The 4Cs of employee onboarding: How to give your new hires the very best start

Employee Onboarding - The 4Cs

Employee onboarding is an essential part of any effective recruitment strategy. However, it’s often overlooked by business owners and hiring managers who focus on the advertising and interviewing phases and forget about the new employee starting.

According to a report by Deloitte, 22% of staff turnovers occur in the first 45 days of employment. What’s more, the cost of losing an employee in the first year is estimated to be almost three times that employee’s salary.

In short, failing to plan and implement an effective onboarding strategy can cost you a lot of time, energy, and money.

To ensure that your new employees get the very best start, we highly recommend you follow the 4Cs of employee onboarding: compliance, clarification, culture, and connection.

The 4Cs

Before we break down what we mean by each of the 4Cs, let’s first look at onboarding in general.

Staff onboarding is the process of fully integrating a new employee into a company and its culture. Contrary to popular belief, it’s more than just paperwork and team introductions. It’s about giving these employees everything they might need to perform well in their new role (and help hit wider business objectives too).

Get your onboarding right and, as a minimum, you’ll increase staff retention and reduce hiring costs. Get it wrong and, as the statistics show, you’ll likely drive away top talent and leave your organisation out of pocket.

So, let’s start at the beginning with the first C of onboarding: compliance.

1 – Compliance

Regardless of whether your organisation actively takes new starters through a structured onboarding process or not, you’re likely to hit the first C on the list.

Compliance typically covers the following:

  • Right to work checks
  • The basic rules of the company
  • An outline of company policies
  • Any confidentially and safety requirements

The above will likely be covered in the employee’s contract, but, if not, a great place to include this information is in a standard ‘New Employee Handbook’. This is best sent to any new starter before their first day on the job

2 – Clarification

The second C on the list, clarification, is arguably the most important. It’s your opportunity to ensure that your new employee understands exactly what is expected of them throughout their induction period and beyond.

As part of this step, aim to cover the following:

  • Who they report to and who they’re likely to be working alongside
  • What to expect on their first day
  • Their role and general responsibilities
  • Any current and future projects they will be helping with

Use this step to make your new starter feel as comfortable as possible before their first day, so they’re ready to get stuck straight in.

3 – Culture

Unlike compliance and clarification, the third C cannot be easily explained before any new employees start with your company. However, it’s something that you should have already begun to showcase during the recruitment process – so keep building on this momentum!

Some great ways to further build on company culture during a new starter’s first week include:

  • Giving a full tour of the facilities – including both working and relaxing areas
  • Explaining how their role contributes to wider company goals
  • Making clear your organisation’s mission, values, and vision
  • Being authentic

The earlier you can immerse new starters into your company culture, the quicker they’ll feel a part of the team and a valued member of the business (something which, when ignored, often forces people to leave).

4 – Connection

No matter how well you plan and implement the first 3Cs of the employee onboarding process, this final one is likely to make the biggest impact on employee retention.

For a business to do more than simply survive, positive connections must be made between employees. To do this, aim to carry out the following as close to a new starter’s first day as possible:

  • Introduce them to their co-workers – prioritise people they’ll be working with daily, as well as senior management staff
  • Organise inductions with other departments
  • Introduce them ‘formally’ through a company memo
  • Aim to connect them to anyone else in the company that shares a mutual interest

As the saying goes, ‘connection is the difference between I am and we are’. Taking the time to forge connections and a sense of trust between employees will help with staff retention and make ambitious company goals easier to attain. It really is a win-win!

What works well at Integrated Recruitment?

With many years of recruitment experience under our belt, we’ve built up and perfected our very own onboarding process here at Integrated Recruitment.

Firstly, we’ve really thought about all communications that go out to any prospective employee to ensure that it represents our tone of voice (no matter who the email or call comes from).

We also like to arrange for all new starters to meet the team before their first day. A few weeks beforehand, they’ll receive a call from their new line manager to discuss:

  • When they’ll meet the team
  • How their first week is likely to look
  • Whether they’d like to join the team WhatsApp group

Finally, once a new starter has officially begun, we make sure to arrange a team lunch at the end of their first week and arrange informal check-ins throughout their first month. We’ve found that it’s far better to resolve any niggles from either side as early as possible.

Putting your employee onboarding into action

As this article has shown us, successful employee onboarding cannot be achieved with just a few pieces of paperwork, and it can’t be achieved on a new starter’s first day either.

A structured onboarding process takes time to research, plan and implement, but the benefits (both in terms of staff retention and hiring costs) far outweigh these initial challenges.

If you’re conscious that you need to do more to give your new hires the very best start, why not download our FREE onboarding checklist? It lays out the essential onboarding ‘to-dos’ in one printer-friendly cheat sheet. Get your copy by here.

And for more in-depth support with your onboarding, reach out to a member of the Integrated Recruitment team who will be happy to talk you through how we can help.

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