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All Aboard! ALEX(R) Survey Finds Many Companies Miss the Onboarding Boat

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Jun 4, 2014) - Nothing says, "Welcome to your new job!" like being stuck in an empty conference room with nothing to do on your first day, right? Or not getting much help about which benefits you should choose? Or failing to receive any feedback about your performance during your first 90 days? But that's what many employees experience, according to Jellyvision's new "ALEX® Asks: What Employees Think About Your Onboarding" survey report. The survey, which polled 400 new hires at companies with more than 2,000 employees, details the new-job experiences of employees at organizations with and without official onboarding programs.

And what are those experiences like? Well, some onboarding horror stories include tales of new hires not knowing how to enter the secure building of their new employer, arriving to work completely overdressed and being subjected to stressful benefits orientations at the end of an overwhelming first day.

Additionally, the survey finds that one in five eager-eyed new hires (19.8 percent) don't have a desk ready for them on day one, one in four (25.9 percent) have to wait for someone to swing by with a working computer and one in three (35.7 percent) do not have access to an official email address.

And that's just the first day!

Of course, some employees report having had much better onboarding experiences. Those at companies with official onboarding programs say they felt welcomed into the organization and well-prepared to do their jobs.

In fact, the survey finds that new hires are nearly three times as likely to be "somewhat satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the first 90 days of their employment when their companies have an official onboarding program in place (70.7 percent) than when they don't (24.7 percent).

Unfortunately, it appears as though many companies are missing the onboarding boat. Only about half (52.3 percent) of the surveyed employees said their new companies have official onboarding programs that are designed to help new hires learn about company culture, meet coworkers and understand the requirements of the job for which they've been hired.

The report also finds that the best onboarding programs start before the employee's first day, as new hires find early communication helpful in their efforts to hit the ground running. New hires especially appreciate receiving welcome messages from their managers, details about their onboarding plans and information about their employee benefits.

"Our survey found that nearly 40 percent of new hires feel the ideal time to make benefit decisions is BEFORE their first day on the job," said Jellyvision founder and ALEX creator Harry Gottlieb. "Receiving benefits information before I started at Jellyvision would have been very helpful. It took a long time before I was able to offer myself benefits, and even longer before I could hire an HR person to explain it to me."

Once new hires do start their new roles, the ALEX report found that official onboarding programs are great at getting them prepared to succeed in their new role within the first 90 days. This includes things like having training and mentorship programs implemented to get employees up to speed on their responsibilities and provide them with feedback on their performance as early as possible.

"Learning the ropes at a new job can be a pain in the butt," said Gottlieb. "But really smart companies understand that, and take the extra steps to make sure new hires are happy and ready to work. This report shows that good onboarding programs, which frequently include strong benefits communication, are key for getting new hires up to speed." 

The ALEX Onboarding Survey Report was conducted in partnership with The Olinger Group. Click here to read the full report, and click here learn more about ALEX, the virtual benefits counselor.

About ALEX®
ALEX is a web-based virtual benefits counselor who transforms jargon, legalese, and gobbledygook into personally relevant information employees can use to do things like make sense of health care reform and select their best-fit benefits plans. Today, ALEX is available to millions of employees, and almost 90 percent of those who use him say they better understand and appreciate their benefits thanks to his help. To learn more about ALEX, please visit meetalex.com.

About Jellyvision
Jellyvision helps companies explain their important (but maybe kind of complex) messages in a delightful way. We create virtual salespeople, brokers, guidance counselors, HR reps, and teachers, who have fun, personalized conversations with your customers and employees and help them understand confusing or snooze-inducing topics. For more information and examples of our work, visit jellyvision.com.