In today’s fast-paced world, it’s not uncommon for a company’s onboarding process to be rushed, focusing on getting the new hire integrated into their role as quickly as possible while missing important aspects along the way. We’ve talked a lot about the real problems companies face as competition for talent intensifies. When companies undertake a search, they spend considerable time to recruit, vet and hire the right candidate. This heavy investment of time and resources means that organizations need to start making returns on that investment as quickly as possible, but in doing so should not take away from the essential properties of a successful onboarding.
1. Be prepared before your new employee walks through the door. A critical part of onboarding is the preparatory work managers complete before their new hire walks into the office on the first day. This includes handling the administrative details beforehand: entering the employee into the company system, creating their email account or ID badge, and granting proper access to the building and virtual company tools. The new hire’s work space, computer, and phone will also need to be ready for use on day one.
To further ensure a smooth transition for your new employee, consider creating a workstation guide that includes how to set up voicemail, use workplace printers, scanners and photocopiers, and access the Internet.
2. Create a roadmap with clear tasks for the first week. Your new hires need time to become acclimated to their responsibilities and to your business. You can speed the process by providing a clear roadmap for the first day and several weeks beyond.
Create assignments that help your new employee get to the mission and values of your company, how departments work together, and how their role fits into the company as a whole. Include small, manageable tasks to help get your new hire’s feet wet and make sure that the supervisor or an appropriate mentor is available throughout this process.
3. Clearly communicate the first day’s plan in advance. Consider everything that goes into your new hire’s first days at the office. Clearly communicate to your new hire what time to arrive, where to report in the morning and who to ask for, whether it’s you or a different colleague. Explain where to park and what the company dress code is. For example, a “casual” dress code could look very different depending on a person’s interpretation.
4. Schedule meetings with key contacts during their first week. No role exists in a vacuum. There are likely a few key internal contacts that will be interacting with your new hire regularly. Be proactive and get these meetings scheduled during the first week. If you are able, sit in on the meetings so that you can help facilitate introductions and explain how the roles will be working together.
If that is unrealistic for your schedule, ensure that the more senior team members understand the agenda and are comfortable running the meeting. These meetings can be doubly success as they open up the opportunity for mentoring relationships.
5. Introduce the team. We spend a lot of time with our coworkers; therefore feeling welcomed and accepted in a new workplace is a common concern for new employees. If your company is able, host a team lunch where everyone can meet in a relaxed, social setting. If that’s not in the budget, consider coordinating a team cocktail hour after work where people have the opportunity to meet with the newest addition to their team.
6. Finally, ask for feedback. You are investing significant time and money each time you onboard a new employee, but how often are you asking for feedback? Include at least one opportunity to collect feedback from your new hires during their first few days. Tie this feedback into your company’s bigger picture and align it with your employee engagement and recognition goals.
Driving employee performance throughout the employment life cycle is an important tool for years of successful engagement. Let a Marketing Innovators specialist show you how today.
Entrepreneur.com. “7 Ways to Make the First Day Perfect for New Hires,” by Andre Lavoie, December 2, 2014
Entrepreneur. Com. “4 Tips on How to Bring Out the Best in Your New Hires,” by Avi Singer, April 3, 2015
NYmag.com. “You Need a Work Best Friend,” by Ron Friedman, December 2, 2014