Overcoming Onboarding Obstacles
Wisetail | 3 min read
The onboarding experience is critical to new employee success. Poor onboarding practices leave new hires with lower levels of engagement, a lack of confidence in their new roles, and an increased risk of leaving within their first few months on the job. But a solid onboarding strategy can overcome every onboarding obstacle for a positive employee experience from the start.
A positive onboarding experience
Onboarding is your company’s first opportunity to set new hires up for success, so your program should be strategically designed as an experiential event. But developing and maintaining an onboarding experience involves overcoming a myriad of obstacles, especially during an era defined by disruption. With many companies moving toward remote and hybrid work models, onboarding needs continuous improvement to meet the challenges of the new working world.
Organizations often underestimate how long employees need to achieve proficiency in their new roles. While onboarding typically lasts 60 to 90 days, it may take new hires up to a year to reach their full potential. A structured onboarding strategy increases engagement, productivity, and ultimately, retention. A positive onboarding experience instills new hires with more confidence in their roles on a shorter timeline.
Onboarding isn’t just about training new hires to use technology or complete their work on time. It’s the time for HR to set clear goals about attendance, performance, training, and development on the job. Consider it the first step in a rare and remarkable employee experience, and you’ll be well on your way to overcoming any onboarding obstacles.
Dealing with potential obstacles before they become problems is the best approach to a sound onboarding strategy. Your goal is to help new hires gain the knowledge they need to understand your company and perform their jobs with competence and confidence.
If onboarding is a struggle, you may lose employees faster than you can hire them. Keep on the lookout for these common obstacles:
- Misleading job descriptions. Onboarding mistakes can occur long before you hire anyone. If job descriptions are incomplete or misleading, new hires are not as likely to be a good fit. Reassess your job listings to make sure the duties described are accurate and complete. It’s not unusual for positions to evolve over time, so be sure potential changes are also included in every job listing.
- Unclear expectations. Onboarding plans should include plenty of time to discuss goals and expectations for new employees. Keep things simple and straightforward in the beginning, and add more information as employees progress. Tracking platforms allow new hires and their team leaders to monitor individual and group goals as they move through the onboarding process, which aids everyone in a smooth, streamlined transition to a positive working experience.
- Too much, too fast. Providing new employees with all the necessary information is important, but overwhelming them with everything all at once sets them up for failure. Plan an onboarding timeline appropriate to position, team, company, and especially employee needs. An employee FAQ in your learning management system (LMS) is a quick reference guide for new hires working their way through your onboarding program.
- Learning differences. Every employee has their own learning style and preferences for absorbing new information. An agile, comprehensive onboarding program accounts for learning differences with a variety of presentation and reinforcement options. Make sure new employees have access to resources for learning in ways conducive to their success.
Onboarding problems solved
While every employee has different strengths and needs, it is possible to address most onboarding obstacles with forethought and intentional planning. Manual paper processes are tedious and require a lot of time for gathering and processing information by hand. Certain documents must be completed and centrally stored to ensure regulatory compliance. Every piece of paper — and every change of hands — creates a risk for error. Use your cloud-based LMS to track and organize employee documentation for easy accessibility.
Look for a platform that allows for consistent, centralized training for new and existing employees to use for reskilling, upskilling, and ongoing learning and development. An LMS provides secure, universal accessibility and inclusivity, making it an excellent choice for onboarding, training, and employee retention efforts. Choose a system that goes beyond L&D to track employee information and maintain compliance documentation. Cloud-based platforms with built-in curriculum support make choosing options and creating content simple for L&D teams.
A comprehensive LMS is an essential tool for overcoming onboarding obstacles and creating a positive employee experience from Day One. Read more about LMS solutions for success in Wisetail’s article Creating an Agile Organizational Learning Culture.