Academy of BFSI,

4 Tips for Onboarding New Hires in Banks

Most banking organisations today invest significant resources and time in recruiting the right employees, but often fail at the next crucial step – successfully on-boarding them. Why does this matter? Turnover is expensive, especially for the banking and financial services sector, which has the highest voluntary attrition rate among industries. According to a recent survey, voluntary employee turnover rates have reached record high levels in banking —19% for non-officers and 7% for officers. The trend holds good for India as well. The banking and financial services sector in the country is emerging as the ‘new IT’ in terms of job growth, increments, as well as employee attrition.  The RBI predicts that high turnover will become the new norm in the industry.

At a time when labor markets are increasingly tightening, banks cannot afford to lose employees due to an unstructured onboarding program. An effective and well-designed onboarding process is fundamental to increasing employee satisfaction and engagement, and reducing voluntary attrition.

Here are four tips to get it right:

#1 Make the first 90 days count:

One-week onboarding programs are passé. Corporates are realizing that a good onboarding process takes at least 90 days – that’s the time new hires need, on average, to understand job requirements, build team relationships, and identify with the organisational culture. 77% of employees who receive formal 90 days or more of onboarding are able to achieve their first performance milestone by the set timeline.

#2 Integrate training and education into the onboarding mix:

25% of onboarding programs fail to incorporate training, leading to a 60% loss of the company’s entire workforce. This is especially true for highly specialised industries such as banking and finance, where the importance of imparting ongoing training to new hires cannot be overstated. HDFC Bank, one of India’s leading private lenders, leverages an elearning platform to provide new employees access to over 100 self-learning courses to empower and nurture them.   Indian BFSI players would also do well to take a leaf from JP Morgan Chase’s five-year USD 250 million initiative New Skills at Work, which aims to impart demand-driven skills training to employees.

#3 Gamify the onboarding experience:

As banks turn increasingly digital on the customer side, applying the same strategies to employee onboarding can help increase adoption and knowledge retention. Gamification of the whole training and onboarding experience is a highly effective way to familiarise new hires with the corporate culture and impart complex financial concepts in a stress-free manner.  HDFC Bank’s eLearning platform blends scenario-based learning and gamified learning to introduce new employees to the bank’s Code of Conduct.

#4 Leverage the ‘camaraderie effect’ to your advantage: 

Who’d prefer to read HR polices, SOPs, and other important information from a handbook, when there’s a helpful team member willing to walk them through it? Getting the team involved is one of the most effective ways to onboard new hires quickly. Do this by identifying existing employees who have the knowledge and experience to train others and assign them as mentors to each new hire.

Fine-tune the onboarding process through built-in feedback loops

Successful onboarding of new employees is the result of several HR activities coming together seamlessly to create a holistic process that supports and nurtures new employees. Most importantly, an effective onboarding process should be geared to gather employee feedback periodically – after a week, 30 days, 60 days and so on. The idea is to encourage new hires to express their opinions on the onboarding process and pin-point the hits and misses, allowing organisations to continuously improve.

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