5 Common Employee Onboarding Complaints and How to Overcome Them
A good onboarding experience has been proven to enhance employee performance and retention levels. Studies reveal that a solid onboarding program can improve performance by 11% and 69% of employees are more likely to stay with the company for up to three years if they’ve had a pleasant onboarding experience.
While the importance of this stage is not lost on employers, their approach to it is often riddled with numerous inconsistencies and bottlenecks, many of which they themselves are not aware of. A poor onboarding experience invariably dismays the employee and dampens their enthusiasm for their new role. Even worse is the fact that HR’s negligence toward feedback keeps them from openly expressing their complaints.
These onboarding grievances can easily be addressed and resolved, but the first step to resolving them is to focus on problem identification. Deconstruct the experience you’re offering your new hires and ask yourself, where are we going wrong? Once you’ve produced the necessary answers, you can proceed to find the right solutions.
When identifying the problems that plague your onboarding, it makes sense to think from the perspective of the new-hire. Make an attempt to understand what their expectations from their onboarding were, and where and how your organization missed the mark in meeting them.
To get you started, we’ve rounded up a list of common employee onboarding complaints that you can easily overcome. Here’s how:
Often, the employee will show up on their first day only to find HR completely unprepared. The new hire’s laptop might not have arrived, their desk space not assigned or cleared out or their employee card still in process. This can be a little flustering for the new hire, who on their first day would already be feeling a little disoriented as it is.
Prepare a checklist of things to take care of beforehand for your new hire. Gather all the necessary paraphernalia and resources well before his joining date instead of pacing around frantically at the last minute trying to get everything together for them.
2. Information Overdose
In the hopes of quickly getting onboarding over and done with, HR tries to cram too many onboarding tasks and procedures into a very short time frame. While they might want to pride themselves on their promptness and speed, truth is, they’ve put the new hire under far too much pressure.
Overwhelming them with a barrage of information about company policies, department overviews, role descriptions -the whole enchilada – and then expecting them to absorb it right away is not only unreasonable, but it also marks a rather tedious start to the employee’s journey at your organization.
To avoid this, adopt a piecemeal approach. Spread the material and tasks over a couple of weeks, slowly but surely familiarizing them with all aspects of the organization and their responsibilities. Plan in advance how you want to split their onboarding into a series of stages and what you want the new hire to take from each stage. This way, you’re gently easing them into their new position instead of unloading everything on them in one go.
3. Lack of Management
Often, onboarding feels like a haphazard process, lacking in direction and foresight. Since the employee is just starting out at your organization, there’ll be a lot of information coming their way-from different sources, on different matters and over different mediums. HR, operating on auto-pilot, keeps throwing resources their way, not taking into consideration the fact that such a haphazard approach to information sharing could affect their ability to sufficiently process or retain anything at all.
This is an inevitability when it comes to manual methods of information sharing. Luckily, as technology reigns supreme in today’s world, there’s a digital alternative to pretty much everything, which is not only quicker and easier to use but also markedly more efficient.
Customizable onboarding software is gaining ground in the workplace, and have secured high rates of approval for the fluidity of information sharing they allow.
After Hire, a new onboarding software offers a digital onboarding experience. A branded employee portal allows the company to automate workflows, thereby accelerating the productivity levels of new hires and reducing onboarding costs. You can digitally capture all employee information and records, saving the new hire from the tediousness of cutting through paperwork.
To keep their training fun and engaging, you can utilize a range of media, such as photos and videos and provide them the ease of accessing all these important resources from one space. The platform also generates reports to identify bottlenecks in your onboarding process that can help you make the necessary improvements.
Digital solutions are fast replacing traditional manual processes and for good reason. Such tools don’t only allow HR to smoothen and hone their processes, but as a natural outcome, also enhance organizational efficiency.
4. Lack of Personalization
When it comes to onboarding, HR will cheerlessly be going through the same standard motions, instead of keenly factoring in the new hire’s unique strengths and sensibilities into the approach they use with them. Your employee, more than anything, wants to feel uniquely valued. A standard template approach isn’t particularly encouraging and often deflates the employee’s excitement about starting out at a new place.
Personalized onboarding exercises that take into account your new hire’s individual strengths and skill set always prove to be more engaging and productive. For example, a handwritten welcome note, welcome baskets or team building exercises that capitalize on their skills can help them feel included.
5. Indifference to Feedback
Another common mistake on the employer’s part is their tendency to never take the new hire’s feedback. Knowing that an employer respects
your thoughts and opinions is very reassuring and can open up space for an honest and transparent dialogue across the organization. As you can see, while these practices appear small and almost inconsequential, they have the power to make a significant impact.
You might have realized that none of these problems is insurmountable. A fresh emphasis on previously neglected areas and an overhaul of obsolete practices can breathe new life into your onboarding process. Once you have a new plan in place, keep revisiting it to spot persisting problem areas or pain points, focusing your energies on eliminating them the moment you see a red flag. No employee forgets their onboarding experience, but whether they remember it fondly or not, depends on you!
- Shanze Sheriar a LUMS graduate who is an avid writer and aspires to carve a unique niche in the realm of marketing