Engaging employees is a critical part to a successful onboarding process.

How Employers Can Onboard More Effectively

Hiring a candidate is just the first step toward developing a successful employee.

Onboarding is an often overlooked aspect of the employee training process, and it can hurt businesses that don't invest in the process upfront. Part of the onboarding process is not only getting employees up to speed on company policies and their individual responsibilities, but also getting them excited about working for the company. Workers who aren't enthusiastic about what they do can cost companies big time.

In fact, disengaged employees cost companies somewhere between $450 billion and $550 billion in lost productivity nationwide, according to estimates from a Rapt Media report. Onboarding can be a critical turning point for employees that either makes them excited to start working or leaves them wondering why they applied in the first place. But training employees can be a tricky process, and it's important to know what works and what doesn't.

Here are some onboarding best practices that will engage new recruits and turn them into satisfied, productive employees in no time:

Make the process interactive
Instead of forcing new employees to sit through an endless parade of PowerPoint presentations, employers should strive to make onboarding an engaging process that forces workers to interact with the training content. Twenty-five percent of respondents in Rapt Media's survey want games and humor incorporated into the training process, and 25 percent want more customized information instead of a general overview of the company, the report found.

Taking steps to make onboarding a more exciting process will pay off in more invested, engaged and knowledgeable employees who will help the company thrive. Another element to a successful onboarding process is remembering that not all employees are the same.

Tailor presentations to individual employees
Learning styles among workers will vary dramatically, and to get the most out of each of them managers should train new recruits in a manner consistent with an employee's learning style, according to Business 2 Community. For example, 82 percent of workers learn better from interactive materials such as videos than they do from pamphlets or other static reading materials, according to Rapt's report.

With this in mind, employers should craft onboarding sessions that cater to interactivity and utilize multimedia elements to engage employees throughout the process. It's also critical to consistently update onboarding materials to reflect current policies and procedures, otherwise employees might feel like they're filling their heads with useless knowledge. Lastly, it's important for co-workers to step in to fill in the gaps left by the training process.

Create a mentorship program
After every session is complete, a new employee will most likely still have questions about their responsibilities and how things work around the office. Onboarders should foster a relationship between a new employee and a veteran in the company to help field any questions. Starting out is usually a stressful time for new hires and having someone experienced to help them work out any kinks shows employees that companies care about their well-being, Entrepreneur reported.

Managers should also seek out feedback from new hires as well as established employees to get a better idea of how the onboarding process went. From these conversations, supervisors can work to improve the process for future employees and cultivate happier employees in the process.