Training & Performance

Onboarding Best Practices: Don’t Let Your New Hires Feel Lost In the Shuffle

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“Prospective employees tend to prove themselves during the hiring process – so shouldn’t companies prove themselves to the new employee once that employee is hired?”

Many companies treat orientation just as described above, as a day to have new employees complete paperwork and/or watch videos to acclimate new employees to the company. The onboarding experience at companies should not be anything like my previous experience, but more welcoming, informative and engaging. Many statistics have revealed that first impressions help to determine if a new hire will still be around in a year.

Onboarding is a very important period in the employee’s life cycle with the company. Companies spend thousands of dollars to recruit and interview; however, barely spend enough time with new hires to ensure a smooth transition. Many companies hire for two reasons. The first reason is they are very busy and need additional employees to keep up with the work, therefore the onboarding is hurried and short. The second reason is high turnover, which means there is not enough time to properly onboard each hire.

In many instances, an onboarding experience can be improved by incorporating the following guidelines:

  1. On the first day, make sure all the new hire paperwork is completed. Most companies ensure paperwork is completed by having new employee’s complete and sign forms remotely or online prior to the first day of employment. Also, make sure the payroll is set up, computer access has been granted, phone set up, and the network configured before the employee arrives. Completing all the paperwork prior to the first day allows the hiring manger more time spend with the new employee, to show them their new work space and do formal face to face introductions.
  1. Provide your new employee with a documented list of set expectations. This helps the employee establish a sense of routine. This would include things such as providing the employee with a calendar which includes all the upcoming milestones, a list of set expectations and responsibilities or simply going over their job description with them.
  1. Most importantly, check in regularly with your new hire. This is the time to schedule meetings with the new employee, the hiring manager and the next level manager in intervals over the course of six months. It’s a great way for management to ensure feedback on how the company is doing. Is the company doing things right? Are there any areas needing improvement? In addition, it allows the employee regular one on one opportunities to get answers from upper management. It is also a great time for the employee’s manager to schedule weekly/monthly meetings with the employee.

A good onboarding process is not difficult to produce or maintain. It may be a lot of work in the beginning, but once you have a great process in place, it shows excellent organization, pride in the company’s culture and accountability to new employees. Although companies value their employees with what they feel to be great compensation, money is simply not enough to attract and retain talent. Highly talented, skilled and creative employees can be highly compensated anywhere. With that being said, ask yourself if your company’s onboarding program differs from your competition or are your new employees getting lost in the shuffle?