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5 Ways to Improve Onboarding New Employees in the Construction Industry

OnBoarding (900 x 600)

Industries like the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) are already struggling with a skilled labor shortage. Hence, effectively engaging newly hired employees with the organization, and introducing them to on-the-job safety information as well as the tools and information they need to be successful takes on greater importance.

Add to it the fact that 33% of new employees quit a new job during their first 90 days – and we see that effective employee onboarding is vital to retaining skilled labor in the construction industry.

Employee onboarding is more than orientation or processing paperwork for new hires. Rather, as defined by  the Society for Human Resources Development (SHRM), employee onboarding is a strategic process that helps new hires:

“adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly, and learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to function effectively within an organization.”

This crucial process toward employee retention can take up to 12 months and involves frequent check-ins to integrate new employee into their role with training, support and expectations.

Since employee onboarding can play a significant role in adding to and retaining more workers in the talent pipeline, EPC companies need to implement strategies to improve the onboarding process for new employees. Here are 5 ways they can do so:

Engage them early – no blackout period: There’s no need to waste time bringing new hires into the fold. Many applicant tracking systems integrate with onboarding, payroll, and EPC project management solutions to bring employees onboard as soon as they accept the offer and introduce them to the company culture.

Utilize these onboarding solutions to connect new employees with support, goal-setting, and skilled and industry-based training program so that workers understand their expectations, proper safety, and operating procedures prior to deploying to the field to produce quality work.

Give them tools – and an onboarding roadmap – to succeed

By using integrated EPC solutions, new hires have a positive employee onboarding process that helps them feel more engaged, knowledgeable and connected. Whether you are introducing new hires to existing employees, leaders, or mentors via video or team-oriented activities, give your skilled labor connections to reach out to with questions, inspiration or guidance.

Providing new hires with onboarding activities also provides them basic training and familiarity with the project management tools they will be using – so, they spend less time on training and paperwork and more time in the field.

Outside of providing connections, utilize systems that include goal and performance setting, help outline job and field expectations and organize and track tasks that need to be completed and managed electronically.

Boost company reputation

This is often overlooked, but creating a simple, savvy and effective onboarding process communicates the employer’s brand to the employee and builds a strong first impression. Employers often lose first-choice candidates or hire the wrong people for the job because their onboarding processes and systems don’t match their brand or vision.

If your company prides itself on being innovative, making informed decisions or utilizing effective processes and technology in the field, but still uses a manual onboarding process, there’s a big mismatch.

Effective employee branding or internal communications doesn’t need a fancy marketing budget. Rather, show your new hires who you are with a positive employee onboarding experience.

Simplify the process

When you win a project bid, there’s little time to waste deploying craft into the field – but that doesn’t mean you skip the entire onboarding process.

Automate your workflows, paperwork and normal onboarding process to keep onboarding hassle-free and more productive. From the offer letter to alerts and notifications when documents, activities and training or due, complete or incomplete, let your human resource focus more on creating engaging processes and less on enforcing deadlines and penalties for missing documents.

With the click of a button, you can send IT requests to set up new hires’ badge, phone, tablet and logins for their construction daily log, payroll solution and EPC project management logins before they arrive. Utilize an onboarding system that gives all your new hires everything they need and instantly connects their data across existing systems.

Promote Construction Growth

New employees want to know they can make a career from their new gig – and construction companies are worried about the worker shortage and worker retention. To meet both challenges, onboarding new employees should include empowering individuals to feel connected, supported, and able to develop professionally.

Integrating your onboarding software with a system that promotes construction growth and embraces a learning culture helps retain talent. (Did you know that 94 percent of employees would stay at a company longer if the company invested in their learning and development?)

If individuals can set and see goals set for them through the onboarding process, they’ll most likely stick around beyond the first 90 days.

Learn more about how CEM’s employee onboarding software can improve the onboarding process for new hires.

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