How to engage new employees from the moment they’ve accepted the offer

Businesses should start how they mean to go on with onboarding, says Adam Reynolds.

The search for the ideal candidate can be a long, tedious and an often costly process. However, when that applicant turns into successful, engaged and motivated employee, it’s quickly made worth the hassle. A straightforward notion to onboarding done right. But, more than a third of UK office workers admit to experiencing serious problems through the onboarding process.

Onboarding starts from the moment the job has been offered, so what could be causing a normally exciting opportunity to turn into an unhappy experience for new starters?

Whose job is it?

What’s evident from the research is that a lot of the first day problems were a result of poor preparation and organisation. With 36% admitting to not having the basic equipment ready for them and another respondent commenting that as a result of no desk or laptop they were forced to sit in the canteen for three weeks.

It’s evident a lack of communication between departments could be resulting in many poor first day experiences, leading to many new employees leaving in the first few days when they have no commitment to stay.

Having comprehensible goals and objectives to strive for enables both the employer and employee to reach their full potential. 

With a notice period normally in place to allow businesses the time to adequately prepare, it helps to have a structured process in place so each team member is fully informed on all the allocated tasks that need to be completed.

It may be paperwork is often misplaced or lost and so exploring the benefits of having a digital system to manage onboarding tasks such as correct pay and contract documentation, training and equipment checklists could be the solution.

Also, having an organised process that fits with the structure of the business, will prevent any nasty surprises and cover for any unscheduled absences that may cause a first day wobble.

Nearly seven in 10 UK office workers agreed a good onboarding process improved job performance. So, businesses need to make sure an onboardee’s first day is an engaging and smooth one. A good first day will allow the new starter to feel that immediately they are an integral part of the team as well as act as a reflection of how the organisation manages business as a whole.

Training is the key to engagement

You wouldn’t send a pilot out to fly a plane without extensive training and support, so why are businesses throwing new employees into the deep end without any guidance? The more thorough and informative the induction and training process, the quicker the employee can engage with the business’s goal and start to deliver results.

Collectively, 56% of new employees surveyed did not receive full training or have a sufficient induction plan. Each business operates differently and therefore it’s important from the onset to establish the main areas of the role, what they mean, and how the new onboardee can reach and exceed them.

Having comprehensible goals and objectives to strive for enables both the employer and employee to reach their full potential. 71% of UK office workers agreed that they would have settled into their new role much more quickly with a clear onboarding process to follow. Therefore, a training process could be the difference between a new starter taking a month to settle in rather than six.

Maintaining engagement

Once the new employee is fully settled and confident in their role, it’s then important to maintain their level of engagement. When a business shows commitment towards its workforce, it’s likely the employees will want to mirror that same commitment in their work performance.

Regular one-to-ones, objective setting and acknowledgement will motivate employees to strive and improve further, as well as keeping the employer informed on progress. Nurturing doesn’t end on the first day of employment, it should be an ongoing process to help refine skillsets and lead to promotions and future career success.

An engaging onboarding process doesn’t just make for a happier workforce, but it strengthens the company brand representing the organisation as an appealing career move for future applicants.

For more information on onboarding best practice and the global problems businesses are facing, download this report.


About the author

Adam Reynolds is CEO of webonboarding



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