So here you are, you’ve invested time and money in recruiting the best talent possible for your team. You’ve extended an offer, it’s been accepted, and now your new hire is there standing in the doorway. If you haven’t planned out a solid onboarding strategy to plug the new hire into your team, organization, and network then there’s no way they can produce and innovate quickly and effectively as you would like them to. Keep in mind, onboarding is not only about helping the new hire, it’s about helping your company, as well. Having a great onboarding process will reduce costs associated with on-the-job learning, save time for managers and those involved in the training process, and increase retention.
4 Steps to Developing an Effective Onboarding Process for New Hires
Onboarding is a time of transition for everyone involved. It can easily be overwhelming. To implement an effective onboarding process, ensure your company is focused on the following four steps.
1) Bring new hires up-to-speed on company tools, business processes, and policies
Prior to the start-date for new hires, plug them into your company’s network. This means providing access to internal tools, whether it be the CRM or IM tool, email, benefits, and enrollment. Set them up in advance with everything they will need to be productive. Tip: Create an onboarding folder/training portal. This is where the new hire will go for administrative documents and tasks, whether it’s on the first day or the 90th day. Questions always come up, and this resource will put the answers in your new hires’ hands, giving them the responsibility and materials to answer them. In this folder should be all administrative documents:
- employee handbook and company policies
- information and contact numbers on benefits
- access to payroll system
- anything else that would be in an onboarding packet
Keep training information is this area as well, including agendas, PowerPoint presentations, videos, and check-lists. This way, a new hire can seek out the information and learn organically, rather than wait for a training to dig in. This step also includes setting up an employee’s work-station. Stock the work-station with supplies, instructions for all of the technology mentioned above, as well as phone/voicemail accounts, business cards, an organizational chart, and contact lists. Having the technology pieces in line for new hires will streamline many of the administrative tasks, as well as make onboarding consistent across the organization. It gives new hires information at their fingertips, and allows them to learn at their own pace, as opposed to waiting for training or finding the right person to ask questions.
2) Establish responsibilities and job function
All new hires should be well-versed — prior to their start date — in the role and responsibilities from the hiring process. With that said, employees should be given a written plan detailing performance objectives, strategy, and expectations for results. Managers should walk through this plan with the new hire, providing an open opportunity for discussion on each objective and goal. Managers should also set aside appropriate time slots to check in during the first week, and then at the very least bi-weekly throughout the first 30-60-90 days for the new hire. Having one-on-one meetings scheduled will give the new hire the opportunity to ask questions, the manager the chance to provide feedback, and both parties the opportunity to address concerns and accomplishments. In addition, mangers should also solicit feedback from the new hire during these meetings. The meetings will allow the new hire to feel confident that they are set up for success in the role. This will also decrease the number of unscheduled meetings between the manager and new hire, and in turn interruptions, because they both know there is a scheduled time slot for review.
3) Officially welcome the new hire
Always send out a welcome email. This is a quick and efficient way to introduce new hires to teams and to get the new hire excited about starting their new role.
4) Familiarize the new hire with the company culture and teams
Understanding the roles and responsibilities of others in the organization is key to understanding the internal workings of the company, especially during times of transition and growth. The onboarding process should include an introduction to each department, including an employee within that department, to get an overview and clear understanding of the role within the organization. In additional to scheduling a meeting with a member from each team, try scheduling meetings (preferably in-person) for new hires to meet with anyone they will be working with directly, as well as a quick meet-and-greet lunch or tour to get introduced to others in the organization. These meetings should follow a format that includes the more tenured employee sharing a description of his or her own position, team, and department, the ways in which the department/role may interact with that of the new hire, and how they might expect to work together in the future. These are some ways to improve your onboarding process for new hires. What challenges have you run into when developing your onboarding strategy?