Onboarding programs are extremely import to making new hires quickly productive, but not enough attention is being paid to them in many firms, according to a survey of 3,600 IT professionals by www.TEKsystems.com.
Importance of Onboarding Programs
According to TEKsystems’ research, onboarding programs are not just important; they are extremely important.
The majority of IT leaders say onboarding programs are extremely important to establishing a new hire’s ability to be productive/add value (62%) and a new hire’s level of cohesion within their team (53%), while 46% indicate they are extremely important to finding out a new hire’s ability to be successful with the company long term.
Equally as convicted, nearly half of IT professionals believe onboarding is extremely important in determining one’s ability to be productive/add value (49%), ability to work well with the team (45%) and ability to be successful with the company long term (44%).
Forging a first impression
A major reason onboarding programs are so important is that they forge a “first impression” between the new hire and the employer that establishes a foundation for the future.
IT professionals say the onboarding program helps them to figure out if the job is what they thought it would be, if they see themselves in the organization long term, if they can do the job successfully and if the company aligns to their values.
IT leaders use onboarding programs to determine if a new hire will live up to their resume and experience, whether or not they are a cultural fit and if they have what it takes to be successful at the company.
“Given the questions onboarding programs help answer, it is not surprising to see both IT leaders and IT professionals in strong agreement about the role onboarding plays in building a successful employee/employer relationship,” says TEKsystems Director, Rachel Russell.
“Companies that build their onboarding programs strategically can help their new hires understand expectations clearly, reach productivity faster and feel more connected to the organization – all keys to long-term employee engagement and retention.”
Lack of Attention to Onboarding
Despite IT leaders’ and IT professionals’ agreement on the extreme importance of onboarding programs, most say their onboarding programs are not a top priority nor do they get the attention they deserve. Fifty-seven percent of IT professionals say they have had a formal and strategic onboarding plan less than 20% of the time. Further, just 18% of IT professionals say sufficient attention is given to developing a strong onboarding program – 36% say little to no significance is put on developing a strong onboarding program.
Most firms not giving it enough thought
IT leaders corroborate IT professionals’ experiences. Most IT leaders (60%) say that only some significance is put on developing a strong onboarding program. When asked if they agree that most companies invest adequate thought into developing a strong onboarding program, just 37% of IT leaders agreed, while 44% disagreed.
“Unfortunately, organizations can become so focused on tasks, they forget that people – their most critical resources – need to be prioritized and taken care of if their tasks are to be accomplished successfully. It’s clear that not enough attention is placed on developing comprehensive, strategic onboarding programs in most organizations. For an onboarding program to achieve its potential and offer return to an organization’s investment in a new hire, organizational commitment is required,” said Russell.
“When employers do not put the appropriate time and effort into designing and implementing onboarding, time, money and resources go to waste.”
Effectiveness of Onboarding
What is the result of onboarding programs that do not get the attention they deserve? They become inefficient and ineffective. In fact, only 12% and 13% of IT leaders and IT professionals, respectively, rate their onboarding programs as extremely effective.
“There are several outcomes of ineffective onboarding programs that definitely hurt an organization’s ability to achieve its business objectives. The most drastic is when new hires lose faith in the organization or themselves, and they quit. Turnover is bad enough just in general terms due to its cost and impact on morale and productivity. However, the pain is compounded when organizations lose what may have been a great hire simply because the onboarding experience failed,” states Russell.
“We want to ensure our clients don’t waste money and lose out on great people because the time and effort was not put in upfront to build a program that engages new hires, immerses them in their role, helps build relationships with the team and focuses on retaining them long term.”
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