Pub: December 22 2020
. Upd: June 22 2021
Some people might think an 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 employees 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 should drive new employees towards success, providing support, engagement and accountability; and it should also ensure your company with top talent working at the top of their game.
To help you with this process, we decided to share with you best practices to welcome your new employees into a warm and high performing environment:
Once your prospect accepts your offer, they’re probably going to be excited about 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. 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 colleagues 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 in 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.
Make a thorough agenda of their first couple of days, planning who they need to meet with, teaching of the company culture, etc., every new hire feels like a deer in the headlights, so the most reassurance they can get, the better.
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 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 them 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 each other.
Don’t turn this session 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.
The first week is always the hardest for a new hire. 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 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. Check out our article “What Makes Good Teamwork?” in order to know more about how to instill collaboration among employees.
Give your employees 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 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 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.
By the end of the 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 onboarding process is something that should evolve as the company grows.
Offer your new hire a redo, usually the first few days are cramped 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 onboarding process comes to an end, we usually let our newbies 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.
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 your for a reason, don’t let them down and they’ll surely won’t let you down.
Photo credit - gpointstudio
BY Brett Knowles
BY Brett Knowles
BY Brett Knowles
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