All Onboard! Why onboarding matters for UK businesses
Onboarding in Europe is easier said than done, according to a recent survey by the Vlerick Business School and Talmundo. Onboarding, or welcoming a new team member into the company, can pose a challenge to HR managers and staff. There are many things in an onboarding checklist, from a review of company rules to integration into the work culture. Plenty can fall through the cracks if the correct procedures aren’t in place. In fact, the onboarding process a common complaint among new hires.
The study revealed that 40% of employees felt they did not receive the minimum onboarding support requirements. Further, 43% said that it took a week before they gained access to their workstations and administrative tools. Failure to onboard properly can give new hires doubts about their new role. It can also lead to costly mistakes later on. So what makes onboarding difficult? And how can you have a better onboarding process?
“How long does onboarding take?”
It depends on who you ask. Conventional wisdom suggests 100 days, but one month or less is more realistic for many of today’s companies. A 2017 CareerBuilder survey showed that 21% of companies have a month-long onboarding process, while 25% only take a day. Only 11% are closer to having a 100-day process. Despite this wide variation, 41% of employers believe that the lack of a structured onboarding process has had some negative impacts on their company.
The length of the onboarding process varies. Nevertheless, the best practice is to get the standard paperwork out of the way as fast as possible. That way, the onboarding process can focus on more substantial things like goal setting and cultural integration. Paperless onboarding through mobile apps means no more data entry for managers and no more missing files. Even progress can be tracked so you know if the new hire has already completed their details.
“What’s my job again?”
An Allied Workforce Mobility Survey found that only 58% of companies provide clear job titles, and only 39% establish milestones for new employees. Failure to provide these details have a negative impact on how new employees perceive their job and perform their responsibilities. Of course, the reverse is also true: having a clear starting point and set of goals improves motivation and productivity.
In a 2015 study on the impact of goal-setting on worker performance in Technische Universität Münchens’ Training Factory in Germany, researchers found that goal setting improved performance by 12-15%. These results held for different groups under observation and had nothing to do with financial incentives. It was simply setting a goal that made the difference. This is one of the key activities that need to happen during the onboarding period.
“Who’s my boss?”
In a survey by ALEX Asks, 49.5% of new hires said their manager didn’t send a welcome message, while 22.8% of respondents didn’t receive a welcome from anyone at all. Onboarding starts even before the employee’s first day. A manager should get in touch through a simple email or call. What may seem like a regular day to the rest of the company is a milestone for the new hire, and it helps to prepare them mentally and emotionally.
Of course, managers should be available to welcome the new hires and introduce them to the rest of the team. The same ALEX Asks survey revealed that 12.3% of new hires didn’t meet their managers on their first day. While scheduling conflict is sometimes unavoidable, HR teams should work out a good schedule for a new hire to start. Employees are more likely to feel confident and motivated if they get the proper welcome from their manager.
“How do I fit in?”
Immersing employees in company culture can be challenging because of the resources it takes to do it properly. Culture videos and brand books help get the new hire acquainted, but it falls to the manager to show him or her how things are done. The trick is to be very clear about what your company stands for, and plan activities for the new hire that will show them, rather than tell them about it.
Managers don’t have to do everything themselves, however, as the responsibilities can be spread out. After all, the entire team has a stake in getting the new hire integrated as fast as possible. Scheduling one-on-one lunches with the new hire and other employees works well. Give them a list of topics to talk about. You can include serious matters like KPIs and less serious ones like where the best place to get coffee is. All this contributes to helping the new hire fit in.
Why onboarding matters for UK businesses
Providing the right amount of training and support during the onboarding process has long term implications, not the least of which is employee retention. Every new hire is an investment, and each person who resigns represents massive losses for the company. Robert Hall UK’s research showed that nearly half of Londoners and 42% of those in cities like Cambridge and Norwich anticipate quitting their jobs in the first 6 months. Effective onboarding can help prevent that.
Beyond retention, your company’s profitability is tied to how well you integrate new hires into the system. In the UK and US, an estimated $37 billion dollars is spent annually just to keep unproductive employees who do not understand their jobs. Prevent these losses and optimize many other areas of your day-to-day operations by signing up for an automated onboarding system that also handles time and attendance. Managers and employees alike are going to notice the difference of an effective onboarding experience.
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Industry Insights |
Brexit Business Impact: How to Future-proof your Trade
Major uncertainty has hit the United Kingdom since the 2016 Brexit referendum. This is despite few real changes in legal status, regulation, or tariffs so far. In the past two years, UK and EU citizens followed the development of the withdrawal agreement. This agreement will determine what comes next for both parties. But things are coming to a head this year. The UK will leave the EU on March 29 regardless of a deal with the EU. Developments are taking a toll on the UK’s economy. There is now rising inflation and less investor confidence. What can businesses across the UK do to survive Brexit? 1. Study the state of your industry “A disorderly Brexit has the potential of leading the UK into a recession, which could have significant disruption to finance and economic growth.” That’s according to Business Economics professor Francesco Moscone at the Brunel University London. But no one is sure how exactly it will impact businesses. There is a lack of preparation among owners and managers. Stay ahead of the curve by assessing your industry. Below are some common industries in the UK and potential impacts as outlined by experts. Hospitality The weaker pound has affected the hospitality industry in two ways. On one hand, costs increased have for imported goods. This has eroded the profits of business owners. On the other, it has encouraged more tourism from both local and overseas visitors. This has also resulted in a greater demand for accommodation. Besides this, the hospitality workforce is being significantly affected. Eduard Elias, co-founder of Cycas Hospitality, said that many foreign workers are leaving the UK or choosing not to come in the first place. Hospitality businesses need to prepare for rising costs in both goods procurement and operating expenses, such as hiring and retention. Restaurant Research from accountancy firm Moore Stephens has shown that 20% of the UK’s restaurants are at risk of closure because of Brexit. This is due to several factors. One is the predicted food shortage due to import price increases. Only 49% of the food consumed in the UK is produced here. 30% comes directly from the EU. Notably, when it comes to fruit and vegetables, 40% of fresh produce comes from the EU. Workforce supply is also a major issue: 75% of waiters and 25% of chefs in the UK are EU nationals, according to CEO of the British Hospitality Association (BHA), Ufi Ibrahim. Overall, Brexit could most heavily affect the restaurant industry. Healthcare Like in hospitality, post-Brexit labour supply is going to be a major concern in the healthcare industry. According to the NHS data, 10% of NHS doctors, 16% of NHS midwives, and 5% of NHS nurses come from elsewhere in the EU. In an already challenging recruitment environment, UK businesses will need to prepare for a shortfall in medical health professionals. There are also concerns about post-Brexit healthcare regulations and qualifications, as the UK may no longer be required to align with EU rules and frameworks. It is thus not surprising that according to data and analytics company, GlobalData, 59% of healthcare industry professionals now view Brexit negatively. 2. Audit your supply chains and EU contracts Brexit can disrupt the operations of any UK business if an EU supplier cannot cope with changes. Unprepared EU suppliers could be unwilling to continue cross-border transactions. According to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), 40% of UK companies are already seeking domestic suppliers. This will save costs on customs and other import fees. Further, 25% of UK businesses with 250+ employees have spent over £100,000 preparing their supply chains for Brexit. It is thus important for every business owner to trace their supply chain. Assess whether it is worth maintaining these transactions early on. All EU contracts also need to be revisited, as not all of them include legal provisions for importing and exporting that define who is responsible for shipping goods across borders. These provisions, known as incoterms, determine risk and affect VAT. Current contracts may lack the details for a new customs border between the UK and the EU. If the business is large, there will be more contracts to assess. There may be a transition period in the withdrawal agreement that will give you some time to prepare. However, you have a higher chance of surviving Brexit if you do this early on. 3. Invest in the right technology By March 29, Brexit will affect everyone in the UK across the board. For businesses, it will have an impact especially on labour supply and finance. The legal changes will come fast, and may prove overwhelming for some. Investing in the right technology months ahead of Brexit will determine the future of the business. From rotas, to onboarding, to payroll, the right workforce technology platform can ease the transition by outsourcing the nitty gritty to a reliable service provider. Tanda, for example, manages many aspects of day-to-day operations that will be affected by Brexit. Managing rotas will prove to be challenging post-Brexit, what with the predicted shortfall in staff. But Tanda’s rota software allows you to build rotas to match customer demand, see staff availability as you go, and set targets and rota costs to make sure you never go over budget. The customisable onboarding feature that comes with the package lets you collect information about UK and EU employees, and makes sure you never lose that information. Finally, Tanda’s labour compliance makes sure you never breach the new labour laws. Preparing your business for Brexit is going to take some hard and fast decisions. There is no doubt that Brexit’s implementation will affect many aspects of the economy. Brexit may hit some industries harder than others, among them hospitality, restaurants, and healthcare. Stay ahead of the curve by studying the implications for your industry, auditing supply chains and EU contracts, and investing in the right technology. Whatever the outcome of the negotiations and the terms of the withdrawal agreement, businesses need to begin preparing today if they hope to become Brexit-proof.