Is your NEW Hire onboarding 👎?
I really wasn’t surprised to find out that many new hires feel their employers did a poor job onboarding them in their new position…
But I was shocked to read a whopping 88%* felt that way!
Just think about that for a minute.
We’ve talked at length about the necessity of intensely screening, qualifying, culture-fit evaluating, and skill set testing a candidate BEFORE hiring.
But what we haven’t talked about is what happens AFTER you hire a new team member (a point that obviously needs to be addressed seeing how only 12% of new hires feel their onboarding experience met their expectations).
Imagine you live in Atlanta and your favorite cousin resides in Paris. You haven’t seen each other in years. First due to the pandemic, but these days due to your tight schedules.
You keep in touch frequently and enjoy face-timing her and her kids. The kids keep asking when you’ll come out to see them so they can finally try your famous chocolate chip cookies that their mom has raved about since they could remember.
You finally set a date to go visit over the summer and you decide to take two weeks off work. Everyone is excited and you can’t wait to finally get out there to spend some real quality time with your cousin and her kids.
Summer finally arrives, you’ve got your tickets booked and you confirm your time off work. Everything is set. You’re so excited about this trip, (so much so, that you’ve spent months researching all the “must-see” places you can visit with your cousin).
Finally, the day to make the trip comes. You made sure to get to the airport WAY early. The flight was a long one, just shy of nine hours, but the excitement of arriving to see your cousin surprisingly didn’t make it feel that long.
The plane lands and after you get your luggage, you look around in baggage claim but don’t seem to see your cousin or her kids anywhere. You check your phone to see if she’s left a message. No message. You get a bottled water and park it for a bit on a bench thinking she just must be running late.
Thirty minutes later, you check your phone again, and scroll up to check the message thread, and confirm her last response was “I can’t wait to see you! Have a great flight, I’ll be there to pick you up with bells on!”
You decide to send her a quick message to let her know you arrived. After an hour of no response, and looking around the airport for her, you start looking for her address in your contacts as a last resort.
After another hour with no word, you muster the courage to leave the airport and take a cab to the address you have for her. You don’t speak French, so trying to communicate with the driver is hard. It was only after you showed him the address in your phone that got you moving and “hopefully” in the right direction.
You finally arrive, walk up to the house, and press the bell. You’re met with a face you don’t recognize, a middle-aged woman holding a napkin with a blank expression asking who you were. You say your cousin’s name and she responds by waving you inside the house.
She leads you to the living room, motions to the couch, and walks away. You sit down (for what feels like an hour) occasionally looking towards the door the woman walked through wondering if she’d coming back (at least to offer you a glass of water, or show you to your room…anything, really!)
Eventually, the front door opens, and in walks your cousin with the kids. She barely greets you, as she points across the room and says, “You’ll be staying in the room to the left.” The kids were running around as you walked towards the room you were pointed to. The woman who sat you in the living room comes walking in and starts tending to the kids. You can only assume this was their nanny.
You can’t help but feel a bit uncomfortable. At dinner, you mention to your cousin the ordeal you had with the taxi driver and she says, “Sorry, I should have messaged you…one of the moms in our carpool couldn’t pick up the kids because something came up, so I had to.”
You spend the next few days figuring things out yourself. The kids do not seem too impressed with you like you had envisioned. You feel pretty out of place, out of sorts, and eventually like an imposition. You offer to make the cookies and your cousin says, “We’ve got plenty of time to do that!”
You get tired of the experience after five days and you book an early ticket back home. The day before your departure, you tell your cousin you will be leaving the next day and she seems surprised and asks why you aren’t staying the two weeks as planned. You can’t bear to tell her how disappointed you are, so you lie and tell her you need to sort some things out at home.
So, think about this, how often do you feel like your expectations aren’t met?
Now think about how someone might feel that you just hire, that joined your team, excited by the future…
The excitement someone feels when starting a new position at a brand-new company is undeniable.
That feeling of endless possibilities and the hope that this could be “the one”…
The company they can finally call “home” for the next decade or for the rest of their career.
Now imagine their first day. No plan or process in place to onboard them, or show them around, or introduce them to the team, or walk them through what they will be responsible for.
What a letdown.
Disappointment sets in and in some cases, regret.
Maybe they feel empty promises have been made.
Or maybe the connection they felt in the hiring process has now fallen to the way-side.
Maybe they feel how they are being onboarded is a direct reflection of what their entire experience will be with your company.
Or maybe this new hire will cut their “Paris trip” short and end up leaving earlier than planned.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “Employee turnover can be as much as 50% in the first 18 months of employment”**.
The consequences of not properly onboarding can be detrimental to the growth of the new hire and the company.
Here’s what to expect:
- Low Team Engagement: Team members who feel out of touch with each other will slow down their performance as a whole. The growth of an Entrepreneurial company depends heavily on the performance of a high-performing team.
- Lack of Trust: New team members are often afraid to ask questions, point out observations or give suggestions in fear of looking incompetent or stepping on someone’s toes. Not making them feel comfortable hinders their ability to give you their “all”.
- Poor Culture: Lack of comfort and trust can cause a dent in a team member’s confidence. When an onboarding process is weak or non-existent, the company culture might seem negative to them and affect their performance.
- Missed Revenue Targets: Many times this is a direct result of low performance and lack of positive motivation from leadership. The bar keeps getting lower and lower to survive until it can’t sustain itself any longer.
Here’s the mind shift I want you to make right now.
Start thinking about your onboarding process as the stepping stone to setting your new team members up for success instead of dreading it or ignoring it.
What does your onboarding process look like right now? Are there systems and a process in place?
What gaps can you identify right now that you can easily bridge today?
In the next issue, I’ll reveal some common mistakes made in the onboarding process, how to avoid them, and also some actionable steps to successfully on boarding a new hire (some are super simple and easy and you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of them yourself)!