7 Onboarding Issues and How to Address Them

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Recruitment Advice, Trends and Learning

7 Onboarding Issues and How to Address Them

Onboarding is one of the essential aspects when it comes to recruitment. In this step, new hires are not only introduced to the company and the people they will work with, but they also learn the weight of the position they are filling in.

As a recruiter for your organization or recruitment firm, it’s crucial to make your onboarding process as seamless and efficient as possible. But truth be told, this is easier said than done. Like other steps in recruitment, it is likely that both recruiter and the new hire will encounter some challenges along the way; but that doesn’t mean that it’s inevitable.

The following are some typical and out-of-the-box onboarding issues and the measures you can do to address them.

1. Explanation of company culture

New hires may find it challenging to fit into the company culture if they aren’t made aware of it in the first place. Onboarding is an excellent opportunity to integrate incoming employees into the company culture and inform them of its history, both of which you can do with the right strategy.

If you notice that an employee is having this problem, tackle it promptly. Acknowledge this issue and let them know that you can offer assistance to make their transition easier. Assure them that you understand that a shift can take some time and ask them about the specifics of their problem. Proper onboarding will help them know what the company culture is and how to thrive in it.

2. Clarity of role

As an HR professional, you have the responsibility to communicate to new hires their role in the organization. When you, yourself, don’t clearly understand what it is they should be doing, you can derail onboarding, and a list of tasks and responsibilities is not going to cut it.

According to an Allied Workforce Mobility survey, only 58% of the companies surveyed provide clear job titles and expectations for employees. But such details can help them adjust quickly and confidently to their new roles so that they can start contributing effectively and add value toward the organization’s end goals.

Make sure to incorporate formal and informal training during onboarding. Long-term employee development allows them to see their future with the organization. In addition, clearly establish the expectations and key skills you need from the employees. Being transparent with their roles will help increase employee engagement, improve performance, and reduce turnover.

3. Leaving out key details and information

Everything a new hire needs to start work on the first day should be in place beforehand—things like uniform, ID, access device, network access, workstation materials, and all other tools. Not doing so will leave the team scrambling at the last minute, and that’s not a very good first impression from the new hire’s point of view.

Having a documented onboarding checklist will help the team identify all items needed, especially position-specific ones. Share the list with the new hire’s team leads, as well as to everyone in the HR department, to elicit help in setting up.

4. Mismanagement of time

The right timing in onboarding is a strategic element. When you don’t devote enough time, it may not turn out to be as comprehensive as you want. Conversely, some organizations try to pack too much into a short time so they can make the new hires productive as soon as possible, but that could lead to information overload, and thus, poor retention.

You can solve this issue by doing pre-boarding activities before their first day to calm their nerves, as well as to take care of administrative items. Then, expand it to include company culture integration, training and mentoring, performance management, and feedback. You may also allow new employees to work a few half days on their first week to help them to learn better.

5. Information overload

As mentioned earlier, the first day at work may result in information overload for the new hire. Learning their new responsibilities, trying to get into the company culture, and even filling out onboarding paperwork can be a lot of work, especially when their nerves are still high.

Some of the ways you can avoid information overload have been discussed, but you may also consider automating onboarding paperwork to free up time for both you and your new employee’s time. In addition, they can choose to complete the paperwork anytime, anywhere, and from any device.

6. Putting out a generic experience

Whether or not you have a small or large company, it pays to have a customized onboarding experience. It can make the employee feel more welcomed, that they are not just another worker in an assembly line for deployment.

Determine the elements of your process which all hires should be introduced to and then tweak it to cater to each new hires’ requirements, like their location, department, level in the organization, assessment results, and other special accommodations they may need.

7. No manager involvement

The new employee’s manager, as well as everyone in the department, has a vital role to play in onboarding. It defines how strong the manager-employee relationship can be. However, as per a survey by ALEX Asks, less than half of new hires received feedback from their managers within their first 90 days at work.

Managers are responsible for guiding new hires so they can be more confident in their new work, making them an essential part of onboarding. They foster engagement to help hires adapt to what is expected from them and what the company expects from them. Failure to do such may result in turnovers and entail significant costs.

In addition, leads should encourage feedback regularly during the first few months, so that information about the organization and its culture are communicated better. This way, employees also get to voice out their concerns if they have.

It Takes a Village

HR professionals aren’t the only ones in charge of introducing the company to their new hires. Everyone, especially the new hire’s manager and teammates, has a role to play in welcoming incoming workers. Onboarding is a necessary but sometimes overlooked step in the employees’ life cycle that shapes their overall experience, so it’s best to strategize on how to do it appropriately.