Whether your organization is big or small, having employees means that you need to ensure that you take care of them and have more than just a basic set of rules and regulations in place. Whenever you take on new employees, you need to ensure that you have a proper onboarding system in place, because not only is this the key to engaging the new talent that has been brough in, but also the best way to retain them. Many companies lose out on time, money and resources, due to high attrition levels and this happens because there is no proper onboarding process. So what do employers need to know about new employee onboarding?
What is new employee onboarding?
For those who wonder what is the onboarding process, it is simply the process of inducting a new employee into the folds of the organization. When a new employee joins your organization, he or she will not necessarily know how your team functions. The new employee could be a fresher who has no clue about what needs to be done at a particular office or could be someone who has come in from another organization, where the methods of working were much different. New employee onboarding is a process which allows new employees to be effectively integrated into the company as well as its culture. The process also enables the new employee to gain a better understanding of everything they will need to become an effective member of the team. The process needs to have a proper strategy in place, which could cover anywhere from a few weeks to an entire year.
How does one go about starting the onboarding process?
When you start your organization, you know that you want to hire only the best people to create the most effective and efficient team and finding the right candidates is only one of the steps. If you want these new employees to stay on and become productive members of the team, you need to ensure that you are creating an onboarding process that works. While orientation includes completion of paperwork and such, onboarding is a much more elaborate procedure and can last for a much longer time.
As an employer, you will have to consider a range of factors, including when you want to start the onboarding of new employees and how long you will want it to last. You will have to consider what kind of impression about the organization you want employees walking away with, after the very first day. As an employer, you will also need to have a clear idea of what your want your new employees to know about the work environment and culture at your office as well as what kind of goals you want to set up for them. You will also have to chart out the roles that the HR, managers and other employees will have to play in the onboarding process. With the answers to all these factors, creating a proper onboarding plan should become easier.
How do you actually create an onboarding plan?
Here are just some of the things that you might want to keep in mind, while creating an effective and efficient onboarding process for new employees:
- Rather than loading them with paperwork to be signed on the very first day, email it all to them, so that they can read everything through at leisure and have them ready and signed on the they arrive.
- If you offer a range of benefits, allow your employees to choose them themselves and ensure that you give them all the details that they might need for making the right choice.
- Create a basic onboarding manual that gives new employees an idea of what to expect is also a good idea. You can add a friendly note welcoming them, you can add details about what all will happen on the first day, what to expect in the first week and so on. You can also add some photos of the office and team members, so that the first time they walk in, things seem slightly familiar. A copy of the handbook as well as other details such as key responsibility areas and departmental information can also be emailed well in advance.
- Your HR team will have a large role to play in the onboarding process, which is why you could give the new employees advance access to them. The HR can guide them through details such as what all paperwork they will have to submit, particularly tax related forms and medical forms etc. The employees, in turn, will be able to ask questions such where they have to go on their first day, who will be their point of contact, whether they have to follow any dress code, whether there is a canteen and so on.
- Make sure that the new employee’s work station or desk is all set up, before they walk in, because the new hire will certainly not swoon at the idea of having to wait half a day for his or her work area to be made ready.
What should happen on the first day, in the first few weeks and then within the first year?
You, as an employer, need to have a clear idea of what you will be expecting from your employees on the first day, in the first few weeks and eventually, within the first year. On day one, employees should probably be getting a clear vision of what is expected out of them and what will be their main responsibilities. They should take time to meet the co-workers and get to know their surroundings, because they need to feel comfortable. Certain companies choose to welcome new employees with a little gift waiting for them at their desk or being taken out for lunch, so that they can interact easily with others. The employees should be given time to acclimatize themselves to the new office and the work culture and it is best started right from the first day. It is also important that while outlining responsibilities for the new employees, you also chart out a clear plan of action for the existing ones, so that there is no confusion or resentment.
In the first few months, you as the employer, need to ensure that your employee is happy and turning into a productive member of the organization. It would be a good idea to have a review meeting, which is actually an essential part of the company onboarding process. After about 4 to 5 months, you could also look at a training program that equips them for newer aspects of their job and perhaps prepare them for more responsibilities. On the job training sessions need to be smooth and in a flow that is manageable even for freshers in the field. Finding a mentor would be a good way for newcomers to develop their own talents and also have someone they can talk to.
By the end of the first year, you should be able to gauge whether the employee is truly productive or not. With an effective onboarding process, this should become an easy enough task and you can eventually start planning about the future of the employee. If the employee intends to continue or you want them to stay on, then you can start with the continual training programs.
Download the New Hire Onboarding Checklist today
- Setting up a Buddy Program
- Debriefing Meetings – Talking points
- Equipment & Supplies – Where do I get them?
- New Employee Email Announcement
- Onboarding Checklists for Managers
- Schedule for Employee’s First Day
- The Successful First Assignment
- Working Location Tour