Think back to when you first started your job. How long was your onboarding program? The average person will say it was anywhere from one day to one week. However, 76% of companies from the Aberdeen Group’s survey have extended their employee onboarding to beyond one month. Why? They’re doing it to improve productivity and employee engagement in the long run.
The Learning Curve
According to TalentWise, it takes an average of eight months for a new employee to become fully productive. An employee with only one week of onboarding will most likely hit sink-or-swim mode.
Companies that provide on-the-job training are giving new hires a life jacket to stay afloat. It teaches these workers the ins and outs of the organization’s culture and workflow. So giving employees a manual to read on the first day and expecting them to go head-on into work the next day is just wishful thinking.
A survey by Archbright reveals that review and feedback play critical roles when it comes to getting an employee up to speed. Again, onboarding is a learning process and feedback is a motivator. If an employee is left to fend for himself—not knowing if he’s performing well—he’s going to become disengaged, or worse, leave.
The Social Circle
Going back to the Aberdeen Group’s survey, 80% of the companies that extended the onboarding process also included socialization. Peers play a huge part in motivation. For new hires, this is key for keeping them engaged.
Being the new person at work can be isolating. For some, it can be difficult to approach a stranger and ask them a question about work. However, if companies make an effort to introduce new hires into the work community, it gets them settled down faster. And the quicker they feel comfortable, the quicker they’ll be to approach a colleague about work-related questions.
In the long run, an extended onboarding program will improve employee engagement and productivity. A one- or two-day orientation session full of paperwork doesn’t provide practical work knowledge. So turn to on-the-job training and mentors to guide new employees and keep them afloat through the ramping-up process.