According to research, the cost of recruiting, training, and orienting a new employee costs 6-9 months’ salary on average. This means as an employer, one of your greatest tasks is employee retention. Sadly, millennials commonly referred to as the “Job hopping generation” are not making it easy for employees.
One of the many reasons associated with the hopping is a negative on-boarding experience, which is one way contributes to the $30.5 billion lost in the U.S due to millennial turnover. On the other hand, experts have linked positive onboarding experience to an increase in productivity, retention, and a decrease in turnover. Let us look at ways of how you can improve the onboarding experience for the young generation.
Do not be caught off guard
The worst experience for any new employee is coming in all prepared only to find the employer not ready to receive them. As an employer, you should never tell your new hire,” oh, we forgot you are coming in today”. It communicates that he/she is not that important, and you are not looking forward to having him as part of the team.
Preparing in advance and having all things ready for your new hire is essential. Ensure that both the hardware devices and software credentials are available before his/her arrival. Good preparation sends a strong message on the functioning of the organization.
Do it differently! Be unique!
In today’s world, corporates are using social media to profile and know more about their potential hires. The information should be able to help you understand your hire’s lifestyle and taste. Once you have, use the information to welcome them on their first day. A personalized welcome gift like a notebook or a funny meme on their desktop will do the trick. Such small but creative acts cannot be forgotten by your employee!
A little goes a long way
You are likely prepared with those big handouts to begin your onboarding sessions. Well, there is nothing wrong with that; only that the strategy might not work for millennials and Generation Z, who are experts in filtering information and tend to lose focus quickly.
Effective onboarding programs are structured, strategic, and focus on people and not paperwork. Create short content like tutorials, quizzes, and videos that last between 2-5 minutes. You can also offer small portions of information and use funny team videos to teach the organization’s culture. Remember, millennials are looking for connections, mentoring, and content that they relate to. Doing this will help them build relationships with the company.
Work with your current employees
There is no better person to help you with the new millennial than your current employees. Look for those employees that have stayed with your organization for less than two years. Inquire from them their onboarding experience and then integrate some of the feedback with your methods. You can even let your existing employees spearhead the welcome sessions, and allow them to connect with the new millennial. The familiarity with peers reduces the dissonance and creates a sense of belonging.
Explain your expectations
One thing you ought to remember is millennials may be new to the workforce and unclear about what to expect from the organization. Well, you can improve your organization’s onboarding process of a millennial employee by explaining your expectations and taking a relaxed approach early on. Imagine sitting your new hire down because they left an hour early, or didn’t do a specific task because they were not aware. Pause to think about what that employee will do or think after the sit-down at such at an early stage. All these tend to happen because of unclear rules and guidelines.
Let your new employee have a basic understanding of the culture, vision, roles and responsibilities, work hours, schedules from the onset. Provide dos and don’ts. Doing this will help them embrace the new role smoothly, minimize mistakes, increase productivity, and aid retention.
Opportunities to learn and grow are one of the top ways to retain the young generation. According to a Gallup study, 87% of millennials rate career growth and development opportunities as important to them in a job. It would be best if you let them know of the available growth opportunities during the onboarding process. For example, let them know what is needed and how long it can take to get a promotion, get employee scholarships, etc. Additionally, engage your managers to broaden career discussions and show the young hire how education, training, and projects build a personal portfolio of skills.
It is quite clear that strategic onboarding is essential in today’s workplace, as the work population keeps evolving. Poor employee onboarding not only leads to loss of talent but also millions of money. Remember, you can only get it right with millennial employee onboarding if you take a structured and strategic approach.