Though employee well-being seems to be trending lately, it is not just a fad or a trend. The overall experience an employee has with the company they work for can significantly impact a number of things, such as productivity levels, retention rates, and the overall success of the company. Thus, employee well-being is crucial and something that many businesses would do well to put more effort into.
One of the biggest factors that can impact employee well-being is the onboarding process. If you notice employees are having a hard time, struggling to get through their work, or even struggling with their mental health, it may be time to take a closer look at your onboarding process.
Improving your hiring process can go a long way towards improving the employee experience and their overall well-being, which is essential for companies that want to grow and experience success.
This article will take a closer look at how the onboarding process can affect employee well-being and tips for improving your company’s onboarding process to promote a healthier workplace culture that fosters employee well-being.
Why the Onboarding Process is Crucial to Employee Well-being
To start, let’s first talk about what the onboarding process is exactly. In basic terms, onboarding is simply the process companies use to help new employees adjust to their new job. More specifically, this process can involve many steps or procedures to fully integrate the employee into the company.
This can include new-hire paperwork, teaching them about company policies and regulations, educating them on their job function and expectations, putting them through training, familiarizing them with company culture, and even helping them connect and establish relationships with their new co-workers.
All of these things are crucial in helping an employee feel prepared, welcome, and satisfied with their new role. Unfortunately, a large percentage of companies have no formal onboarding process. Many simply go through the standard HR paperwork process and a very basic overview of policies. Beyond that, it is left to the employee themselves to figure things out and navigate their new position and workplace culture.
But without a proper onboarding process, companies are more likely to experience inefficiencies and higher turnover rates. This is because when employees don’t experience an adequate onboarding process, they feel less prepared, less welcome and appreciated, have lower morale, lower levels of engagement and productivity, and an overall lower level of trust within the company.
All of these things add up to poor employee well-being. In fact, there is a significant link between employee workplace experiences and employee mental health. The more unsatisfied an employee is with their job and the less appreciated they feel, the more it can impact their mental health and how they feel about themselves.
In contrast, employees who have more positive onboarding experiences are 69% more likely to remain with a company and have greater success in their position. This also means they are more productive, more engaged, have better workplace relationships, and even earn more money.
Tips for Developing a Better Onboarding Process
The following tips can help you implement a better onboarding process that can more adequately prepare new employees for their roles and help them feel more comfortable and confident in their new position.
Establish Trust and Transparent Communication
Trust is a key component in retaining employees and helping them feel satisfied with a new company. So it’s important for the communication to be healthy and transparent right from the start to help build trust. Be open, clear, and honest with your new hires and communicate with them often to ensure there is no confusion or misunderstandings.
This is important not only for the HR team onboarding the new hire, but for team leads as well. It can be intimidating for new employees to approach and speak with team leads, but if they openly communicate with them from the start and even sit down to have a one-on-one with the new hire to get to know them, it can help them feel more comfortable and welcome. Encourage them to give quality feedback — in fact, failure to encourage quality feedback is one of the more common pitfalls for business owners, new and old alike.
Set Clear Expectations
Further adding to open communication and transparency, a good onboarding process also sets clear expectations for new hires. Even if they have previous experience with the role they will be filling, it never hurts to be upfront and honest about what your company expects from them.
However, be mindful not to make it seem as though you are overwhelming them with all their duties and expectations. The goal is to clarify their duties to help them feel settled so they have a good idea of what each workday will be like and what their tasks will be.
Offer Wellness Incentives and Programs
Today, some of the most successful companies offer wellness incentives, benefits, and programs to create a healthier workplace culture and promote employee well-being. The happier and healthier your employees are, the more productive they will be and the more they will help your company become a success.
So it’s a good idea to offer certain incentives or programs as a part of the onboarding or new hire package. This can include things like ample sick and vacation time, flexible working hours, organizing fitness classes or paying for gym memberships, providing complimentary healthy snacks, offering mental health resources, organizing fun events, and more.
Use Engaging Activities
During the onboarding process, using fun and creative activities to help new employees connect with co-workers and feel more relaxed can also help create a more positive employee experience. This can include team games to foster relationship building, explorations challenges to help familiarize them with the office, and even healthy habits challenges to show them that you care about their well-being.
Check-In and Give Feedback
Even after a new employee has settled in, it’s important to continually check in with them to see how they are doing and if they need any help or have any questions. This is also a good time to start measuring their work and offering helpful feedback on how they are doing and how they can improve if needed. Don’t just wait until something is wrong to check in. Checking in frequently shows that you care about them and want them to do well in their new role.
Beyond the onboarding process, it’s important for employees to feel they are seen, heard, and appreciated. Beyond checking in regularly and listening to or offering feedback, a great way to show employees you care is to actually recognize and reward the good work they are doing. This helps to further the trust they have in the company and will ensure they are happy and productive in their position.