5 preboarding mistakes to avoid to boost employee retention

Preboarding mistakes to avoid

Your employee’s journey begins weeks before they actually step into the workplace. In fact, it starts on the very day they sign the contract. Making the most of the period leading up to the start date, also known as preboarding, is vital to improve employee retention. 

After months of intense searching and interviewing, most of us would like to sit back and relax once we have found the right candidate. But in reality, the work is far from over. In this article, we explain why preboaring matters and list common preboarding mistakes to avoid. The aim is to help your organization keep the talent you worked so hard to acquire.

What is preboarding?

The time period between accepted offer and start date is usually referred to as preboarding. The purpose of the preboarding process is to introduce your new hire to the company and its culture and prepare them for their first few weeks at the workplace. It is also an excellent opportunity to establish contact and boost engagement prior to day one. Most people feel excited about the new chapter in their career and are keen to get started. Preboarding makes the most of this enthusiasm and builds up momentum prior to the start date. 

What are the preboarding benefits?

A successful preboarding comes with a number of time and cost-saving benefits.

Preboarding speeds up and improves the onboarding process

Effective preboarding can be viewed as a stepping stone to onboarding. It gives your new hire a basic understanding of their role, the business and your company’s culture - before they have stepped into the workplace. This fundamental knowledge can speed up the onboarding process and the time until they are fully up and running.

Preboarding sets the right expectations and reduces the risk of “rookie turnover”

Successful preboarding helps setting the right expectations from the very start. Clear and frequent communication early in the process ensures that you and your new employee are on the same page. Having a mutual understanding of the role and its terms and conditions reduces the risk of “rookie turnover”. The term refers to new employees who resign within their first year.

Preboarding keeps your most promising candidates committed

Engaging with new employees early in the process minimizes the risk of losing them to your competitors. Jobseekers are likely in multiple recruitment processes with many similar organizations. And the competition is fierce. During the notice period, your new employee may get offers from other companies, which may create doubts and second thoughts. An effective and personalized preboarding builds up early engagement, which helps you keep your new hire committed. 

Preboarding mistake #1: Lack of established processes create a ketchup effect

First things first. Make sure you have a preboarding process in place. Without an established framework, important tasks may fall off the radar. Making up for it later may create a ketchup effect and leave your new talent feeling bombarded with tasks and information prior to the first day. It may also cause bottlenecks later in the onboarding process.

Automated workflows ensure that information and admin tasks are being distributed in a timely and organized manner. There should be enough time to digest and complete each task. Learnster’s Automation Rules help you create automated learning journeys that create structure and reduce manual administration. 

Preboarding mistake #2: Late or infrequent touchpoints make candidates opt out

Starting a new job is usually associated with a sense of accomplishment and excitement. Still, your new employee might be open to other job offers and feel curious about how they compare to yours. Long periods of silence during the notice period may build up doubts or a change of heart. To keep your new hire committed, make the most of the initial excitement and keep the momentum going. 

Learnster’s integration with Teamtailor builds early engagement at the click of a button. Add a Learnster Experience to selected steps of your Teamtailor recruitment process. Introduce your company and drive engagement already at the job offer stage. Roll out preboarding as soon as the contract is signed. Finally, follow up with onboarding in Learnster throughout the first crucial weeks. The experiences trigger automatically as your candidate moves through the steps of the hiring journey. Learn more about Learnster’s integration with Teamtailor

Preboarding mistake #3: Generic and impersonal content kills the motivation 

Nothing is worse than feeling like “just another” cog in a machine. Instead, you want your new hire to feel special, welcome and excited about their first day. When employees feel valued and recognized, they usually do a better job.

Say goodbye to generic communication and make the preboarding process personalized to your new hire. Use Learnster’s Automation Rules to create a personalized and relevant learning journey with content based on job role, team and workplace location. Video greetings from the managers and team members are a nice addition to the preboarding and a nice way to connect with your new hire. Combine videos with pictures of the workplace in Learnster's easy-to-use course authoring tool with a smooth drag-n-drop interface. 

Preboarding mistake #4: A one-sided process raises more questions than answers

Effective preboarding programs go beyond sending out documents and paperwork to your new hire. Chances are it will raise more questions than answers. Instead, you want to make the preboarding a two-way process with plenty of opportunities to feedback on the content and ask questions.

In Learnster, you can combine courses and company information with feedback forms and surveys to clarify any questions at the earliest. Choose whether to use feedback functions following individual tasks, or upon course completion.

Preboarding mistake #5: Wrong formats cause information overload 

To speed up the preboarding and onboarding processes, it can be tempting to send all the available company information. Still, you do not want to overwhelm your new employee with too much information, paperwork and admin tasks at once. Instead, drip-feed your new employee with bite-sized chunks of relevant information and smaller digestible tasks. 

Make the preboarding concise and relevant. Important company information and word-dense documents can be turned into shorter videos or smaller blocks of text. Using Learnsters authoring tool, you can combine formats for an optimal, digestible learning experience. 

Choose an LMS that is designed for preboarding

Choosing an LMS for preboarding, your company is in a good position to provide a successful preboarding experience. This can in turn boost employee retention. Smart automation tools reduce HR and L&D admin, whilst improving the quality of the preboarding experience for new hires.

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