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Onboarding doesn’t have to be a solo venture for new hires – and it shouldn’t be. Employees with friends at work are 47 percent more likely to get engaged to their companies. Consequently, having a successful onboarding is a vital part of having a successful team at your company. Besides, proper onboarding educates employees about the mission, vision, culture and values of the organization as well. Of course, this leads to higher productivity as well. Here are some tips how to help new hires fit in faster.

Having the proper onboarding strategy might not be easy. Here are some tips on what stages you should consider and what other tips can be useful when having a new employee.

welcome

Stages of onboarding

Stage 1: Prior to Day One

Immediately after the hire accepts your offer, you need to:

  • plan the paperwork: give them information about where they need to be on their first day at your company, what to wear and who to report to
  • discuss logistics with your employee prior to the first day so that they are already familiar with some details (e.g. driving directions, public transportation, parking, dress code, expected arrival time)
  • tell them what other details to expect on the first day, such as who to meet on arrival and what the lunch plans are

Your employee should feel like you were fully prepared and ready for their arrival. If all the needed details (such as access and identification cards, business cards, systems and email access, keys, office supplies, map of the building/office, internal phone directory, payroll information) are ready when the employee arrives, it will be a very impressive start for sure.

Can be a good idea to: send a welcome packet or letter signed by one of the higher ranking officials in your organization.

Stage 2: First Day

Some of the important things to do on the first day are to:

  • make the organization’s mission, vision, values and culture clear to the employee, particularly how the employee’s job relates to the company’s mission
  • ask one of your employees to meet the fresh hire and provide an office tour
  • talk about the benefits package
  • get some staff members to treat the new hire to lunch
  • complete security and paperwork requirements

It might be a beneficial thing to do to fix a meeting with the employee’s supervisor at the end of the first day. This way the supervisor can give the new hire a picture of the responsibilities and about what the initial 30 to 90 days in his position are supposed to be like.

Can be a good idea to: encourage your new hire to take notes. Make them feel like questions are absolutely welcome.

Stage 3: Initial Week

This stage is all about clear communication of the new employee’s role and responsibilities. Parts of these are the following:

  • The supervisor and the new employee should discuss preferred management style and typical processes. It is vital to establish expectations regarding performance metrics, deliverables and timelines
  • Introduce the new hire to senior staff and other employees
  • If the hire is in a supervisory role, you need to make sure that they have group or one-on-one interactions during the first week. These meetings enable the new employee to get an idea of each team member’s work style and also help building a better team.

Can be a good idea to: collect some ideas of employees – who work in close relation to the new hire’s role – about their needs and expectations on the new employee’s work.

 Stage 4: First Thirty days

This is the stage to:

  • make it clear to the employee what you expect and within what time frame
  • develop professional relationships with the manager and coworkers, cross functional orientation, work group orientation, familiarization with organizational procedures and practices
  • help the new hire understand the company’s overall culture

Can be a good idea to: make a list of keywords about the company’s culture to make it easier to understand for the new team member. You can get other employees involved and make the list together.

Stage 5: Initial 90 days

In the course of the first month, you should make the new employees learn on the job as well as make them step on the path to confidence-building and success.

When entering the 60-day mark brainstorm the different methods by which the employee’s strengths can drive company growth. Also encourage the new hire to contribute to presentations and conversations.

By the end of the initial three months, you need to feel like the new employee is successfully merged into their workgroups and into the organization.

Can be a good idea to: ask your new hires from time to time if they feel well about the everyday work-related things, and if they are continuing to develop.

Stage 6: The 90 day mark and the first year

By the end of the first 90 days, your new hire should

  • have a strong idea about the role at the company and how it contributes to its success
  • already be aware of new projects and possible solutions, also be proactive (while respecting responsibilities)

Can be a good idea to: spare some time to notice your new hire’s progress and reward them for contributions.

Stage 7: First Year

Before the first year of your new colleague at the company ends, you might want to carry out a fresh employee survey with the goal to provide trainings.

It can be beneficial for the company that you encourage the new hire to share their constructive ideas about the organization. For this to be possible the organization has to be open to the views of newcomers.

Can be a good idea to: on the day the employee completes one year of service, send a nice congratulatory email.

handshake

Best practices

Involve the manager

The manager-employee relationship is a crucial part of an employee’s career. This starts right with onboarding. The manager should meet new employees as early as possible after the start date. The main tasks to do to help new hires are:

  • fixing performance expectations
  • setting goals
  • making development plans

You might want to keep in mind that for Generation Y the requirement for personal connections is especially high.

Long time onboarding

Onboarding should start prior to day one and continue beyond week one in order to improve employee retention. An extended duration gives you the opportunity to deal with certain topics in detail and also to provide feedback clearly and on a regular basis.

Questions and measurement of success

You need to encourage your new employees to ask questions. Make it clear that it will help them learn. It is important to help new hires get rid of the fear of “looking dumb.” Ask them what’s working, and what’s challenging or confusing for them.

Set up a measurement system about the success of onboarding. Get feedback from new hires from time to time. Focus group conversations and one-on-one interviews can also be effective to receive qualitative responses.

 Provide explanations for projects

It is essential that you extend providing clear information from the first days to when it comes to the new hires’ work assignments. You need to give guidance about:

  • what you expect them to do on their own
  • what resources are available
  • where they are required to work in collaboration with others
  • the deliverables and the deadline by which they are expected

Immediately involve your new hires in work

On-the-job training is essential for a new hire to get up to speed and start contributing at the earliest. It is also the best way to make them understand their tasks and related information.

Incorporate mentors

Good workplace integration isn’t just about new duties and responsibilities, it’s also about helping a new hire feel comfortable with the office culture. Having a mentor increases the effectiveness of onboarding and employee retention, too. You can assign a team member or have a group of mentors to help new hires. Mentors can assist you with:

  • building morale
  • improving retention
  • building teams
  • bettering time to productivity
  • enabling learning
  • providing continuing career development
  • providing network and cultural assimilation

new hires

Further tips to help new hires

Here are some further tips you might want to consider in order to help new hires’ onboarding even more successful:

  • Introduce new hires to the company on a Friday
  • Create welcome traditions
  • Provide a productive and workable workstation
  • Organize an onboarding welcome party
  • Play something together with the onboarding coworkers

 

Common mistakes

There are some common mistakes that you should avoid when it comes to onboarding. Watch out – they are quite easy to make. Here’s what to be careful about:

  • Overwhelming the new employee with too many facts, figures, names and faces
  • Showing boring orientation videos
  • Providing lengthy front-of-the-room lectures
  • Leading with the negative: meetings about money-saving measures, restructuring or belt-tightening might be confusing for a new hire

In order to have a successful onboarding, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • What do we want to achieve during new employee orientation?
  • What first impression do we want to make?

 

Summary

Effective onboarding makes employees feel valued, helps them grow in knowledge and skills and also assists them with realizing their full potential. This leads to better employee engagement.

Other benefits of proper onboarding include: a reduction in employee anxiety which one feels when one is usually in a strange or new situation, and more time saved for the supervisor because he/she has to spend less or no time teaching the hire if the initial orientation was good.

Employees are an organization’s key assets. Invest resources and time into keeping your employees creative, informed, loyal and protective.

 

What onboarding activites do you do at your company? Leave your comments down below.

Sources and related articles:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253292

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-managing/tips-for-a-new-hires-first-90-days-on-the-job/article4183310/

https://www.cleverism.com/how-to-onboard-integrate-new-employees-effectively/

https://www.thebalance.com/tips-for-a-better-new-employee-orientation-1916757

 

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