· News

Employees unsupported when starting new roles

Two-fifths (40%) of employees do not receive onboarding support when starting a new job, according to research

Onboarding software startup Talmundo found a significant gap in the perceptions between HR and employees regarding onboarding effectiveness. While all of the HR professionals surveyed thought that onboarding was important, 34% of workers said they had not witnessed an onboarding programme at their organisation.

A rushed onboarding process was also highlighted as an issue. Fifty-two per cent of employees stated that onboarding processes didn't continue beyond the first month on the job, despite the fact that 48% of HR professionals understand the importance of continuing onboarding for at least the first three months in a new company.

The research suggested that onboarding processes often fail to account for specific roles. Almost all (90%) organisations were found to approach onboarding as a one-size-fits-all solution, hoping to cater to employees of all levels of seniority with the same programme.

Some staff stated that basic information had not been communicated when they started. Clear job duties and expectations, sufficient time for training, feedback and follow up, and an overview of company structure were raised as areas not covered.

However, CEO of Talmundo Stijn De Groef, said that organisations are making progress in treating onboarding as a priority. “The fact that HR recognises this is an issue is very encouraging. If we conducted this [research] five or six years ago that wouldn’t have been the case. There seemed to be little understanding [then] of the importance of onboarding and how it contributes to an employee’s overall experience,” he told HR magazine.

He added that there are multiple reasons behind discrepancies between HR’s recognition of the importance of onboarding and employees’ experiences.

“Onboarding is a relatively new topic. It goes beyond compliance. It’s about making sure there is the right IT and technology, having access to mentors and, most importantly, training line managers to make sure they can walk the talk to deliver onboarding programmes that are welcoming and engaging,” he said.

De Groef added that communicating company culture in the early stages of a job is not as important as often assumed.

“HR tends to be overly concerned with company culture, but it’s far more important to get the basics right. Often people told us that they were not as concerned with learning about company culture as they were with finding out about the practicalities of their role.

“Onboarding is like a pyramid; you need to start with the basic information and make sure that people just feel welcome – an understanding of culture will come from that.”