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5 most common mistakes that companies make during their Onboarding Process

We all know how important first impressions are, but more so for a company. How new employees perceive a company  can have long-lasting effects on his or her well-being and level of motivation but, ultimately on his or her performance. 90% of new employees decide to stay with an organization within the first 6 months. By having an effective onboarding program that welcomes, informs, and connects the employee with their team and the organization is very important.

As Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal of Interchange Group, a mobile application consulting firm in Los Angeles, stated: “Onboarding is the magic moment when new employees decide to stay engaged or become disengaged”. Although this sounds logical and familiar, research still points out that many companies still make important errors in their onboarding process. In order for new employees to thrive and succeed , we have listed below the 5 most common mistakes that you need to avoid during the Onboarding Process:


1. Lack of Organization

The main mistake that companies make in their onboarding process is not implement a formal strategy for their onboarding process. More than 1/5 of companies have no formal onboarding program. So, when it is time to welcome new employees, everything is very disorganized with no formal schedule and no planning, inducing stress not only on the managers and HR department but, more importantly on the new employees. It isn’t very surprising that only around 50% of companies have a partially successful onboarding process.


2. Lack of communication

Another weak area that plaugues businesses, is the failure to establish a strong line of communication between the company and its new employees. Many companies neglect to collect feedback throughout the onboarding process which, does not give them the chance to correct their mistakes. In fact, a study from Officevibe showed that feedback is a powerful tool as companies which implement regular feedback have, on average, a 14.9% lower turnover rate than businesses which don’t.


3. Lack of digital intake proces

No one likes paperwork. However, many companies continue offering it as a welcome present on the first day of arrival of their new employees. Consequently, this results in the first day consisting of solely filling in paperwork without doing anything else. But clearly, this is not the best way to give a newcomer a good first impression, which as mentioned above is extremely important to ensure their well-being and productivity.


4. Lack of pre-boarding process

Many companies still wait until the very first day to give the necessary company information to their new employees. However, not engaging a new hire before his arrival is a big mistake. For the new employee to feel part of the company and engaged from day one he or she needs to understand the culture and value of the organization as well as basic information about his co-workers and the dynamic of the team he is joining.  This pre-onboarding phase is an important step is often forgotten by companies but is crucial to ensure a smooth integration of newcomers.


5. Lack of shared responsibilities

Onboarding is not a process restricted solely to the Human Resources department. There is no shared responsibility in the onboarding of a newcomer between HR reps and the managers. A study from Pepperdine University demonstrates, the most effective onboarding programs are those that are centralized, balanced with customization by the hiring manager and based on the function and role of their new hires. Otherwise, this may result in an HR-focused onboarding process with unclear goals and expectations for the new employee resulting in the newcomer not clearly understanding what is expected from management before and during the first weeks of onboarding.


Now you have an understanding of the common Onboarding mistakes, you canstrive to not repeat them.

Also, look out for our upcoming blog on 4 ways in which you can make onboarding effective!

> If you would like to improve your organization’s onboarding program, you can reach us here.

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