What Are the Different Phases of Onboarding?
Onboarding employees should involve more than just doing an orientation. Onboarding is a chance for new hires to connect to their workplace, develop confidence in their role, and see what the future holds if they stay with the company. Creating a good onboarding process doesn’t just make your staff acclimate quicker, it also ensures they’ll stick around longer—something that has only become harder since the Great Resignation began.
Many businesses know the struggle of retention, and the sad truth is that it’s probably going to get worse. Even amidst the high turnover rates of 2021, Gartner suggested that organizations should plan for a year-to-year turnover rate that’s up to 75% higher than they’re already experiencing. How can companies combat this? Believe it or not, onboarding has a strong connection to employee retention. A study by Gallup found that employees who had a great onboarding experience were three times more likely to say they had the “best possible job;” that same study also found that almost 90% of employees did not have a good onboarding experience, most of which didn’t share that “best possible job” feeling.
So, what can companies do to improve their onboarding process, and by extension their retention? Successfully onboarding new hires involves a few key processes, each with their own distinct goals. Learn what goes into an effective onboarding program, and how communication platforms like Yourco make your onboarding phase smoother for all types of employees, including those who work outside of an office. To do this, we’ll use a couple sets of guidelines for building a onboarding process checklist.
What Are the 3 Stages of Onboarding?
Regardless of industry, there are three basic stages of onboarding:
Each stage focuses on very different parts of bringing a new hire into the workplace, but all of them require the same critical piece: clear, frequent communication. Let’s look at each stage individually.
Phase 1: Administrative
The first part of bringing on a new hire is adding them to the organization, both from a legal and operational perspective. Administrative onboarding includes essential paperwork such as:
- Employee contracts
- Tax forms
- Background checks
The Administrative phase also includes entering the employee into the company database. Every company’s database will look different, but this should also be the point where new workers are added to all communication channels they’ll need for their job. For many desk employees, this includes a company email, but for non-desk employees, they’ll need a different means of staying in touch with their employer. Communication software like Yourco operates through SMS text messaging, which means that as long as the worker has a cell phone, they can receive messages from their employer—no email address required.
Phase 2: Orientation
This phase of onboarding familiarizes new staff with their work environment, coworkers, and day-to-day processes. The goal of orientation is to ensure workers feel comfortable, welcome, and confident where they work, making it easier to become productive—and happier. Here, new employees will tour the workplace, set up their personal work environment, and do other tasks that relate directly to their job.
During orientation, employers must stay in touch to answer questions, share important information, or collect feedback about how the orientation process is going. With Yourco, each of these becomes much easier. Through text messaging, employers can:
- Send updates
- Let employees send questions
- Submit a post-orientation survey
Phase 3: Enablement
This third and final phase is where most employers tend to drop the ball. While the Administrative phase is required by law and the Orientation phase is commonly regarded as important, enabling employees often falls to the wayside. But ironically, employee enablement is maybe the most important part of making sure staff are properly onboarded. Thankfully, creating a good enablement phase only takes adding a few processes.
What does an “enabled” employee look like, exactly? For enablement to occur, new hires must…
- Feel confident in performing their role
- Have a support system in their work environment
- Know (and align with) their employer’s values
To foster these goals, the enablement phase should include steps such as training, creating a long-term employee plan, and assigning mentors or peer-to-peer contacts. Even if a new hire has experience in jobs similar to their current position, it’s important that they learn how things work in each organization specifically. They also need to know who to ask when they have questions. Tools like Yourco help employee mentors to stay in touch with new hires, send out reminders for employee goals, and much more.
What Are the 5 Most Important Elements of Successful Onboarding?
As you evaluate your onboarding process, consider using the “5 C’s of Onboarding” to assess your program. These five principles are commonly regarded as the gold standard for onboarding success, and were developed to help employers better connect with their employees during those critical first days. Once a new worker completes the three stages of onboarding (Administrative, Orientation, and Enablement), they should have these 5 C’s.
What are the 5 C’s of Onboarding? They are as follows:
- Compliance | Finishing all necessary paperwork, legal requirements, and administrative tasks
- Clarification | Setting clear expectations of the new hire’s role and who to contact with questions
- Confidence | Instilling a sense of trust, freedom, and personal responsibility for their new job
- Connection | Developing a variety of healthy, strong relationships within the workplace
- Culture | Feeling a strong alignment with company values—and contribution to those values
Additionally, there is a sixth “C of Onboarding” as of 2022: Checkback. This component is all about following up with the employee to make sure things are going well and that they are truly connected to their role in a meaningful way.
Ultimately, there are opportunities to develop each of the 6 C’s in every onboarding phase, but communication will always be essential. Finding tools like Yourco to supplement workplace communication makes it much easier to fully bring employees together in the workplace.
Boost Your Onboarding Program With Yourco
Whether your staff is in the office, on the floor, or out in the field, they should feel no less connected to their job. And nothing’s worse for retention than making your employees feel like an afterthought, especially if they don’t work at a desk, have third-shift hours, or are constantly on the move. That’s why we developed Yourco: a two-way communication platform that helps not only with onboarding, but with employee communication as a whole. Share updates before shifts, send texts to employees on their birthdays, and automate reminders for specific employees, all from the same platform.
Check out our demo to see firsthand what Yourco can do for your company. Your staff will thank you!