Onboarding isn’t easy. If a new hire has a poor experience in the first few days, it won’t be long before their thoughts are turning to greener pastures. A good onboarding experience, on the other hand, allows new talent to feel comfortable and relaxed in a new environment. But even that’s no guarantee of long-term success with the organization.
A great onboarding program – one that immediately accommodates a new employee, calmly assimilates them to the workplace and invests in a forward-looking, durable strategy – is one that begins with a human touch. It is genuine. It is inviting. There is a clarity and openness to the program that makes clear from the start that the organization prizes the person just as much as the worker.
This means that the onboarding process is not about paperwork. It doesn’t banish a new hire to a lonely, sterile room with a company pen and a mountain of paperwork. That’s an impersonal, outdated approach with no place in today’s professional environment. Modern day talent is looking for more than just a job. They are looking for a personal connection to the organization.
Importance of the personal touch
Companies get the employee engagement they deserve. Those that expend little effort get little in return. For organizations looking to hire compliant automatons, that’s fine. For everyone else, however, there needs to be direct, personable communication. There has to be an emotional connection between leadership and employees.
A 2014 onboarding survey of more than 1,000 professionals from Bamboo HR found that 33 percent of respondents wanted their immediate supervisor or manager to be directly involved in showing them the ropes of a new job. Ryan Sanders, founder and COO of Bamboo HR, told Forbes that this was especially true for millennials, whose “need for connecting at a personal level” is notably higher than that of previous generations. Expect this desire for early managerial involvement to expand as millennials continue to grow into the largest sector of the workforce.
Lest any confusion over the importance of effective onboarding remain, 76 percent of the respondents to the Bamboo HR survey reported that on-the-job training was the most important step for getting a new hire up to speed as a contributing member of the workforce. On top of that, the organization found that the vast majority of workers who quit in the first six months left either entry-level (43 percent) or mid-level (38 percent) positions in the company. When relatively new hires leave that early, it understandably feels like time and money were wasted to no avail.
Sanders told Forbes that good onboarding requires managers to be “involved, engaged, providing early feedback and clear expectations” from to the get-go. Twenty-three percent of respondents to Bamboo HR’s survey said they wanted to receive clear guidelines for their responsibilities, while 21 percent reported a desire for more effective training. These are factors companies control. Informed, accessible and relevant content is obviously important, but so is being able to deliver it in an applicable way.
A more accessible and effective process
Organizations must implement proper onboarding practices; the tried-and-true steps toward acclimation and assimilation in a new workplace. But the step that is often skipped (to great detriment) is that which sparks the feeling in new hires that they’ve come to the right place. In onboarding, companies need to create a moment which assures talent their employers are just as excited for them as they are for their employers. Personal, emotional engagement like this is formed, in part, through an effective video strategy.
Outside of direct, face-to-face conversation, video is possibly the most effective communications platform in the onboarding process. Sure, training can happen largely without ever seeing a live human face, but how is that going to create a lasting positive impression? It’s more likely to leave new employees looking for the nearest exit.
Using enterprise video, companies can create strategies for introducing teams to new employees. Allowing them to see the faces and hear the voices of those who have already been with the business for some time builds immediate trust and rapport. A human connection is established with minimal effort.
One of video’s great advantages is that it allows companies to show their managers or teams in action. Broadcasting directly to new hires in the early stages of their career is a great way of taking them visually through best practices, workflows, or anything else that may once have been relegated to dense, dull tutorials or brochures. Video simplifies the complex and energizes the mundane.
Every problem addressed in the Bamboo HR survey – absentee managers, a lack of clarity and responsibility, a personal touch – is solved by video. Managers are able to speak directly to new hires, allowing them to attach a face to the name and a personality to the title. Professional responsibilities can be discussed in accessible, easily-understood language. In short, video is the answer to many of the challenges presented by modern onboarding. Now is the time to embrace it.