The first few weeks on the job are important for both employees and employers. The onboarding process, which is a combination of orientation, training, and getting new hires up to speed with company policies and procedures, can help a new employee feel more comfortable in their role and be productive sooner. A poorly executed onboarding process can lead to high turnover rates, as well as poor customer service due to lack of understanding from employees about how things work in the company.
When considering your strategy for assimilating your newest hire into your company, it is important not to overwhelm them! A few quick words about everything might seem like a lot, but when you break it down into smaller pieces that can be more easily digested by the newcomer- they are much less overwhelmed. Encourage Q&A time or set aside 30 minutes after orientation where people can ask questions in private without feeling overwhelmed by all the information coming at them.
Make sure there is someone available who has knowledge of what each department does (and where they are located), so when an employee starts working at any level in the organization, they know where they can go for help. Clear communication is key!
8 Quick Tips for Successful Onboarding
These tips are a good map to start building your company’s onboarding program or to use as a guide to evaluate your current program.
- Provide an overview of the organization’s history, values, goals, and mission statement
- Introduce employees to their manager or direct supervisor
- Assign mentors who can answer questions about work-related topics such as benefits or office policies
- Give employees a tour of the workplace
- Provide information on where they can find the tools needed for their job (e.g., equipment manuals, where the outlets are, the training portal)
- Explain how they should communicate with coworkers (e.g., email etiquette)
- Share what behaviors are expected from all employees at work (e.g., dress code, work hours)
- Show them how to use any software programs used by the company (e.g., Microsoft Office).
A good onboarding process will make sure new employees understand how they will be evaluated, what their goals are and the performance expectations, as well as clearly communicating company policies on dress code and work hours. Without a proper understanding of these things from day one, an employee could become frustrated quickly. The benefits to you, as the employer, will be a smoother transition, a shorter path to full efficiency, and the overall business success realized from happy, hardworking, long-term employees.