When it comes to new hires, it isn’t all just handshakes and health insurance forms. These are the newest members of your team we’re talking about. Someday, these people will be responsible for a huge project that affects your company, they’ll be the people sharing laughs with you in the break room, and eventually, onboarding new hires themselves. Onboarding is more than logistics: it’s personal.
There are 5 steps to help ensure a successful first day for both the new hire and the manager.
1. Clearly define the job and your expectations. Many new employee onboarding efforts get derailed before you even mail the offer letter simply because you never clearly define the job. Every position should have a distinct set of responsibilities, with clear goals and expectations for each employee.
2. Develop an orientation program. Whether it’s assigning a mentor or presenting an overview class, develop an orientation program that addresses all the basic needs of each new employee. This may include having the employee train on policies and procedures and tour your company building.
Have your new employee complete necessary forms that will provide the information you will need to run payroll.
3. Prepare the work environment. All the tools new employees need should be ready the minute they come to the office on their first day of work. This step not only makes the employee feel immediately welcome and appreciated, but preparing for an employee can also prevent many lost hours of productivity.
For example, if you hire for an office position, the new employee should have basic office supplies in his or her work area. If the employee will use a computer, make sure one is set up with Internet access and an email account set up. If the employee needs a phone, connect one to the desk and have a clear set of instructions for the voicemail readily accessible.
4. Introduce new employees to team members. Introduce new employees to their team members and explain how their responsibilities fit into the work your current employees do. To make the onboarding process more comfortable, you can schedule a team meeting on the employee’s first day or make another employee responsible for introductions.
5. Stay connected. During the first few months of employment, make a point to check in with new hires. Look for signs that the employee fits in well with your company and help guide them through situations that may not be going smoothly.
As you can see, a program for onboarding doesn’t have to be especially long or complex. It’s important to have one, though. A good onboarding process is key to improving employee retention and can help employers crystallize the scope of the roles for which they’re hiring. By giving your new hires a thorough understanding of expectations and responsibilities early on, and encouraging bonding with colleagues from day one, you’re setting them–and your company–up for success.