May, 02, 2016

Get On Board With Onboarding

So, you’ve gone through the grueling hiring process and you’ve finally selected a candidate. You’ve negotiated salary, talked benefits, and they’ve accepted your job offer. The contract is signed, and the start date is in two weeks. This is great, since business is booming and you’re incredibly busy – the reason you needed to hire in the first place. Once they’re in the door, you can stop worrying, right?

Not quite. It may be tempting to want to take a breather or have your new hire dive right into work, but the new employee onboarding process is actually one of the most important things your company will do. A good onboarding process can improve job performance, of course, but it can also improve employee retention. First impressions are key, and they set the stage for the rest of the employee’s time at the company.

First, make sure you are prepared for the new hire’s first day. Does this person know where and when to show up, and what to bring with them? Is there a desk ready for them, or will you have to scramble to set up a workstation? Is all the necessary documentation signed and ready to go? Will they get paid on time? The more organized you are in advance of the first day, the better. It can be a good idea to send the new hire information and documents ahead of time to expedite this process – and that has the added benefit of getting your employee engaged before they even walk through the door.

Be there to answer questions. At no point should your new hire be wondering what they are supposed to be doing. Have a job description and schedule for the first week ready to go. Provide a mentor or buddy who can walk them through the day-to-day processes of the job. In addition to being a resource at work, the mentor can also be charged with introducing the new hire to their colleagues and welcoming them into the group. A good social experience can make a big difference in employee happiness.

Onboarding does not end after Day One. Your company is a complex structure, and it takes time to understand how everything works and get acclimated to the company culture. Schedule regular check-ins with the new hire for at least the first six months. Make sure that they are comfortable, happy, and have an opportunity to ask questions.

Good employee onboarding processes take time, energy and money, but they are worth it. In the end, you have an engaged, invested employee who is with you for the long haul.

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