Typically, an onboarding process takes at least three months. Then again, organizations can extend the onboarding throughout the first year of the employee to improve employee retention.

When you create an effective onboarding program with your employee onboarding software that lasts throughout the new hire’s first year of employment, you can help them feel more at ease as well as become more productive at work.

They will also know where to go or who to approach each time they have a question. They will also be able to form stronger professional relationships with colleagues and adapt better to the culture within your organization.

A lot of Human Resource professionals agree that new employees only tend to feel completely “at home” once they reach six months in the organization. This is why it is recommended to have a long onboarding process.

What are the benefits of a long employee onboarding?

For starters, there would be lower turnover and higher retention rates for the employees. As you know, effective onboarding processes can improve the employee retention rate by 82%.

Thus, you are nearly two times as likely to keep the new hire in your organization if they are given a thorough onboarding program. Some organizations actually have serious turnover problems due to short or poor onboarding programs.

In addition, a long onboarding process can result in a better and more productive team. When the onboarding is stretched throughout the first year of the employees, their productivity can increase by 70%. Thus, they can produce more work at a faster pace.

Moreover, this can have a knock-on impact on the other employees. After all, the new hire has a high engagement level and it is much easier to exchange ideas if everybody is confident and productive.

A long onboarding will also allow you to teach technical and soft skills to the newly hired employees. A lot of roles actually require a combination of these two sets of skills.

Technical skills such as programming, coding, engineering, data entry, and information technology can go hand in hand with soft skills such as creative thinking, problem-solving, conflict resolution, teamwork, and time management.

With a good onboarding process, the new employees can learn the skills necessary for their roles. In essence, the longer the onboarding program is, the more time these new employees will have to learn the skills they need for their roles. As a result, they can become much better assets to the organization.

As the newly hired employees familiarize themselves with all the managers, co-workers, touch points, and systems in their roles and the organization, they become more comfortable and happier. Happy employees are efficient employees.

Through a long onboarding, the ambiance of the workplace can improve. The new employees will feel contented as they are not in a rush to learn everything too quickly.

Furthermore, a long onboarding process can result in collaborative learning, which in turn becomes a part of the employees’ experience.

While the new hire paperwork and the employee handbook are important, they can only go so far. You have to realize that they can never replace the actual learning and experience that employees can have in the workplace.

Employees do not only learn from manuals, books, instructional videos, and other teaching materials. They also learn from their colleagues. In fact, statistics show that 90% of the skills of employees are learned from the other members of their team.

This is what is referred to as collaborative culture. Employees need a combination of both informal and formal training. They can get this from a longer onboarding program.

What Do Employees Expect from Onboarding?

The onboarding process is where an organization sets the stage to either break or meet the expectations of a new hire right from the beginning. It is important for organizations t ask themselves what onboarding really means for them.

Make sure that your organization also focuses on the expectations of the newly hired employees. More often than not, new hires have the following expectations:

  1. They expect to know how an employee should do his/her job. 
  2. They expect to know how an employee gets paid. 
  3. They expect to know when the benefits of employment start to kick in. 

Employee onboarding is actually a lot about setting expectations. If your organization fails to do this, both your managers and employees can end up being disappointed and disengaged.

This may ripple throughout the entire organization as well as have a huge impact on the culture of your workplace. Likewise, it can erode the positive work environment that you have already cultivated.