Top Reasons Why Employee Onboarding Fails

Starting a new job is always exciting, but it can also be a bit overwhelming.

As an employee, you want to make a good impression and hit the ground running.

But as an employer, it’s important to remember that the onboarding process is just as important for the new hire as it is for the company.

Unfortunately, employee onboarding can sometimes fail.

In this post, I’ll be discussing some of the top reasons why employee onboarding fails and how to avoid these mistakes.

Lack of Communication

One of the biggest reasons employee onboarding fails is a lack of communication.

You might be thinking, “But I sent out a bunch of emails and had a few meetings, isn’t that enough?”

Unfortunately, no.

The onboarding process is a two-way street and requires constant communication. Your new hires should always know what to expect, what’s expected of them, and who to go to with any questions or concerns.

Studies have found that the cost of replacing a salaried employee can be as much as six to nine months of that employee’s salary. This cost can be reduced by having clear and consistent communication during the onboarding process.

Make sure you’re having regular check-ins with your new hires, and that they know who to go to with any questions or concerns. It’s also important to provide them with clear, written guidelines and expectations.

By keeping the lines of communication open, you can ensure a smooth transition for your new hires and reduce the risk of onboarding failure.

Lack of Engagement

Another common reason employee onboarding fails is a lack of engagement.

It’s one thing to give new hires a bunch of paperwork to fill out and another to actually make them feel welcome and excited about their new job. You want your new hires to feel like they’re part of the team, not just another number.

A study by the Brandon Hall Group found that companies with strong onboarding programs retain 91% of new hires, while companies with poor onboarding programs retain just 50%.

To ensure engagement during the onboarding process, you should consider incorporating activities that help new hires get to know their colleagues and feel like they’re part of the team.

This could be something as simple as a team lunch or a company-wide event. You should also make sure new hires have a dedicated point of contact who can answer any questions they may have and help them navigate their new workplace.

This way, you’ll be more likely to retain your new hires and set them up for success.

Not Providing Proper Training

Another major reason employee onboarding can fail is not providing proper training.

When you bring on a new hire, they’re going to need to learn a lot of new information, procedures, and systems. If they’re not given the proper training, they’ll have a hard time adjusting and will be less productive.

To ensure your new hires receive proper training, you should develop a comprehensive training program that covers all the necessary information. This could include a mix of online training, on-the-job training, and mentoring.

You should also consider having a designated trainer or training team in place to help new hires with any questions or concerns they may have.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that new hires will just figure things out on their own.

If you provide proper training, you’ll be setting new employees up for success and increasing their productivity.

Not Providing Clear Expectations

One of the major reasons employee onboarding can fail is not providing clear expectations.

When a new hire starts, they need to know what is expected of them, what their goals are, and how they will be evaluated. If these expectations are not clear, it can lead to confusion and frustration for both the employee and the employer.

In fact, setting clear expectations is one of the most critical elements of successful onboarding.

To ensure you provide clear expectations, you should have a written job description and set of expectations for the new hire. This should include the tasks they will be responsible for, the goals they need to achieve and the metrics that will be used to evaluate their performance.

You should also have regular check-ins with the new hire to make sure they understand their expectations and are on track to meet them.

If you set clear expectations, you will be helping the new hire to understand their role and what is expected of them, which will help them to be more successful in their new job.

Not Making the Onboarding Process a Priority

Another top reason employee onboarding can fail is not making it a priority.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of running a business and neglect the onboarding process. But neglecting the onboarding process can have serious consequences, both for the new hire and for the company.

A study by the Center for American Progress found that companies with a strong onboarding process see a 50% increase in employee engagement and a 50% reduction in turnover.

To ensure you’re making the onboarding process a priority, you should have a dedicated onboarding team or person in place to handle the process. This team should be responsible for creating and implementing a comprehensive onboarding plan that covers all the necessary information and procedures.

You should also make sure that the onboarding process is integrated into the overall business plan and budget so that it is not seen as an afterthought.

By making the onboarding process a priority, you’ll be setting your new hires up for success and reducing the risk of onboarding failure.

Not Understanding the New Hire’s Needs and Goals

Another major reason why employee onboarding can fail is not understanding the new hire’s needs and goals. As an employer, it’s important to understand what the new hire is looking for in their new job.

Overall, employees who feel their needs and goals are being met by their employer are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their work.

To ensure you understand the new hire’s needs and goals, you should have a clear and open conversation with them during the onboarding process.

Listen actively, and ask them about their career aspirations, what they’re looking for in their new job, and how the company can support them in achieving their goals.

It’s also important to keep an open line of communication throughout their tenure so that you can continue to support and guide them in their career development.

By understanding the new hire’s needs and goals, you’ll be able to create a more positive and productive work environment.

The Bottom Line

Employee onboarding is a critical process that can have a major impact on the success of a new hire. However, it’s easy for the process to go wrong if you’re not careful.

If you understand the common reasons why employee onboarding fails, you can take steps to avoid these mistakes and set your new hires up for success.

About the Author
Hi there, I'm James, founder of Melbado. I have over 20 years of experience as a leader and entrepreneur. Recently, I turned to leadership coaching and writing to pass on my knowledge to the next generation. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me via our contact page.


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