Why does ‘onboarding’ matter?

May 7, 2018 | Good Management

When you recruit a new member of staff in a small business, you usually need them to be working well straightaway. Often there’s been a case of existing staff being overstretched, or a key team member having left, so you want someone to hit the ground running. And in most small businesses, managers or business owners simply haven’t got the time to be ‘handholding’ new staff.

This is all understandable, but actually having a good ‘onboarding’ or induction process for new staff is vital, regardless of how busy everyone is, and how experienced your new hire might be.

An effective programme of induction will help to ensure that new employees settle in well, and gain an understanding of the organisation and its policies, procedures and culture as early as possible. It also gives them a full opportunity to quickly become effective and motivated team members.

Recruitment is expensive and time-consuming, so every effort should be made to ensure the recruitment of a new team member doesn’t fail during their first few months. Without a proper induction programme, they may end up ill-informed about procedures, practices and rules within the organisation, might feel unsupported and ‘at sea’, may perform poorly or be demotivated and their appointment is more likely to fail.

A good induction programme can give them informative and comprehensive guidance on how things work at their new employer. This includes how their own role works, with the framework of policies and practices they need to operate within, but also how things work in a more informal sense throughout the organisation.

Through a good induction, employees can understand things like how communications work, what meetings take place when, who the go-to person is for (for example) office supplies, and what the ‘done thing’ is for the myriad things that go on every day in a business, and which established staff completely take for granted.

As well as ensuring they know all the rules and regulations they need to follow, induction is an opportunity to help new team members ‘bond’ with their new employer. It can help them understand the organisation’s culture and start to feel part of it, and invested in it.

They will understand how their role fits in to the big picture, what the organisation’s mission/vision/values and corporate objectives are, and start to buy into those. All of this helps cement their feeling of belonging and loyalty, reducing the risk of their employment failing within the first few crucial months.


So taking some time to design an induction programme for new staff is time well worth investing, to get new employees performing well and becoming (and feeling) part of their new organisation much more quickly. If you would like more advice do get in touch.