9 Tips to Ensure Onboarding Success for New Employees
Onboarding is one of those HR tasks that are super important, but unless you are working at a fairly large organization, there usually isn’t someone dedicated to making sure the process is efficient and effective. A strong onboarding program increases retention rates by engaging the new employee right off the bat. An onboarding program also ensures all new hires have the same initial experience, learning about the company and getting the right information, regardless of the role they will play in the company.
Here are 9 steps to building a strong onboarding program:
Keep in regular contact with your new employee prior to their start date.
Send them any paperwork that needs to be filled out ahead of time, so they don’t spend the whole first day sitting in HR filling out stacks of paperwork.
Create a survival guide and/or a reference library for new employees.
Include information on where to find the restrooms, lunch/break room, and copier/fax machines. Let them know the go-to people should something break (maintenance, IT guys, etc.).
Create a personalized training schedule.
Training is one of the most important parts of onboarding. Without proper training, you are setting up the new employee to fail. In the schedule, be sure to include specific information, like who will be training them on different tasks.
Introduce the employee to all of the relevant parties in the organization.
Explain who each member of the team is, and what role they play.
Provide them with a mentor.
If possible, select a co-worker who held their role or a similar one in the past. It’s even better for the mentor to be someone other than their direct manager. You want the employee to feel comfortable going to their mentor with questions, and they may not want their manager to think they are incompetent.
Whether it’s a coffee mug and pen or a company bag, if you have branded swag, share some with new employees. Having an assortment of goodies will make the new employee feel more welcome. This is especially true in organizations where people often wear company sweatshirts or t-shirts in the office. You don’t want the new guy to feel like the odd duck out because they aren’t dressed like everyone else.
Have projects on their calendar for the first few weeks.
There is nothing worse than starting a new job and not having anything to do. People get busy and often forget to delegate work to new employees. So having simple projects they can work on will fill in time around their training sessions, as well as provide valuable real world training.
Schedule regular check-ins.
For the first week, check-ins should happen every day with their direct manager. After the first week, you can move to quick meetings once a week for the first 90 days. These short meetings will make the employee feel valued, and set the stage for open dialogue in the future.
Remember, keep it fun.
Plan a team lunch or social event the first week. Make it interactive to encourage team building, so the new employee will start to fit right in.