3 Common Employee Onboarding Pitfalls

3 Common Employee Onboarding Pitfalls


Joy Church Millard


New hires often fall into two buckets during onboarding: They're either bored without enough to do or "drinking from a fire hose," drowning in information. Your goal is to find the right balance between these two scenarios. Here are three common pitfalls of the employee onboarding experience, and how you can reevaluate your processes to avoid them.

1. A slow, disorganized start

Although every stage of the employee experience is important, the impression given during onboarding can affect an employee as well as your organization for years to come. In fact, employees who perceived their onboarding to be "highly effective" were nearly 20 times more likely to feel strong commitment to their companies, according to HR Daily Advisor. Start by familiarizing prospective employees with your learning technology in advance to shorten their learning curve. Have them take skill assessments in your learning management system during the interview process. Then give them access to role-specific training resources in the time between their hire and start dates. Next, create a detailed onboarding schedule so that new employees know exactly what's expected in their first days, weeks and months. Tip: Make sure to balance an employee's onboarding time for maximum productivity. While you want to effectively develop each new hire, you also want to avoid throwing them into endless training sessions. Too much information can be overwhelming and degrade their training retention.

2. Vague job goals

Onboarding is the perfect time to set clear expectations for an employee's role and their contribution to your enterprise. First, list all of a job's required tasks and skills at the time it's filled. By giving new employees a realistic perspective of their activities, you'll significantly improve their transition into your workforce. You'll also avoid feelings of frustration and the poor job satisfaction and productivity that can result from misunderstandings about a position's obligations. Next, if possible, offer a suite of LMS-based employee onboarding. This helps employees see:

  • All of the training requirements needed for success.
  • A set timeline for achieving them.
  • The surveys and assessments they'll need to complete to prove mastery of skills.

3. Poor cultural adaptation

Even though you see a good fit in every employee hired, some will take more time than others to adapt to your organization's culture—especially if they're changing industries or going from a small startup to a large corporate environment, or vise versa.

This kind of learned behavior often takes hands-on experience and repetition. Enlist your veteran employees to share best practices, walk new hires through their daily routine and collect feedback throughout the onboarding process. Ask new employees about each stage of their onboarding experience, poll coworkers and managers on their performance and track their achievement of targeted goals. Optimizing the experience of your employee onboarding program can lead to better job satisfaction, morale and productivity. Use these tips to get the results you're after.

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