Employees more likely to settle quickly at smaller businesses, research claims

Only 36 per cent of workers at large businesses feel welcomed on first day

Richard Jenkins
Tuesday 28 May 2019 15:22 BST
Sixty-four per cent of respondents believed a good on-boarding process would lead them to feel more committed to a company
Sixty-four per cent of respondents believed a good on-boarding process would lead them to feel more committed to a company (Getty Images)

Workers are more likely to settle quickly at smaller businesses, according to research.

Forty-one per cent of employees working for businesses with a staff of less than 50 admitted they were welcomed with open arms on their first day.

And those entering a smaller workforce claimed to feel settled a week faster than those entering larger organisations with more than 250 employees.

The poll of 2,000 office workers and HR specialists also found 56 per cent of small business workers were pleased to see their workstation all set up and ready for use the minute they walked in the door.

In comparison, just 36 per cent of employees felt welcomed on day one of the job in larger businesses, while only half had their computer set up for them before they arrived.

Simon Connell, general manager of employee on-boarding software specialists Webonboarding, which commissioned the research, said: “Starting a new job can be a daunting prospect - so it’s important to make the process as good an experience as possible.

“It’s made much worse by turning up on your first day with nobody to show you around, your computer not being set up or having a pile of paperwork to fill in and generally feeling like an afterthought.

“Companies that go the extra mile to make sure new employees feel welcome quickly often find their staff will stay loyal for longer.”

Staff members at small businesses were also 10 per cent more “friendly” to new members of the team than at places with 250 employees or more.

And they were found to be better at helping people get settled into their new job roles quickly, by doing things like making sure allocated phone lines were set up on day one.

However, nearly four in 10 of those at large companies said other staff members made an effort to set up team lunches, dinners or outings after a new starter came in, compared to just three in 10 at smaller businesses.

And people working at larger organisations were more likely to commit to progressing their career and growing as a person within their company.

Those working in businesses with 250 or more employees also believed they got better training and assistance as they grew into their role.

People in larger employers found all their on-boarding processes, like HMRC documents and contracts, were more likely to be completed before they started work, than those at smaller businesses.

Across all-sized businesses, the process of exchanging documents was a largely manual affair, with new employees often being asked to complete paper contracts and company policies.

As such, one in 10 of those polled had gone through such a bad experience with company on-boarding, they ended up dropping out of the new role before they even started.

And a fifth would turn down a role in the future if the company’s processes for new starters were not up to scratch.

Sixty-four per cent of respondents, polled via OnePoll, also believed a good on-boarding process would lead them to stay in a role longer and feel committed to a company.

Mr Connell added: “The study shows there are pros and cons to working for companies of all size.

“Often, bigger businesses have been around for longer and have tried-and-true on-boarding processes that have been fine-tuned for years.

“However, there’s also something to be said for companies that avoid a ‘one size fits all approach’.

“What is clear from our results is that making employees feel valued from the very first day they start is a great way of engendering loyalty to your business."


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