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3 Employee Onboarding Mistakes to Avoid

The Art of Onboarding 

We’ll let you in on a secret: the key to retaining talent and reducing turnover is developing a kick-a$$ employee onboarding program that knocks your new hires’ socks off! 

But mastering the art of onboarding is no easy feat. It requires strategic planning, preparation, time, and energy to develop an effective and engaging onboarding program! 

In this blog post, we’ll cover 3 common onboarding mistakes to avoid. But before we dive in, here’s a brief run-down on onboarding basics to ensure you’re set up for success. 

Onboarding Overview 101: What is it and why is it so important? 

So, what is employee onboarding? To put it simply, it’s the process of getting a new employee set up to do their job successfully. It helps integrate them into your organization and familiarizes them with your processes, vision, and goals. 

But we think it goes deeper than the definition. Onboarding is also the most crucial step in creating a sense of belonging and cultivating loyalty to a new company. It can really make or break a new employee’s experience with your company. That’s why you want to nail it from the get-go! 

A well-structured and meaningful onboarding process has countless benefits for a new employee’s experience at your company. An effective onboarding program: 

  1. Engages new hires from Day 1 
  2. Improves retention of new employees 
  3. Enhances productivity and quality of work 
  4. Elevates a sense of belonging in the employee 
  5. Decreases the waste of valuable resources (time and money!) 
  6. Increases the rate at which new hires start contributing 
3 Mistakes to Avoid in the Employee Onboarding Process 

We all make mistakes, and HR is no exception. Onboarding an employee inefficiently or ineffectively can lead to higher turnover, performance issues, diminished morale, and more. Here are 3 common mistakes to avoid: 

1. Leaving the new hire to fend for themself with minimal training and check-ins. 

Major red flag. No one likes being left in the dark! A new employee’s immediate team should be there to support them during the onboarding process – and beyond! Ease the onboarding process by ensuring your existing team members have carved time into their workloads for supporting onboarding activities. Regular check-ins with their supervisor are great to ensure alignment on goals and so the new employee understands what is expected of them. Your onboarding program should also include ample training on a wide variety of topics related to your new employee’s role, your company culture and processes, administrative information, and more. Your new employee will be so appreciative of your support! 

2. Mis-managing expectations about the role or the company culture. 

You should be clear about expectations from the start of the hiring process – long before day one on the job! When a new employee accepts your job offer, they should have an accurate understanding of your organization’s expectations of them so that there aren’t any surprises when they start. It’s also important to transparently portray your company’s culture throughout the hiring process so that new employees can decide if you’re the right fit for them (and vice versa!). If your company culture is something other than you’ve let on, it’s a recipe for lost trust and increased turnover. 

3. Treating onboarding as a one-time orientation, rather than an ongoing initiative. 

There’s a big difference between orientation and onboarding – one that is often overlooked. While orientation is a part of the onboarding process, onboarding is the ongoing process of integrating an employee into an organization and its culture over time. One of the biggest mistakes employers can make during the onboarding process is treating it as a one-day-thing that only covers administrative information. Instead, onboarding should be a structured process that involves regular check-ins, lunch and learns, coffee chats with the team, company events, and more! 


Feeling stuck? 

We can help! Our team is here to support you every step of the way. Get in touch with our team today and we’ll help you build a stellar employee onboarding program that will truly “WOW” every new hire! 

Pro tip: check out our Onboarding Program Guide for more information + a checklist to get you started! (It’s free!)