People are a significant investment in any business. For small business owners with limited time and manpower, every new hire means an expenditure of resources on screening, assessment and eventually, recruitment. Naturally, it makes sense from both an organisational and individual perspective that every new employee is brought up to speed as quickly as possible and successfully assimilated into his new role.
This is where onboarding comes in – effective onboarding can improve employee satisfaction, reduce turnover and enhance performance – all of which strengthens both your team and your bottom line.
Here are 5 tips for smoothening the employee onboarding process:
1) Start early
Your new hire may be experiencing some anxiety and unfamiliarity prior to the transition into a new role and organisation. Try to ease your new hire into the organisation by providing him or her with information even before the first day on the job. For instance, send the orientation schedule, materials, and a comprehensive FAQ about the company in a welcome email. Providing some information in advance will allow your new hire to feel like part of the team even before the first day and better equip him or her to start off on the right foot.
Starting early is important as first impressions matter, and the devil is in the details – for instance, by having the new employee’s phone and computer ready for them.
2) Welcome your new hire
An essential part of easing the transition is allowing your new hire to feel accepted and welcome by the team. Apart from orienting your new hire to the more technical aspects of the business, such as strategy and organisational structure, ensure that you also assimilate your employee into the culture of your organisation. Taking the time to explain organisational lingo and debriefing post-meetings will help your new hire better understand the relationships and dynamics in the office.
Based on a survey of workers in the United States, 33% said their technology wasn’t properly set up, 22% said they didn’t have the necessary supplies provide, 16% said they didn’t even receive an overview of the company, 15% said they didn’t receive introductions to colleagues, and 14% didn’t get offered a tour of the office! This takes away from the initial experience and might dampen your new employee’s loyalty to the company.
Following are some quick tips to make sure that the rest of your office – both the infrastructure and the people – are welcoming towards the new colleague:
Adapted from Harvard Business Review
3) Establish clear standards & documentation
Induction into a new workplace means induction into a set of rules and regulations, benefits, bonuses and traditions. Instead of making your new hire learn the hard way, set out expectations clearly from the outset to ensure that there will be adherence to the norms of your organisation so as to ease the transition process.
Key workplace policies include the following:-
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Instead of having your new hire fill out a ton of forms on his first day of work, store all important documentation in an online hub and let your employees know that these materials are available online. A web-based onboarding system allows you to standardise, streamline, track and coordinate every stage of the process.
4) Involve your team
When your new employee joins your organisation, he is joining a community of people that he will be working closely with at this new stage of his career. As such, get your team involved in bringing your new hire up to speed. Have someone act as a sponsor and designate this person as the go-to person for when the new teammate meets with problems. This is beneficial for the sponsor as it gives him or her the platform to demonstrate leadership skills, while the new employee has a resource to go to for feedback and direction.
5) Make it personal
If your company has multiple teams or is undergoing rapid expansion, you don’t want your new employee to feel like a cog in the machine when he has just stepped foot into the organisation. According to a Harvard Business Review article, one of the key characteristics of humans is our longing for opportunities to be valued as our authentic selves. By building an onboarding process based on an individual-identity condition that encourages authentic self-expression, organisations can create an environment that motivates employees and positively influences attitudes towards work and job satisfaction.
An example of a one-hour session that focuses on how new hires can bring their unique perspectives and strengths to the table could look like this:
Source: Harvard Business Review
In a nutshell…Design by: The Working Capitol
This article was written by Dragon Law for The Working Capitol and was first published on The Working Capitol blog and the Capitol Press, a publication of The Working Capitol.