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Are You On Board with Onboarding?

Tips on why a strategic and robust onboarding program is important to your company’s success

So Much More Than Simply Orientation

Obviously, hiring outstanding employees for positions within your organization is extremely important to building an effective team and ultimately achieving your business goals. However, if you are not purposely and successfully introducing your employees to not only the company’s basic policies and procedures, but also the organization’s culture, you may not be setting them up for success, which could hurt long-term retention.

“The onboarding process goes way beyond basic orientation,” said Marianne Frazee, owner of Frazee Recruiting Consultants. “This comprehensive program helps to integrate a new employee into an organization, its culture and the teamspace in which he or she will be working. While onboarding is a part of the initial hiring, an effective process continues to support a new hire throughout the first several months, sometimes even longer. Studies have shown that effective onboarding programs can improve employee performance by nearly 12 percent.”


Nicole Zaunbrecher, Director of Human Resources Strategic Initiatives at IBERIABANK explained that her company uses multiple components during the onboarding process, which stretches out over a few months. “In addition to the expected personalized training in specific departments, new associates are subjected with a lot of paperwork, which is standard for the banking industry,” explained Zaunbrecher. “However, we try to streamline that to make it easier on them and allow them to concentrate on the bigger picture.” Because the bank has branches and employees across 12 states, Zaunbrecher added that Iberia Bank uses a comprehensive video to provide an overview of the company and its culture, along with policies, procedures and benefits. The new team members enjoy the video since they can access it online at their leisure and often share it with their spouses to introduce them to the bank and get input.

Michelle Debaillon, IBERIABANK Human Resources Generalist further added that the company provides a welcome booklet to give new team members in-depth information on IBERIABANK’s many departments and how they all work together to achieve individual and company-wide goals. The booklet is also available over IBERIABANK’s intranet for quick reference. In addition, the HR managers in each market, as well as other managers, periodically reach out to new associates to introduce themselves, answer questions and offer any assistance that might be needed.

“We perform a survey with each new associate after 90 days to see how we are doing,” said Zaunbrecher. “We get a lot of positive comments and constructive feedback that we use to further refine our program.”

Mining Additional Data from Your Onboarding Program

Marianne Frazee mentioned that survey information from your onboarding can play a critical role in improving your recruiting processes, too. “Ask these new hires not only about the onboarding they just went through, but also about their recruiting process to see why they accepted your offer, which parts of the recruiting process worked and what could be improved. In today’s competitive recruiting and retention environment, feedback is crucial to staying on top of the competition.”

The onboarding process can be one of the most significant factors to ensure new talent will become productive, contented employees. If you are having difficulty recruiting top talent or experiencing increased new hire turnover, consider refining your onboarding process to make sure it better aligns with company culture, educates new team members about their role and importance to the organization, and allows room for feedback and improvement.

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