members by giving them a platform to make suggestions about the business and how it’s being run, or sending them surveys in which they can provide valuable opinions.

Make time for check-ins

As mentioned, it’s also the responsibility of those directly above individual staff members to check-in with them regularly – we recommend at least once a month. They should be asking questions that help employees take control of their own learning: How successful have you been since we last spoke? What’s your primary focus this month? What do you need to achieve that, and how can I help? 

By empowering your workforce to make decisions like this, you increase engagement massively. One Gallup report found that Millenials who attended regular meetings like these are more than twice as likely to be engaged at work! Your people know what they need most: increase transparency with these regular meetings, and you increase their productivity. 

Acknowledging and embracing transparency between employer and employee is the key to powering lifelong onboarding in your organization. Do you have what it takes to make that happen? niikiis is the all-in-one onboarding platform that makes onboarding a smooth ongoing experience. 

Get in touch with us here to discover more about how we help HR teams save time and money on their onboarding programs.