“I spent time on the first few days of my job cleaning out my desk from the person who was there before me. I actually had to bring in cleaning supplies from home. I didn’t stay long at that place.”
~ Jewish Nonprofit Professional
During the past two years, Leading Edge has worked with nearly 100 Jewish nonprofits, helping them identify both strengths and opportunities around workplace culture. Through our Employee Engagement Survey, Leading Edge has provided organizations with critical insights into how their employees experience workplace culture and how they can become even better places to work.
After hearing directly from leaders, managers, and individual contributors, Leading Edge identified a sector-wide need for accessible and quality resources that will help organizations ensure their employees are set up for success, both at the outset and throughout their careers.
To that end, Leading Edge has launched a series of “best practices” guides.
The first guide is focused on Onboarding New Employees.
This guide provides templates and tools for effective onboarding that can be modified to meet the needs of any organization. It focuses on three stages of onboarding:
- What needs to happen before the employee begins
- That crucial first day
- The first week and beyond
It also includes a sample evaluation for employees to take about the onboarding process itself. This provides organizations with ongoing feedback about the onboarding process.
Why onboarding matters
According to research, 22 percent of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment and 4 percent of employees leave a new job after a disastrous first day. This kind of rapid staff turnover represents a significant cost — both financial and cultural — to the organization. On the flip side, according to a 2010 Society for Human Resource Management study, “employees in a well-structured onboarding program are 69 percent more likely to remain at the company after three years.”
Onboarding is not the same as orientation. Orientation might occur on the first day or during the first week, to introduce new hires to policies and procedures as well as the fundamentals of their job. Onboarding is a process that socializes new employees to the organization and ensures they have the necessary skills, relationships, and knowledge to become effective members of the organization.
Effective onboarding is the first step in retaining great talent, but it does not end after day one, or even week one. Most experts agree that onboarding a new hire takes three to six months. While this may sound like a heavy lift, with some thoughtful planning and with buy-in from a few key players, your organization can lay the groundwork for a welcoming and nurturing onboarding process. When done well, onboarding will become a seamless part of your organization and positively impact your entire workplace culture. Investing in onboarding your new employees pays off in their work and the work of those around them.
Stay tuned in the coming months for Leading Edge’s next two guides in our initial Best Practices series.
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