Finding great talent takes extraordinary energy and onboarding new hires requires an extensive amount of upfront investment in getting them up to speed, ensuring that they have a full grasp of the responsibilities that are associated with their new role. It was found that 49% of new employees who don’t receive a formal or structured onboarding experience miss their first performance milestones.  This has significant implications for both employees and employers.
Structured onboarding can be defined as a process used by organisations to improve employee productivity and efficiency in the early weeks and months of the employee lifecycle. This process provides guidance and assistance for new hires, so they don’t feel overwhelmed or left behind during the first days of their job. In this article we will demonstrate that when structured onboarding is done right, it has an undeniably positive impact on efficiency and productivity of new employees.
Pre-boarding Sets Expectations
Structured onboarding includes the concept of pre-boarding. This offers employers the opportunity to outline expectations, outline compliance requirements, communicate and send important information to a new employee before they set foot on the premises.
Imagine a new employee trying to locate a your office or facilities on their first day. They are also likely to spend the first week learning who their team members and immediate superiors are, what the exact responsibilities of their role entail and who they should speak to in case of an issue.
With structured onboarding, you can provide such information and clarity beforehand. A great onboarding experience bolstered by smart technology can, for instance, provide an intuitive map for a new hire so they can find their way around without trouble. It also gives them opportunities to connect and ask questions to HR coordinators before arriving in the office.
Pre-boarding captures the enthusiasm of signing an offer letter and keeps that momentum going, allowing for a new hire to be confident and prepared before their first day. It reduces the anxiety and time spent to ‘learn the ropes’, allowing your employees to reach maximum productivity, faster.
Use the Onboarding Phase for Training
Technology-driven onboarding solutions enable organisations to offer microlearning modules and other short training programs that can educate new hires about their responsibilities, how to handle company systems as well as which company policies and regulations they need to abide by.
With onboarding and engagement apps like Qualee, training is no longer limited to just being conducted on-site. Available on iOS and Android, the Qualee App is designed to be mobile-first and allows an engagement experience only achievable through a native app. The advantage of delivering training content on a mobile device, is that learning and development can be done from virtually any location. It means that new hires can learn from the moment they have accepted an offer, employees can focus on development while commuting, and remote teams can continue to be educated while working from home.
Starting training early in the employee lifecycle has two benefits. The first is that it allows for staff to feel capable in performing their job, leading to higher retention rates. An Indeed survey found that 96% of employee respondents said they're more likely to stay at a company when they feel confident.
Secondly, that same survey found that nearly all respondents (98%) said they perform better when they feel confident . This demonstrates that integrating training in the onboarding phase increases productivity.
Increase Commitment, Motivation and Retention
Today's workforce is dominated by millennials, who are more than willing to switch companies or look for alternative opportunities if they feel there isn’t a good cultural fit with an organisation.
Studies show that millennials typically “job-hop” every three years, which is less than a third compared to the average tenure of baby boomers who stay with their employer over ten years . The millennial generation is also known to have more expectations when it comes to company culture. Therefore, the first impression is crucial as it has the power to influence the motivation and commitment of an employee over the long-term.
With structured onboarding, you have the chance to set the tone for the rest of an employee’s tenure at your company. Offering a guided and interactive experience for new employees instils a sense of belonging, leading to increased commitment and motivation across the board. It also benefits your organisation from an employee retention perspective. Research conducted by Glassdoor shows that companies with strong, structured onboarding processes boost new hire retention by up to 82%! 
Employees that are genuinely motivated and feel like an organisation fully appreciates their talents, are more likely to work harder, stay longer, and give their job everything they've got. If you want to boost productivity, you need happy, motivated staff – the best way to guarantee that from day one is to implement a structured onboarding experience.
Company Culture Geared Towards Efficiency
Onboarding is traditionally a process with many compliance requirements, typically accompanied by an extensive amount of paperwork. Organisations can significantly improve their efficiency and productivity by going paperless. This can be enabled by using digital forms and electronic signatures, which provide the enhanced security and privacy necessary not just to meet legal standards, but actually enhance compliance and legal durability.
Qualee has partnered with PandaDoc to introduce Forms Management & eSignatures. These features ensure all necessary documentation can be completed on an employee’s mobile device and submitted on time, while the encrypted fingertip signing ensures form compliance and avoids manual effort.
Digital forms completion and eSignatures can help new hires completed onboarding faster, and also give the sense that your company culture is forward thinking and geared towards efficiency.
In conclusion, structured onboarding provides undeniable improvements to employee performance, productivity and efficiency. If you want your company to attract and retain the best workforce possible, the implementation of structured onboarding experiences is a must!
Qualee offers a cloud-based employee onboarding and engagement platform, designed to be informative and interactive. We make it simple for companies to create exciting employee experiences that will empower your talent to be their very best.
Try the FREE Starter Plan today and experience how our solution can help transform your onboarding process, leading to increased efficiency as well as productive employees from the moment they get started.