Why a Stellar Onboarding Experience is Key to Enhancing Employee Satisfaction

15 Feb ‘23
3 min
Work performance
Editorial Board OpenUp
Gecontroleerd door dietician Judith Klenter
A good onboarding process ensures a smooth start for new employees. It creates a feeling of security and reduces the likelihood of employees resigning. There’s benefits for your organisation too:, with a smooth onboarding process, you set yourself apart as an employer. Onboarding a new team member well can make all the difference. Despite this, some organisations still underestimate its importance. Which is a shame. Now is the time for change!


Why is a good onboarding process so important for your organisation and new employees?


1. It creates a secure environment for new employees



Whether someone is starting their first job, fresh out of university, or making the shift from one organisation to another, starting a new job is often nerve-wracking. A smooth onboarding process takes some of the pressure off here.


This is growing in importance, because  over 70 percent of young people state that they’ve experienced “shift shock” after switching jobs: the new company or role didn’t seem as idyllic as they’d imagined.


People want to join company cultures where they feel supported, respected, heard and competent. If someone experiences shift shock from the first moment on, you might see this reflected in their performance. People who feel good about themselves perform better. And that all starts with a great onboarding experience..


2. It prevents mental health challenges



Prevention is better (and easier) than cure. This means it’s far better to  take a holistic approach to employee mental health, which starts  as early as the onboarding process.


A crucial part of this is initiating conversations about mental health. By introducing this topic on day one, you’re making it clear to your new employees that it’s accepted  and normal to talk openly about their mental health challenges and concerns. This makes it more likely that people will seek help when they’re stressed, their workload is heavy or when they’re lacking motivation or trying to cope with other mental health challenges.


Remember to let  employees know about any tools available, such as a company counsellor or consultations with psychologists from OpenUp. You can also make it known that your own door is always open.


3. It makes things easier for existing employees



If your organisation doesn’t have a successful onboarding process in place, then other people in the organisation will have to pick up the slack and onboard new starters themselves. . Perhaps without even realising it, you’ve placed a considerable burden on your existing employees; shoulders.


f . They’ve likely got enough on their plate without having to plan the onboarding of new employees. A study found that 20% of employees experience increased amounts of  stress several times a week. In this same group, 65% reported loss of sleep and 47% said they struggle with anxiety. The result of this is poor concentration, less productivity and more people calling in sick.


This leads to a loss of 35.6 productive workdays per employee per year. Make things easier for your existing employees and take the onboarding process off their hands.

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4. It creates stronger bonds between colleagues



Friendship and solid bonds between colleagues are some of the most important prerequisites for a positive corporate culture. This means that a good onboarding process doesn’t just focus on the content of the job, it also emphasises the importance of strong relationships between colleagues.


Schedule plenty of coffee meetings for the new employee  to get to know their  new colleagues, both within their team and with other teams, as well as at all levels of the organisation.


You could also  consider a mentorship programme, where new colleagues are paired with experienced colleagues. Another option is a  buddy programme, where a new employee is paired with an existing employee who is there to guide them through their first couple of months. 


With their mentor or buddy, employees can discuss any work-related challenges they encounter in a secure environment.



5. It makes people aware of the resources available



Everyone struggles with mental health challenges, whether they’re big or small. To prevent something small growing into something large (and this potentially causing the person to call in sick or resign), you want everyone to know who they can talk to  about these things and where they can get support.


If you offer access to a wellbeing platform like OpenUp, then you need to explain clearly how it works. Explain that anyone in the business can get in contact with a qualified psychologist at any time without going through a manager or the HR team. And remind them that whatever they discuss during a consultation will never be fed back to the organisation.


At OpenUp, we’ll also help you to launch the platform and then spread the message internally, so you can be sure your employees know what support is there for them, when they need it. 



6. It (indirectly) helps you save on recruitment costs



The best ambassadors for your business are your employees. Happy employees will sing your praises in their social circles (and on Glassdoor), telling everyone how great their work environment is. And that makes it easier to attract new talent.


This means that their first impression of their new workplace is important. People are far more likely to ask their friends “How was your first week at work?” than “How was your 73rd week at work?”. A good first impression is  great advertising.


What’s more, there’s less chance of people leaving the organisation if they’ve had a good start. And this, in turn, helps you to save on the high costs of re-recruiting.


7. It increases motivation


As part of  your onboarding process, it’s important to explain what the organisation expects of the new employee (and vice versa) and why that’s important.


You’ll also need to explain what the organisation’s mission, values and motivations are, and you’ll want to make sure that the new employee feels part of this. Feeling that they are contributing to a larger (and more important) goal increases employee commitment  and productivity.


But how do you do all of this virtually?


Now that remote and hybrid working have become  normal, you’ll find that onboarding will often take place online.. This creates a number of challenges:


  1. It’s difficult for employees to ask questions (during the process)
  2. It’s harder to check that all the information and knowledge is being conveyed correctly
  3. New employees don’t bond with each other as quickly
  4. Absorbing information through a screen can eventually lead to exhaustion and overwhelm It’s trickier to incorporate relaxing activities in between
  5. It’s more difficult to convey emotions and body language through a screen, which increases the chances of feeling misunderstood and misinterpreted


“Work from home employment is somewhat like a long-distance relationship. If there is no true care and affection, and deeper reason to be resilient, it will fall apart.”

– Kunal Shah, founder of CRED


A successful virtual onboarding process


Even if an employee is a remote worker, we’d still recommend a physical meeting before the onboarding begins.  If that’s not possible, use the following tips: 


  1. Prepare employees well. Send out a schedule in advance with a brief overview of what will be covered. This way, people can start thinking of any questions.
  2. Test out your technical equipment in advance and ask the participants to do the same. This way you won’t have to fiddle around with cameras and microphones that aren’t working properly during the session, or presentations that won’t open.
  3. Send out a physical welcome package full of useful and fun things. This could include a notebook, a pen, tasty (healthy) snacks to eat throughout the day and even useful documents and supplies for games that might take place during the onboarding process
  4. Keep asking for feedback so that you can adjust the process and the finer details. 


A strong and smooth onboarding process will make sure that your new employee feels welcomed, valued and comfortable, so that they can hit the ground running, full of confidence and motivation.


OpenUp knows all about how to create a safe environment and keep employees motivated and engaged. 👉🏼Discover what we can do for your organisation.


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