At a time when companies are fighting tooth-and-nail to find and retain top talent, a failed onboarding process can be extremely costly.
About half of all outside senior hires fizzle out in their first 18 months, according to a report compiled by the Society for Human Resource Management, meaning that companies that don’t properly integrate new employees run the risk of losing all of the time and money they have spent on their wages, training, and benefits packages.
That’s why some experts recommend “preboarding,” a process through which new employees are educated on internal policies, company cultural, and their new responsibilities before they arrive at the office for their first day of work.
Here are four things you can have your new employees do before their start date to ensure a smooth transition:
1. Get a lay of the land.
One way to help your employees find stable ground on their first day is to give them an idea beforehand of not only who they will be reporting to, but who their team members and company leaders are.
Dane Hurtubise, CEO and cofounder of the HR software company Parklet, recommends that companies send new employees an organizational hierarchy chart that they can use to get a sense of who their teammates are before they run into them in the break room.
This is helpful because there’s a good chance people will have signed on to a job without meeting the coworkers they will interact with on a day-to-day basis.
“Oftentimes you’re only interviewing with hiring manager, recruiter, or someone on an adjacent team,” Hurtubise tells Business Insider.
2. Go over company policies and fill out administrative paperwork.
If you’re not careful, a new employee can spend their entire first day filling out forms and going over tedious things like your 401(k) plan.
By passing along some of these policies to your employee beforehand, you can ease their initial administrative hassle and allow them to focus on doing their job from day one.
Keith Kitani, CEO of the HR tech company GuideSpark, says he has increasingly seen his clients use the firm’s interactive software presentations to teach employees the ins and outs of their benefits plans prior to their start dates.
“One of the reasons that stuff is so important is because it really does lay the foundation for job training,” Parklet’s Hurtubise adds. “This way, all of the first-day type stuff is already taken care of.”
3. Use social media to start meshing with their coworkers.
It can be really helpful to come into your first day of work knowing you already have a friend or two at the company.
Linda Itskovitz, GuideSpark’s VP of marketing, suggests setting up a Facebook group for new employees that they can use to interact with each other and set up in-person social meetings.
Meanwhile, Parklet’s software allows companies to set up a searchable database of employee profiles that new hires can use to find other people in the company who share their interests or went to the same college as them.
Hurtubise says his clients’ new employees log into the system as early as three weeks before they start.
4. Watch a video to learn about your company culture.
It can be a bit disorienting learning the dos and don’ts of conducting yourself at a company that might have a different way of doing things from the place you’re leaving.
That’s why Kitani suggests sending your new hire a personalised video introduction from your CEO. This can give them an idea of what the company feels like and what its sense of humour is like, straight from the very top person at your organisation.
“Preboarding is your opportunity to really start to get employees excited about the company,” Kitani says. “Building in that cultural element is something people are really starting to think about.”
Want your business advice featured in Instant MBA? Submit your tips to [email protected] Be sure to include your name, your job title, and a photo of yourself in your email.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.