Why Great Performance Doesn’t Happen Without Great Onboarding

by Chris Rhatigan on Nov 3, 2016 11:00:00 AM

performance management & employee onboarding

Providing a meaningful onboarding experience has clear ramifications for turnover. For example, one study cited by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 86% of respondents felt that a new hire’s decision to stay with a company long-term is made within the first six months of employment.

One-day onboarding is a thing of the past. Most experts recommend starting onboarding before employees show up for their first day. Giving new employees welcome notes from colleagues and distributing company literature makes them feel like theyre part of the team from day one. Onboarding should last for the first few months up to a year, integrating the employee into the company’s culture. These programs aren’t just about watching training videos and paperwork, either.  

A key element of onboarding is providing regular performance reviews to track an employee’s early progress. Employees who understand what’s expected of them and can have conversations with their managers about how to improve are more likely to have a better experience.


Keep Track of Goals

For the onboarding process to work smoothly, ensure that the employee has a good understanding of the company’s norms, expectations, and culture. An annual review will come much too late. This indicates to the employee that management doesn’t take performance seriously.

By having meetings with the employee at 30, 60, and 90 days, you demonstrate that accountability is the norm. During these meetings, you can also establish that the employee understands their role in the company and what’s expected of them. Layer on responsibilities and expectations as you go. Our Employee Engagement Report found that unclear expectations were a major issue for employees.

A tool that nudges you toward providing regular performance rules is an excellent way to keep new employees on track. While informal conversations with employees are important, they’re not a replacement for regular, scheduled performance reviews.

employee onboarding

Engage Employees During Onboarding

Onboarding is your one and only chance to make a good first impression on a new employee. Having regular one-on-one feedback sessions shows that you care about how employees do their jobs. It also shows that your goal and results oriented.

These one-on-one meetings can also be great times to have conversations with employees about workplace concerns. You can clear up any confusion about company policy or other topics the new employee may have questions about.

The outcomes of quality onboarding programs are clear — lower staff turnover, higher engagement, and higher productivity. Part of that process is providing regular, structured feedback that sets expectations for new employees and integrates them into a culture of accountability. This is a win for employees and the companies they work for.

 

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This post was written by Chris Rhatigan

Chris Rhatigan is a freelance writer and editor. He is a former newspaper reporter for The New Haven Register and The Iowa City Press-Citizen. He enjoys playing old video games, studying (and trying to speak) Hindi, and walking his dog on the local trails. He lives in India.