Laura Iñiguez, Content Manager at Hirebook
Laura is a content and social media strategist with deep experience in Employee Engagement, People Management, and Culture. She works with Hirebook to bring their innovative best practices to life through content, videos, and webinars seen by thousands around the globe.
Pub: December 22 2020
. Upd: October 22 2021
Integrating new hires into a company requires an effective employee onboarding process. This needs to be a positive and structured experience to ensure our new employee understands the culture of the company, their tasks, and activities and provide them with the tools and resources to perform their job.
There is so much to prepare after the acceptance of an offer letter, and it’s essential to have a formal and structured employee onboarding process before an employee’s start date to keep that great first impression lingering. Some people might think an employee onboarding process is not that difficult, but in order to ensure high retention rates, the first few days of a new hire are determining. New hires probably had to resign or reject another job to come work for us, and they most likely didn’t make up their minds based solely on monetary benefits, and most of the time these benefits won’t be enough to stay if they feel uncomfortable. A successful onboarding experience should drive new employees towards success, providing support, engagement, and accountability; and it should also guarantee your company with top talent working at the top of their game.
To help you with this process, we decided to share with you our employee onboarding process best practices to welcome your new hires into a warm and high performing environment:
Onboarding Starts Before an Employee’s First Day of Work
After the offer acceptance by your prospect, they’re probably going to be excited about their new job and getting to know every aspect of your company and their role. It’s important to keep in touch with them from the moment they accept to the moment they actually join the company, which might take around one or two weeks. As part of the HR team, you should do frequent check-ins with your soon-to-be employee and email them with all the information they will need to join their first day fully prepared: parking, dress code, break room, at what time and where you’ll meet on that first day, their schedule for the day, how to communicate with their future co-workers or a directory, etc. It is also very important to assure them that you’re available in case they have any questions.
In the meantime, make sure that they’re properly entered into the system and to have their credentials ready for when they arrive. Set their space up ahead of time and, if possible, ask them what their preferences regarding equipment are, this will show your future employee that the company really cares about their comfort and wellbeing and they’ll start their job with high motivation.
Part of the employee onboarding process is to make a thorough agenda of their first couple of days, planning who they need to meet with, the teaching of the company culture, etc., new hires tend to feel like a deer in the headlights, so the most reassurance they can get during the employee onboarding process, the better.
Announce the New Arrival
No matter if your company is large or small, when having a newcomer a lot of people in different departments won’t know or notice when a new employee joins the company. Maybe some people in other teams or departments will never collaborate with the new hire, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t know about each other.
Sharing an announcement is a great practice that allows everyone to know who’s joining and what they’ll be doing. When you send the announcement, you must include their name, photo, position, maybe a couple of academic or work highlights, and some fun facts that will help others to get familiar with the newbie. Remember to copy your new employee in the chain, so everyone can welcome them.
Now we’re getting to the usual new employee onboarding process. Now that your new hire has stepped into your company, it’s time to hold an employee orientation session. Here you’ll explain to them everything about the company’s mission, values, rules, codes of conduct, etc. Here you can also have the new hire finish the required paperwork to officially join the company.
If you have some other new hires, try to have this session with everyone, this way you can save some time and the new employees will get a chance to bond with their new co-workers.
Don’t turn this part of the employee onboarding program into a “get to know just us” kind of thing, but take this opportunity to learn a little bit more about them and hold activities to make them feel welcome. Try to involve as many people as possible, like senior leaders, payroll, and other colleagues at their level, and have them share a little bit about their job and their experience at the company.
Provide a Mentor
The first week is always the hardest for new hires. And even when they meet their managers or supervisors, chances are they’ll be busy whenever they have doubts about their tasks, software, or anything else. It’s important to verify who among their team members could be that mentor without jeopardizing the compliance of their tasks.
An experienced teammate can help your new employee understand better the importance of their tasks and can even take them around the facilities and introduce them to some other colleagues that they’ll be interacting with. Having a colleague assigned to help them is a huge relief for the new hire and it’s another opportunity to help them to bond easily with their team members. Check out our article “What Makes Good Teamwork?” in order to know more about how to instill collaboration among employees.
Assemble a Manual
A good employee onboarding process should always include a manual. Give your new hires a manual with all the information they’ll need. The first few days will be loaded with information and sometimes it is difficult to remember everything. During the employee onboarding training sessions, hand your new employees a manual that contains the highlights about the company, such as mission and core values, and your company policies; and also include important graphics like an org chart, facility map, and employee directory.
You could even ask your current employees for ideas on what else to include in this manual, like what they would’ve wanted to know during their first few days at the company.
Ask for Feedback
By the end of the employee onboarding process, make sure you ask your new hires what their thoughts were about it or if there was something missing. Their input can be very helpful in improving this process for future employees since the employee onboarding process is something that should evolve as the company grows.
Offer your new hire a redo, usually, the first few days are crammed with information and activities, so it’s very helpful to keep the door open for a redo on a certain topic in case they forgot or missed anything. This option could also be available to your senior employees, everyone needs to refresh every now and then.
When the employee onboarding program comes to an end, we usually let our new hires fly and be on their own as we move on to our next hires. Keep in mind that you’re the first person a new hire has contact with and the one they feel most comfortable with at the beginning. Even when you’re not their direct supervisor, one of the best practices we can recommend is to Check-In with your not-so-new hire after about 3 months in, and ask them how they’ve been doing and feeling their first few weeks, if there’s something they need help with or a problem they don’t feel comfortable discussing with their manager.
A good employee onboarding process sets the tone for every new employee and how they’ll perform at least for the first couple of months. If they step into a safe and welcoming environment they’ll focus more on their performance rather than on how things are handled within the company.
By fostering an easy integration to the company, you’re making sure that your employees engage rapidly and that they’ll smoothly start performing their duties with almost no bumps in the road. Remember you chose your employee and the employee chose you for a reason, don’t let them down and they’ll surely won’t let you down.
Photo credit - gpointstudio