- Onboarding processes provide insufficient help to new workers, according to the results of a February survey of 782 U.S. workers by Eagle Hill Consulting. The firm found that 71% of employees said their onboarding experience did not give them a clear idea of the people with whom they should build relationships, and 62% said it had not given them a clear idea of the organization's culture.
- Meanwhile, more than half said they did not know how to use technology to do their job, and 46% said they did not have a clear idea of their benefits package. More than half said starting a job during the pandemic was harder than before; Nearly one-third of employees said they had a virtual onboarding experience, while 18% had a hybrid experience.
- Eagle Hill found that respondents had a long list of items they wanted more information about, including performance measurement, mental and physical health resources, opportunities to make personal connections with team members, how to be successful within an organization's culture, and details about workplace changes caused by the pandemic, among other areas.
Concerns about the pandemic's impact on institutional norms within workplaces were already on the minds of researchers and HR teams. But researchers have documented other ways in which HR processes have fallen short, both within and beyond onboarding.
For example, a 2021 survey by workplace engagement platform Evive found that half of employee respondents said HR did not check in with them after their onboarding phase, while fewer than half said they were asked about their satisfaction with onboarding processes.
In its analysis, Eagle Hill recommended employers hold virtual events, including virtual team lunches, to supplement the paperwork typically involved in onboarding experiences. The firm also focused on the specifics of each new hire's role and value to an organization's mission; creating a longer series of events that stretches onboarding over the span of multiple months and helps build affinity; and creating repeatable processes and frameworks that managers, supervisors and team members can follow.
"What's key for employers is to stop thinking about onboarding as [just] a short-term human resources function," said Melissa Jezior, president and CEO of Eagle Hill. "Successfully folding new hires into your organization happens over time with many people involved, which is all the more complex given the growth of remote and hybrid work."
Transparency also can help matters, according to sources who previously spoke to HR Dive. Specifically, leaders might speak to how the company is navigating the pandemic and how it has adjusted operations to cope with the crisis.