HR 4.0

Onboarding from home

July 15, 2021 - 6 minutes reading time
Article by Marcel De Dood

Starting a new job is not easy. You step into a new culture, learn new colleagues and new skills. Moreover, employer and employee often only have a few talks to assess whether it is a good match. It is not without reason that 28% of new employees leave their new job within three months.

This is shown by research by Robert Half. It causes frustration and uncertainty for the employee who started with a lot of ambition and leads to high costs for the employer. The costs for finding and onboarding a new employee in the Netherlands amount to an average of € 4,500 due to temporary replacement, training and recruitment costs. These, of course, double when the employee leaves.

The induction period has become even more difficult in the corona situation. The formal induction agreements remain the same for the home workers, but the informal ones have almost completely disappeared. The colleague who sees that the new employee is stuck is not there. The hesitation to ask questions is often there in the first months. There you are, behind the screen as a new employee: "Go through this manual and if you need more information, go on the intranet. Good luck with that."

Many organizations seize the corona crisis to move to smart working. Offices will be given a different function and employees will work from home much more often. The future work situation calls for other methods of onboarding new employees, otherwise the 36% departure in the first months will only increase.

If you start a new job from home, your desk, toilet and coffee machine are quickly found. But your exact tasks, the goals of the company and who is on your team, are harder to grasp when you are out of the office. Remote onboarding requires a different approach. And yet not everything changes: the theory remains the same. Appical, supplier of an easy-to-use platform that supports employees with their onboarding, advises the 4 C's of effective onboarding (Bauer) to help organizations onboard new employees remotely.

Remote onboarding requires a different approach.
More information about the 4 C's

The 4 C's for effective onboarding from home

1. Compliance: set up a digital workplace

Exciting, a first day at work. You take a seat behind your desk, open your laptop and… hey, how does your new employee actually get his work laptop? Compliance covers all practical and administrative matters for a good start. And that naturally starts with an employee's (virtual) workplace. Have equipment - such as a computer, telephone and desk chair - delivered to your home or schedule a time in advance for the new employee to pick up the items. Also provide clear instructions for installing all necessary software and contact details for any support. And make sure all accounts are ready, from email to Microsoft Teams and everything else that goes with it. They are simple steps, but you quickly forget. Check, check, double check.

A good introduction program ensures that up to 25% improvement in employee retention can be achieved. In addition, the productivity of employees who have had a good onboarding increases by an average of 11%. The municipality of Hoeksche Waard already started using digital methods for onboarding and learning before the corona period started. Karien Spruijt, HRM advisor: “New employees already had access to Motion Onboard, powered by Appical, a digital environment to get acquainted with the municipality before Corona. We did adjust our introduction day, of course it had to be digital. For example, during the introduction day we also provided training courses on the use of systems, which we shifted to digital learning pathways via Studytube. New employees can now do this at their own pace during their onboarding program. Sometimes, of course, physical meetings are still made between the mentor and the new employee, although these are still exceptions. This will increase with the relaxation of measures. It is precisely for onboarding and consultation that physical togetherness returns. We expect that individual work will be done much more from home in the future.”

'Just start slow, read these procedures, make introductory meetings and don't worry'

Johan Saton, data management consultant, started on April 1, 2020 at his new employer Valid and has experienced the challenges of onboarding from home. “I had to do it even twice, as a consultant I first started with my new employer Valid and two weeks later I started as a consultant on a project at one of Valid's customers. Fortunately, the period without an assignment lasted only two weeks. My new employer Valid took advantage of the situation. "Just start slow, read these procedures, make introductory meetings and don't worry." Well, of course I did. During previous onboardings on location, I met people at the coffee machine and heard about internal projects, where I quickly tried to contribute. This is different when you work from from home, you meet people through formal lines. I soon became impatient. My onboarding to my first project via Valid went smoothly, I was immediately involved in a project structure. I realize even more how important rituals such as a day start are. And at Valid I am building a relationship with colleagues through events such as an online pub quiz and an online escape room. Soon I will see my colleagues in real life, that will be quite strange.”

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