Best Practices for Onboarding New Employees
One of the most biggest dangers of being an employer is having employees come and go. A high turnover rate can impede growth and overall productivity and create toxic culture. Employees choose to leave for a new job because of a variety of reasons, but many can be avoided through careful planning and onboarding new members to your team with intention.
Sometimes a new employee might be given a tour of the office and a welcome email. An awesome new hire swag box is ready on their desk. Occasionally a team lunch might be tacked on too. This is all crucial to give the employees a warm welcome but there is much more to successfully onboarding a new team member than just this. To ensure that the company culture really shines a proper onboarding process needs to be adopted. Here are some essential steps to help onboard a new employee.
1) Provide them with a structured schedule
When you’re first hired at a new company, one of the worst things is sitting around with nothing to do during your first week. Not only does it make you feel like your employer doesn’t value your time, but it also may signal that they don’t have it together and weren’t prepared for to you to start. Sitting down and creating a schedule for your new employee’s first week will let them know that you’ve put thought into their arrival, and are excited to integrate them into your workspace. Get the hiring manager to make this a required part of your onboarding process for all employees.
2) Discuss important processes and technology
If you’re hiring this person, it must be clear to you that they’re capable of performing their job effectively. But, obviously, not all companies function the same, have the same expectations for each role, or use the same programs. As a new employee, it can be frustrating to feel out of the loop or incapable, simply because you weren’t told how to do something. It’s important to familiarize your new hire early on with the technology and processes they’ll be using on a daily basis. What is the protocol for storing documents? What word processing software is preferred? Who will they be reporting to when certain tasks are completed? These are the kind of questions that should be answered early on to prevent any confusion down the line. When it comes to employee onboarding you need to make sure that the new employee feels like they know what they need to do in their day-to-day role.
3) Invest in training
While it would be nice, it isn’t realistic to expect your new employee to hit the ground running at full-speed. The worst thing at any job is being thrown tasks you aren’t sure how to do and were not trained on. Typically, the first three to six months should be considered to be a new hire’s training period. These few months give them a generous amount of time to get settled and learn the ropes. They’ll be able to learn what tasks they are to perform, as well as how to do them efficiently and effectively. Moreover, they won’t be surprised by tasks they might have been unaware of down the line. This also might be a good time to teach them about the functions of other departments and positions, so that they can get a feel for the company as a whole. By investing in training, you’ll ensure that your employees feel comfortable carrying out all aspects of their position.
4) Set expectations early and often
On your new employee’s first day, be clear about what they’ll be expected to do and how they’ll be expected to perform. On day one go over company policies with them and be ready to answer any questions they might have. As their first several months go by, let them know what they’re doing correctly, as well as anything you want to be done differently. As you critique their work, don’t forget the power of positive feedback. Letting your employees know that their work hasn’t gone unnoticed will keep employees motivated and increase loyalty.
5) Conduct your first review
Once your employee’s training period is over, be sure to review their performance. Let them know what they’ve been successful at and what they’ll need to work on. Think of this review as a conversation–invite them to offer ways you (and your company) could improve the training practice as well. They might be shy to do so at first, but once they get more comfortable, they will surely provide helpful feedback that will benefit both you and new employees to come. This is a great way to make sure your new employees feel as though they are part of the team.
Welcoming your new employees to the team sets an important tone. Start them off with a bang with some great ways to greet them on their first day but it is also important to have their Being prepared and having a plan and schedule for their onboarding makes them feel valued and set-up to succeed in their new role.