Onboarding an unhappy experience for many new staff

Many new employees find their first experience with a new employer an unhappy time.

A majority feel disengaged after their induction into a company, with around a quarter looking for a new job, according to a new survey.

The survey shows that firms risk losing newly-hired staff, with 63 per cent feeling the onboarding process was insufficient, particularly with firms failing to make clear their position on hybrid and remote working.

It also found so-called ‘imposter syndrome’ — where people doubt their skills and suitability for roles — has begun to rise amongst employees with two in five employees (42 per cent)  believing they didn’t receive adequate support.

The ‘UK Employee Support and Retention Survey’ was conducted by virtual events and team building company Wildgoose, and found that nearly half of new employees weren’t given personal targets for role progression and just over one in three stated that they weren’t made aware of core responsibilities.

The survey of 133 UK companies, asked new recruits how their onboarding experience could have been improved, with many saying the process was not of a high standard, leaving them confused or alienated.

Onboarding affected by company size

Issues with onboarding were most prevalent in SMEs, where 77 per cent of new starters felt the process was substandard. The survey also showed that larger companies (100-999 employees) also struggled to provide a sufficient onboarding process, with 70 per cent of new employees citing areas for improvement.

This figure, while still more than half, fell to 53 per cent of new employees at enterprise-level companies (1,000+ employees).

What workers want to see from companies

The study revealed one in 10 UK employees feel their company doesn’t do enough to retain its employee talent, with a third thinking their career has stagnated. They don’t see any opportunities for progression at their current company and a quarter are currently searching for a new job.

When asked what companies could do to improve staff retention, employees identified three key areas for companies to focus on:

  • 60 per cent felt that increased pay would have helped convince them to stay
  • 53 per cent said they would have been happier with a better work/life balance
  • 49 per cent wanted more opportunities for career progression

Gill Barber, director of Resound Training and Development, suggests some ways to tackle the disconnection:

  • Don’t waste this opportunity to immerse your new starters into the values and mission behind your brand.
  • Design meaningful activities and conversations that will enable your new employees to be excited about the company.
  • Allow everyone to gain a clear understanding of their role in the achievement of team and organisational goals.
  • It’s also important to have a supportive colleague who can help guide new employees through those first few weeks.

For help and advice, contact our expert team at AGS HR Solutions today to discuss your requirements.