Preboarding: Your Key to Effective Employee Integration
The experience and knowledge of an applicant are considered the most important things for hiring new employees. While organizations pay attention to that, they often ignore the importance of employee engagement, resulting in employees leaving their companies within the first few months.
If the hiring team puts in a lot of effort to find the best candidate but that candidate ends up leaving due to lack of engagement, it results in wasted resources and effort even before the employee starts. That is where preboarding makes things better for both parties. In this article, we will discuss why it is necessary and how it benefits your organization.
What is preboarding?
After the interview process is complete and a company provides a job offer to an applicant, the time between their first day on the new job and accepting the job offer is known as the preboarding period. It is an important part of the hiring process since it focuses on increasing employee engagement.
Preboarding focuses on welcoming new employees and familiarizing them with their roles, duties, and the company. It usually includes but is not limited to sharing information about the job, team, and company. A vital element of the preboarding process is that employees ask questions to know more about the company and their future position.
In short, preboarding leaves a positive initial impression on the new employees by welcoming them and preparing them for the new role.
Preboarding vs. Onboarding
Preboarding and onboarding are quite similar, and most of the time, you may find people confused between the two. These two terms are often used interchangeably. So, below are the main differences between these strategies:
Preboarding is the time between the day a candidate accepts his job offer and when he begins the job.
Onboarding begins on the first day of the job of an employee.
The perfect timing for preboarding is before the hire’s first day at the job.
Meanwhile, onboarding starts after the new hire’s first day on the job.
The goal and primary focus of preboarding are welcoming the employee before they start their first day.
Onboarding focuses on integrating the new employee with company systematics for their new role.
Things like a casual meeting, lunch, or inviting them for a casual visit to explore the office are a part of preboarding activities.
On the other hand, assigning a buddy, delivering their setup, and giving all other training stuff to the employees is a part of onboarding activities.
Preboarding aims to prepare new employees for their job and make them excited about it.
Onboarding, on the other hand, helps settle new employees within the company environment after joining.
Benefits of Preboarding:
Preboarding is a critical part of the employee hiring process and is important for both the employee and the organization. Here are the top 7 benefits of preboarding that will help both the employee and the organization.
Establishing a positive first impression
The first impression about your company matters a lot, and it can significantly define the productivity of a new employee. When you do preboard right, you will leave a positive first impression on the employee, motivating them toward their role. This positive first impression from the company will also result in better employee satisfaction.
Reducing anxiety and promoting engagement
Almost all candidates feel nervous about their first day at the new job. Everyone has different reasons for feeling anxious, but the solution for everyone is effective preboarding. It is because preboarding brings positivity towards them from the company even before they join.
So, on the day they join, they already have a positive image of the company, which makes more than half of their anxiety disappear. Moreover, it promotes engagement among different employees.
Building a connection with the organization
New employees take some time to build a connection with their new organization because of the lack of exposure. Preboarding can significantly shorten this time. Thanks to it, employees learn much about their new company's environment before their first day at work. Moreover, when they start their job, that connection becomes even stronger, which helps them perform well.
Boosting productivity and improving retention rates
Preboarding helps improve the retention rates among employees. Many employees tend to quit their jobs within the first few months or days due to a lack of engagement, which ultimately affects their productivity.
With preboarding, a company can enhance their engagement, keeping the employees productive. When employees are productive, their satisfaction increases, resulting in higher employee retention rates.
Reduced onboarding cost
Preboarding simplifies the onboarding procedure, making it more effective. This results in significant savings of time, money, and other resources that can be used elsewhere in the company. Therefore, preboarding is a cost-saving measure that yields numerous benefits.
Reduced employee turnover cost
With preboarding, you can reduce the employee turnover costs associated with hiring new employees. Preboarding provides an opportunity to confirm the new hire's decision to join your company. It allows any uncertainties or potential deal-breakers to be addressed early on, reducing the risk of new hires leaving shortly after onboarding, which can be costly in terms of recruitment, training and lost productivity. Keeping the onboarding process engaging with the help of preboarding helps make the new employees at your company stay longer.
Reduced time to productivity
Preboarding may aid new hires in acclimating more rapidly by providing them access to business resources, including the intranet, employee handbook, and benefits information. They could find it simpler and more convenient to join your team and participate immediately.
Best preboarding strategies and practices:
Although it is a subjective procedure, and every company can choose its preboarding practices as per their environment, a few things make a great first impression on the new hires. Preboarding is about making the new employee feel that this will be a great start for them.
So, here are some of the best preboarding practices you can adopt.
Provide digital copies of key documents so the new hire can study them beforehand.
Your main objective is to ensure that the new employee becomes acquainted with the company's strategies and culture. To accomplish this, you can provide them with digital copies of important documents
to review before their first day on the job. This will help them become familiar with both technical and non-technical aspects of the company.
Introduction to the team
Introduction to the team is usually a part of the onboarding process offered on the first day on the job. However, you can start it a little before and make it a part of the preboarding process. This practice helps the employee learn about the people they will be working with. Moreover, it promotes communication and improves engagement.
New employees can get familiar with their teams by asking some questions that will help them swiftly get working along with them.
Introductory online courses
If there is anything specific about your company or the position that a new employee must learn before the first day at their job, it must be shared as a part of the preboarding process. A good way to share this information is through an online course. Usually, these introductory online courses include basics only, but they will be enough to familiarize the new hire with their tasks or any peculiarities before starting.
Inviting them to fun company events before they join
One of the best ways to break the communication barriers between old and new employees is by inviting them to fun events at the company. It could be a casual meeting, a company lunch, or even an activity day at the office. Such an event will be a glimpse of company culture for the new hire, and they will learn a lot about the office and the people they will be working with.
Get in touch before starting
A good way of showing engagement with new hires is by getting in touch before they start working. It could be as small as adding them to their company-wide email network and giving them access. Allowing them to ask any questions will help both parties since the new employee will get answers to some crucial questions before joining. Moreover, it will make their first day at work less stressful.
Announcing new members of the team
Announcing new hires will be a way of appreciating them for their achievement of getting selected. You can do it through a company-wide email or a LinkedIn post that will spark excitement in the employee.
Letting them start with a welcome pack
Lastly, you may let the new employee start with a welcome pack. The pack may contain some gifts and equipment they will need for the job. Giving this pack before their first day allows the new hire to explore it and get familiar with what they will be using. Besides, sweet gifts enhance employee satisfaction.
In the past, companies primarily relied on onboarding to integrate new employees, however, that practice alone may not suffice in today's competitive market. Preboarding has emerged as a crucial element of the recruitment and onboarding process, as it can yield significant benefits in both the short and long term.
Preboarding not just introduces the employee to their job role, but also imbues them with confidence that they have chosen the right company. This practice helps foster an immediate connection between the new hire and the organization, making the transition smoother and more rewarding.
Therefore, if you're preparing to expand your team, it is highly recommended to develop a comprehensive preboarding strategy in advance. This strategic move will ensure that your new hires receive a seamless and enticing introduction to your company, laying the foundation for their successful integration and rewarding tenure.