How Productive are Your New Employees?

A recent study (January/February 2011) by the Aberdeen Group out of Boston suggests onboarding, or orientation as we used to call it, is extremely important. Based on a survey of best practices they discover that organizations with a standardized onboarding process experienced; 54% greater new hire productivity, 50% greater new hire retention, and 2 times the level of employee engagement.

 New employees are generally looking for guidance, information, eager to make a good impression, and open to learning. They can also be nervous, questioning if they made the right choice and looking for help with the unknown. The lack of good onboarding could end up as a retention issue. What the Aberdeen Group found was “Many times the new employees are left on their own to figure it out.” Does that sound like your organization?

 Onboarding is about a smooth transition for the individual as well as the organization and team they are joining. It’s about getting new employees productive as quickly as possible and improved employee engagement.

To create a better onboarding experience for your new employees just ask yourself this question; what needs to be done so the new hire has everything they need when they show up the first day?

What is contained in a Standard Onboarding Process?

  • New employee forms
  • Benefits enrollment
  • Orientation to company information
  • Employment eligibility verification
  • Socialization – introductions to the go-to people and co-workers
  • Provisioning – steps required to manage the system and facility. Access as well as what’s needed for the employee to do their job. (equipment workings etc.)

We had quite a process at our shop. It included a safety orientation, explanation of a few important policies, locker and parking assignments, and a tour of the shop to meet everyone. There was quite a bit to remember so we had a standard procedure to make sure we handled it appropriately. A copy of our Shop Orientation form is available on the web site.  Feel free to adapt it for your organization.

 One last word from the Aberdeen report, having a mentor or buddy assigned to the new hire and involving management people in the process also seemed to make a difference.

Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at


About Janet, doing it better.

I grew up and still reside in Northern Alberta. While I have numerous interests I am passionate about the Peace River region, its innovation, its people, and the creative spirit that envelopes us all.

Posted on August 25, 2011, in Business Productivity, new employee orientation, onboarding, orientation, productivity, productivity tools and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Very good and timely advice!

    I might even add some emphasis to the final point about assigning a mentor to help new hires through the onboarding process. This also has the advantage of valuing your mature employees and helping ensure that their vast experience and knowledge continues to be of value to your company through the new hire, even after the mature worker retires.

    Being recognized as having value to the company worthy of being passed on to new hires, also could be a factor in helping mature workers stay fresh and involved and maybe even delay their retirement by a year or two. With the shortage of qualified workers projected for the next decade or so, every year of deferred retirement could be really important to your company’s sustainability.

  2. Being a newer professional; I actually started one job, and left, within two weeks because of the lack of guidance and orientation. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing and felt like a glorified secretary for everyone else at the business. My current job is amazing; the senior employees have all taken me under their wings even after the original orientation to answer questions and assure me I am doing a great job, even sometimes when I am not so sure.

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