Seven onboarding trends you should know about

If you want to be a good employer, you have to prove it fast. Because more and more people are leaving their jobs in the first few months: According to a recent survey by provider Softgarden, 18% of more than 2,000 applicants have already left a new job in Germany within the first 100 days. Four years ago it was almost twelve percent. And 65% have thought about it. For the United States, the Society for Human Resources Management found that 15% were so shocked by the conditions at their workplace on the first day that they wanted to quit. And Stepstone writes that only half of new hires met their managers on their first day on the job. Good integration looks different.

Statistics show that companies with good integration can better achieve their goals and increase their profits. But even recruiters admit that the quality of their onboarding is poor. In a Hays survey, 83% of employers say a good induction is important, but half admit their organization has some catching up to do in this area. In a study by Haufe for the German market, the figure is even 68%. Only 12% of employees are satisfied with the process of integration and orientation in the company, writes the consulting firm Gallup. There is a lack of feedback, communication and culture. In short: there are good reasons to deal more intensively with integration and to close the gaps in order to be a good employer – right from the start.

1. Pre-boarding

Even before the first day of work, HR lays the groundwork for a worker to start their job and thus in a new community. The potential is great: according to a Haufe survey, a quarter do not use pre-boarding. No welcome packs, no information or no possibility to participate in virtual events: it is therefore difficult for newcomers to navigate. They would like pre-boarding. Supplier Tydy asked around and said he was primarily looking for role information, followed by team information and internal policies. New points have been added since the corona pandemic: Where is the first working day? How is the exchange with the others organized and what are the lunch hours planned for settling in? Quite mundane, but fundamental is the information on whether or not there is an integration and how it will be structured. After all, according to the Softgarden study, 16% have already quit a job because they didn’t know what the onboarding process was like.

2. Application onboarding

Since the corona pandemic, digital formats have become indispensable. When newcomers leave the office, onboarding tools help integrate and welcome them. The possibility already exists: digital learning paths have been intended to relieve HR departments and managers for years. They convey information that is valid for everyone and provide training at the same level. This is at least partly true. Because the social aspects have long been neglected. Tydy asked new employees before and after the outbreak of the corona pandemic how well they had settled in. Those who only had the screen at their disposal identified much less with the team and the values. Digital tools must be creative and give more space to social issues. However, 83% of respondents in Haufe say they have not developed their digital tools further during the pandemic. The path leads to the application: learning paths can be personalized thanks to artificial intelligence. And according to the ARD/ZDF online study, the smartphone is the most important means of accessing the Internet.

3. Gamification

Games can convey learning content, increase motivation and build unity. This applies not only to children, but also to adults. More and more companies are now using game elements to improve cooperation and promote continuous learning. In the onboarding phase, Deloitte allows new analysts to hunt zombies and train Excel at the same time. Other companies use bingo games and Pac-Man analogies to introduce departments and employees. In particular, tools, new faces and guidelines can be better internalized through games. In a study by the Academy to Innovate HR, 82% of all respondents said they understood the meaning of their work better thanks to games. For 87, they increase the feeling of belonging. And 88% say they are happier at work. It was already Frederic Schiller 200 years ago: “People are only fully human when they play.”

4. Metavers

The next level of digital learning paths and playful elements is the Metaverse. In three-dimensional virtual reality, environments can be better experienced and contacts can be cultivated in a more multifaceted way. In the metaverse, people have a face, a voice, interact and embody a person. According to Accenture, during the corona pandemic, it sent 150,000 new talents a laptop and special VR glasses to integrate them into the Metaverse. Virtual get-to-know-you meetings, town hall meetings and teamwork should simplify integration and give the feeling of being part of a new community. Mondelez India also invests in the Metaverse to promote exchanges in the international network. Interactivity is the great advantage of the new virtual world. In addition, learning environments can be implemented much more easily and cheaply, and simulations for machines and processes can be used more widely than before.

5. Diversity

Diversity plays a major role in the world of work, even if the subject is relatively less present in Germany: Stepstone asked employees in three countries how important this aspect was for them the diversity is. More than 70% would like their employer to commit to it, according to the result for Germany. In France, it is 79% and in Great Britain 83%. The benefits of diversity have long been proven and, according to a study by the Diversity Charter at least 67% of companies in Germany are aware of this. But what does inclusion mean for integration? This is becoming increasingly important because companies are increasingly called upon to provide inclusive training. This becomes necessary because in times of skilled labor shortages, companies recruit different workers and have to deal with new issues. This includes simple, inclusive and gender-sensitive language in text and images. And culture and guidelines should be onboarding topics because they are important reference points for employees and shape how we work together.

6. Drivers

Admittedly, the idea is not new. But especially in view of the latest developments, sponsorships are gaining in relevance in the integration process. Many have lost social contact due to the pandemic. When you are new, it is particularly difficult to build a network. The more employees are integrated, the higher their job satisfaction, resilience and creativity. Personal contact also determines the success or failure of onboarding: according to Gallup, the likelihood of an onboarding being deemed good increases three times if other employees engage in it. However, the belief that onboarding is just an HR task often prevails. On the contrary: experts recommend not to hire superiors or personnel professionals as pilots, but people from the college at a comparable hierarchical level. The need is great: according to the Stepstone study, only 63% of companies in Germany offer a mentor to new employees.

7. Post-boarding

On average, onboarding a company takes a week. Personnel services provider HCI calculated this figure for the United States. Market researcher Aberdeen writes that only a third of companies extend the induction period beyond one month. You want to be more efficient and deploy new employees quickly. Understandable. However, Gallup has calculated that new hires need a good twelve months to be properly trained. The trend is towards postboarding: onboarding continues after the initial induction in order to orient employees and not leave them alone. This includes feedback sessions, which according to surveys are still lacking. And it’s an opportunity to build a culture of lifelong learning, which becomes more important as structures change and new skills are needed. A good learning culture also builds employee loyalty and improves the work atmosphere, studies show. It is therefore worth investing in integration and further developing it: the enthusiasm for learning is particularly high at the beginning.

More articles on the subject:

This article first appeared in the print edition of Employee Lifecycle. You can order the booklet here.

Leave a Comment