A successful Onboarding of new employees is an important first step for any organisation, as it helps to ensure that new hires are integrated into the company’s culture and team quickly and effectively. However, this process can also be complex and time consuming, especially in the radically changing business environment. In this article, we will explore some of the common challenges that hiring managers may face while onboarding new employees in 2023, and offer some tips and best practices for overcoming these challenges.

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13 Onboarding Challenges & How to Overcome Them

1. Documentation Process: Making sure that the required information is being collected at the right time and without error is crucial while onboarding new hires. But if the volume of documents are piling up, hiring managers might find it difficult to keep up with the quality of their onboarding process.

Tips to overcome this challenge:

a) Use templates and checklists: Having a clear checklist and template will ensure that all necessary documents are completed and submitted on time without anything falling through the cracks.

b) Automate and setup tracking: High volumes of submissions can be streamlined by automating the process. It will help you minimise the risk of errors. Setting up a tracking system along with automation will help you track the completion and submission of documents in real time.

2. Providing thorough and effective training: Ensuring that new employees have a strong understanding of their job duties and responsibilities, as well as the company’s policies and procedures, can be a challenge.

How to overcome the challenge of effective training:
a) Set clear objectives & goals: New hires can easily get overwhelmed if they do not have clearly defined objectives and goals. So, define them before the training starts. This will help them stay inspired and dedicated.

b) Make training interactive & engaging: Make sure to use a mix of training methods such as lectures, hands-on exercises, and online training modules. Also encourage new hires to ask questions by allotting time in between training sessions to prompt Q&A.

c) Clarify important policies: Leave, reimbursement, salary break up, performance reviews and appraisals, etc are some of the important things a new hire should be aware of in the beginning. Make it a priority to explain them while onboarding new hires.

3. Ensuring a smooth transition: Helping new employees integrate into the company’s culture and team can be difficult, especially if they are located remotely or in a different time zone.

Tips to overcome the challenge ensuring a smooth transition:
a) Set clear expectations: Inform the new hire about what is expected of them in terms of communication, availability, and resources. Communicate with them regularly, especially in the first couple of weeks. Proactively reach out to them and offer help and support.

b) For virtual onboarding: If you are onboarding new hires virtually, consider using virtual onboarding tools or platforms to help them get up to speed on their new role and the company culture. You can include company presentations, describing the roles and responsibilities, sharing resources and outlining a three to six month roadmap.

c) For different time zones: If your organisation hires people from different time zones, it becomes difficult for the new hires to understand how to interact with different teams across time zones. It is ideal to schedule meetings at a time convenient for both parties. The new hire should have the data on the available times of their peers and team members to ensure a collaborative environment.

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4. Managing diversity and inclusion: Companies may face challenges in onboarding employees from diverse backgrounds and ensuring that they feel included and supported in their new role.
Tips on overcoming the challenge of diversity and inclusion:
a) Develop a plan: Having a clear plan to promote diversity and inclusion within your organisation where the employees are trained properly on unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion, and cultural competency. You can also create employee resource groups or host regular diversity and inclusion events.
b) Communicate clearly: Encourage honest and open communication and the sharing of diverse perspectives within the organisation. When you onboard a new hire, ensure that they are aware of the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through training sessions, company materials, or through discussion with managers or HR.

5. Providing adequate support: Ensuring that new employees have the necessary support and resources to succeed in their role can be a challenge, especially if the company is undergoing rapid growth or experiencing other disruptions.
Here are a couple of tips for overcoming this challenge:
a) Provide support network: Connect new hires with a mentor or buddy who can answer questions and provide guidance as they navigate their new role. Make it clear to new hires that you are available for impromptu meetings or making sure that your door is open.
b) Set up regular check-ins: Schedule regular check-ins with new hires to see how they are doing and provide support as needed.

6. Maintaining employee engagement: It is important to keep new employees engaged and motivated during the onboarding process, as they may face challenges and setbacks as they learn and adjust to their new role.
Here’s how you can improve your employee engagement:
a) Having a rewards system: Employee engagement can be improved by having a rewards platform where employees are awarded based on completing milestones or celebrating a special occasion.
b) Encourage socialisation: Encourage new hires to socialise with their colleagues outside of work, whether it’s by organising team building activities or simply encouraging them to grab a drink after work. This can help them feel more connected to their team and the company.

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7. Managing remote work: Companies that have a significant number of remote employees may face challenges in onboarding and supporting them effectively.
Tips on overcoming the challenges:
a) Use video communication: Most people shy away from turning the video camera on while interacting with their colleagues. From the beginning itself, encourage the habit of turning the camera on while communicating with each other. Use this method to stay connected with new hires. This can replicate the experience of being in the same physical location up to a limit.
b) Use project management tools: Project management tools to assign tasks and track progress, so that you can stay on top of what new hires are working on and provide support as when it is required.

8. Managing onboarding remotely: With the proliferation of remote work, companies may face challenges in onboarding new employees remotely, including ensuring that they have the necessary equipment and technology to do their job effectively.
Tips on overcoming the challenge of onboarding remotely:
a) Use remote onboarding tools: Onboarding virtually is slightly more difficult than doing it in person. So it is important to have reliable tools to make it as smooth as possible. An onboarding tool can make this process easier.
b) Provide necessary tools and access: Since new hires take time to join, it is better to plan how to empower them with the right tools and access. If you are providing electronic devices, then plan in such a way that they receive the package in advance and you provide support to set it up before their first day. This will eliminate any roadblocks they have to start their work easily.

9. Managing compliance and legal issues: Ensuring that new employees are aware of and adhere to all relevant laws, regulations, and company policies can be a challenge.
Here are a couple of tips for overcoming this challenge:
a) Use standardised forms and documents: Having standardised forms and documents ensure that all new hires receive the same information and that all required information is captured uniformly.
b) Have a process in place: Make sure the new hires know how to report compliance and legal issues, and have a process in place for addressing and resolving any issues that arise. It is beneficial to provide training on compliance and legal issues to new hires, so that they are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

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10. Managing cultural differences: Companies with a global workforce may face challenges in onboarding employees from different cultural backgrounds and helping them to adapt to the company’s culture and way of doing things.
Tips to manage cultural difference while onboarding:
a) Providing cultural training: Help the new hires understand and adapt to the company’s culture and values. This could include information about business etiquette, communication styles, and customs.
b) Celebrate cultural differences: Encouraging new hires to share their cultural tradition and experiences can help build a stronger and a more cohesive team.

11. Managing employee retention: Ensuring that new employees are happy and satisfied in their new role can be a challenge, especially if they face challenges or setbacks during the onboarding process.
Here’s how you can overcome this challenge:
a) Create touchpoints: Touchpoints are a way of reaching out to the new hire in regular intervals during the pre onboarding and post onboarding stage. During these interactions, questions like if they have received any counter offers, any retention measures from their existing employer, confirmation on the last working day, etc. This will give you more data to understand whether the new hire is at high risk of drop out.
b) Use candidate engagement platform: Candidate engagement platforms enhance the candidate experience while onboarding and create a best in class impression on the company. There are several tools like HireLoop, which can enhance your candidate experience and engagement.

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12. Managing the onboarding process: Coordinating and managing the various tasks and activities involved in onboarding new employees can be a challenge, especially for companies with a large number of new hires.
Tips to overcome the challenges of managing the onboarding processes:
a) Introduction from important delegates: The new joiner must be welcomed by the important delegates of the company like the hiring manager or their reporting manager. During the induction, it is highly recommended to have the CEO or the important leaders to be there and address the new hire.

b) Use tools and resources: If you are managing somewhere around thirty new hires a month, then it becomes difficult for managers to handle all the processes involved in the onboarding process. Even if you manage to do it completely then the quality of the onboarding process may deteriorate. That is exactly why you need to leverage onboarding tools and resources, where all the repetitive onboarding tasks are outsourced. It will help your team save cost and provide time to focus on other important tasks.
b) Plan ahead: Plan out the onboarding in advance, including what tasks need to be completed and by when. This can help ensure that everything runs smoothly and that new hires are able to get up to speed quickly.

c) Don’t forget the tour: A new joiner must be aware of the important places in the company office. Basic questions like “where is the bathroom? “Where can I have my lunch?” “where is the cafeteria?” must be addressed in the onboarding.

13. Managing the cost of onboarding: Ensuring that the onboarding process is cost-effective and efficient can be a challenge, especially for companies with a large number of new hires or limited resources.
Tips to manage onboarding cost:
a) Look for cost-effective solutions: BluElement Technologies provide cost effective solutions for onboarding new hires. You can use such solutions in order to cut down costs and streamline your processes.
b) Seek feedback: Feedbacks from new hires and your team about the onboarding process can be used to identify areas where you can improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, onboarding new employees is an important process that helps to ensure the success and productivity of new hires. However, it can also be a complex and challenging process, especially in the rapidly changing business environment of today. By understanding and addressing the common challenges that companies may face while onboarding new employees, such as providing thorough and effective training, ensuring a smooth transition, and managing diversity and inclusion, organisations can help their new hires to succeed and thrive in their new roles. By following the tips mentioned in this article, companies can overcome these challenges and create a positive and supportive onboarding experience for their new employees.

Are you interested in learning more about how to tackle onboarding challenges at your organisation? Our team at BluElement is here to help. We offer a range of services and solutions designed to support businesses in saving time and cost on the onboarding processes.

If you would like to see how our solutions can help your business, we invite you to book a demo with us. During this demo, one of our experts will walk you through our offerings and answer any questions you may have. Simply click the button below to get started.

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