First impressions are everything. And most new employees will have decided whether they feel at home in a new role within the first 3 weeks (psycruit). Yet, the impact of these first crucial days, weeks and months on employee satisfaction and performance is often underestimated. In fact, it has been estimated that only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organisation does a great job of onboarding new staff.
Research by Glassdoor reveals that a great onboarding programme can increase staff retention rates by up to 82%. This is why it is so important for companies and organisations to take the onboarding process seriously, and provide a positive experience to new employees.
Often when an onboarding programme is lacking, it comes down to time constraints faced by management. Bosses are busy people, but this doesn’t need to impact the onboarding experience of new employees.
A workplace mentoring or coaching programme can provides a second figure of support during those all-important early days, and will also go some way toward showing new staff that their managers are taking active steps to ensure that they settle into the new environment, and are not left in the dark.
Mentoring and coaching programmes require an equal investment of time and attention from both sides. Helping another person reach their full potential in a new role is a process that takes time, and when management are unable to dedicate that time, allowing new employees access to a mentor is a great alternative.
Organisations often don’t have the time or resource to effectively fill all the skills gaps faced by their employees, and this can have a massive impact on job performance across the board. Lack of practical training can also leave new starters feeling overwhelmed and unsupported.
Having a workplace mentor or coach sit with employees during the onboarding process, allows them opportunities to tap into industry specific experience and refine their hard skills and practical knowledge.
Workplace mentoring and coaching programmes can be geared toward offering workshops that focus on a specific software, program or skill, if that would be of particular benefit to new employees during the onboarding process.
Of course, any manager or supervisor should be telling their new hires that there are NO stupid questions. But often, this won’t stop a new employee from holding back at the risk of sounding foolish.
During the first few days, weeks, even months of starting a new role, new employees are flooded with information, and often it’s the small things that can go unexplained. During this potentially overwhelming time, it can be difficult for a new starter to ask their manager to dot all the ‘I’s and cross all the ‘T’s without feeling like they are asking ‘too many’ questions.
Having a workplace mentor or coach as part of the onboarding process breaks down these barriers and helps build the confidence of new starters, particularly for junior staff who may be entirely new to the office culture and the world of work.
Turning working relationships into trusted support systems doesn’t happen overnight, and raising conversations or concerns outside of the usual workflow can feel daunting. This is particularly true for new employees who are still getting to know the ropes, and sussing out their colleagues.
Introducing a mentor or coach as a central part of the onboarding experience provides an unbiased person to talk to about any issues that would otherwise feel difficult to broach. With a coach or mentor, new employees have the comfort of knowing that any issues they raise will be received objectively and remain confidential.
A workplace mentor or coach can also offer honest feedback on an employee’s work, giving them the confidence to communicate their ideas openly with colleagues. A mentor or coach is a resource that is there purely to help, not to delegate or appraise.
When starting out in a completely new environment, this extra support can make a huge difference to employee satisfaction, encouraging the fresh talent to put their best foot forward from day one.