An effective onboarding strategy is unfortunately something that most businesses don’t pump enough resources into.
We can’t change that, but we can help you to make your own process more efficient.
And whilst you may not think it’s worth it, research shows that 58% of employees are more likely to stay after three years of employment if they experienced a good onboarding process.
So, when you have been through the recruitment process and found your perfect hire, you need to think carefully about how your onboarding strategy is going to help a new recruit settle in for a fruitful future with your business.
After all, you don’t want to end up back at the drawing board, looking for a new employee – do you?
What is Employee Onboarding?
Employee onboarding is as simple as ensuring your new employee’s first few weeks, and especially their first day, are enjoyable days at your business.
I’ve witnessed first hand many companies who understand onboarding and those who quite clearly haven’t got a clue.
For instance, plonking them down for a day in front of a PC to read the companies website over and over, followed by a myriad of bewildering manuals to read doesn’t really create the right impression.
They’ll feel overwhelmed with the masses of information being thrown at them, and really onboarding is quite a slow process.
Not to mention it also creates a very negative view of the business and will probably leave your new employee questioning whether or not they’ve made the right move.
So what can you do to avoid putting your new recruit through torture and just what is a good onboarding strategy?
Start the process before day one
With a first day often being quite daunting for a new recruit, why not ease them in gently?
You can do this by contacting them prior to their commence date and giving them a low down on what they can expect on their first day.
It doesn’t have to be in detail, just an overview of the sorts of things they can expect. Perhaps they’ll be tackling certain tasks, or just learning processes.
Whatever it is, let them know.
And if it’s feasible, why not have the new recruit come into the office, prior to their first day, to fill out the necessary HR paperwork and get them set up with IT?
You could even buy them lunch and introduce them to a few of their team members, too!
Engage, engage, engage!
It’s true that every position has its share of mundane tasks, but day one isn’t the time to bombard them all at your new recruit.
Just as the new employee will be keen to make the right first impression on their first day, you should ensure that you give them a good first impression of you and the company.
Many people will decide whether to stay with a company long-term during their first days in a new job.
Therefore, try and give them a task on their first day that will get them using their grey matter and one that taps into their creativity.
This could be from something as simple as a bit of research or taking them along to a meeting and involving them in some brainstorming.
Plus, this will demonstrate to the new recruit their importance to the business and that you value their contribution from day one.
Find out why showing employees you care is important in this article: Want to Be a Better Leader? Show Employees You Care.
It may sound a bit left field, but a new starters’ first lunch break is also one of the most important experiences to get right.
Their experience will solidify that they are a cultural fit or may illustrate that they are not.
No one wants to lunch alone on their first day. It can be a really awkward experience, especially if they’re not from the area and don’t know the protocol.
Can they eat at their desk? Are they allow to bring in food purchased outside the office? Can they leave office grounds of a lunch time?
So, set them up to have lunch with colleagues or if it is appropriate, take them to lunch yourself.
You want your new employee to get involved with your colleagues as soon as possible. This way they’ll feel a lot more comfortable.
And make sure you let them know the general lunch hour rules, whether there are any unwritten ones, etc.
It’ll help them settle in a lot quicker knowing they’re not stepping on any toes.
After day one, regularly ask the new recruit about their working style and how you can support them in their position.
They may need different pieces of equipment that weren’t provided. Or perhaps they don’t quite understand something but don’t want to ask again.
We don’t agree with micromanaging, but for the first week or two that’s essentially what you should be doing with new recruits.
Every workplace works differently. They may not be familiar with the way you’re used to doing things.
Obviously don’t smother them, but have a catch up every week or every couple of days just to see what’s on their mind.
You’ll probably be surprised at some of the questions they actually have.
You have the opportunity to create a significant, long-lasting positive impact on your new recruit by following these simple and effective tips.
The most important thing is that you follow through with each step. Don’t give them false hope!
By doing so, you’ll just push them away by giving them a false sense of security.
But, if you’re researching how to improve your onboarding process, then you’re obviously a person that cares enough to make the changes.
If you need any more info, drop us a comment in the section below or catch up with us on Twitter.