Onboarding journey and welcome culture: How to prevent employee loss immediately after joining

If employers make mistakes in onboarding, new employees are quickly gone.
If employers make mistakes in onboarding, new employees are quickly gone.
Photo: YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV – shutterstock.com

The economy is booming. A huge employer attractiveness competition is the result. High potentials usually have several offers up their sleeve. You can choose who you want to get to know. A good welcome culture can make all the difference. Word spreads quickly about how an employee feels in the first few days, also known as the onboarding experience.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found out: 15 percent of all new employees are so horrified on the first day of their work that they experience that they want to leave immediately. The best talents, in particular, then put this into practice quickly. A huge loss of know-how, time and money for the companies concerned. The recruiting process starts all over again.

To prevent this from happening in the first place: deal intensively with each individual interaction point of an onboarding journey, i.e. with everything that happens at the beginning of a new employment relationship. The goal is to get the joint start off smoothly and also to make the introduction to the job and the team as appealing as possible so that the new employee not only takes up his job but also likes to stay with the company.

Let’s look at a specific example. The young author Alex T. Steffen, born in 1990, has his say: My university friend Jens recently accepted a job offer at a well-known management consultancy in the field of “digital”. At the same time, Anna, a good acquaintance, accepted a job offer on Facebook. Both moved from Vienna to Berlin for their new employer.

Jens’ supervisor reported once via email four weeks before starting work. The main content of the mail was the recommendation of two books as preparatory reading. The consulting firm helped Jens Not when looking for an apartment. He also received no financial support for the move. The stress associated with moving to another country can be quite substantial. So it would be in your own interest to help the newcomer.

Anna was offered assistance in finding accommodation by Facebook, and the entire transportation of her possessions was paid for. The result: Anna doesn’t have to deal with these inconveniences in the weeks leading up to the job. Instead, she can start the new job balanced and well prepared.

But the really impressive thing is the culture in Anna’s new team. In the weeks leading up to work, she received numerous personal welcome messages. The future colleagues expressed their joy and offered support when Anna arrived in her new home. Anna’s anticipation was correspondingly high, a guarantee of good work quality right from the start.

Prototypical onboarding journeys for different professional groups or employment situations can be developed very well in one-day workshops. Colleagues who have only recently been hired should definitely be able to participate. Trainees are also ideal. You have more or less got to know every area of ​​a company. And they are not yet blocked by area blinkers and well-established processes.

It is best to start with a listing of events that certainly cannot happen in a good onboarding process. Then a prototypical onboarding journey is developed. This is visualized like an itinerary. It chronologically shows the individual phases and interaction points, also called touchpoints. Above all, it also shows what a new employee experiences and how he feels: disappointed, okay or enthusiastic.

When documenting an onboarding journey, as with a collage, painting and gluing are also used. Selected stories, exemplary opinions, references to employer rating portals and actual events are pinned on. Disappointment and enthusiasm factors are listed. Dont’s and dos are named. Important entry and exit points are highlighted.

A priority list of the touchpoints to be processed is then created. After the unconditional recording of the current situation, a desired or necessary target situation is defined and an action plan is developed for this. This will be implemented quickly in the targeted timelines. The result is then checked and documented using suitable measurement parameters.

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