Onboarding is much more than an induction pack, a day spent form filling and an office tour. Onboarding is the first moment of truth a new employee has following your successful attempts to woo them through your recruitment process. Unfortunately a lot of companies drop the ball early on. Imagine showing up on your first day to discover your office isn’t set up, or that there isn’t a clear plan for your induction. What will you tell your significant other when you get asked ‘how was your first day?’
Without a solid plan in place for bringing new employees onboard, hiring managers run the risk of poor performance, a misunderstanding of expectations, low morale and potentially crippling financial loss (take a look at our infographic to see just how high the cost of a bad hire can be).
So outside of the usual tips for onboarding a new hire, what else can you do to make sure you start a new employee’s working relationship on the right foot? We’ve spoken to hundreds of candidates during the first few months of their new job to make sure they’re settled and offer support if it’s needed. Here are 4 tricks that we’ve seen consistently have a positive impact on those all important first 100 days.
1. Be Personal
No one wants to feel like they’re another cog in a wheel, or that onboarding is a chore. They’ve taken a risk to come and join you, so make sure you show them you care. Within larger organisations, a personalised message from your CEO delivered by video is a great way to instantly make a new hire feel appreciated.
The more you know about a new employee the more you are able to personalise their welcome and affirm that they have made the right step, so take the time to learn as much about who they are before they join and customise their onboarding experience. Brief your other employees on who your new hire is and give them an idea of what their passions and hobbies are so that they can make those first conversations a bit less awkward. These may seem like minor details, but they come together to make a new employee feel much more welcome and fit in faster, so make your induction personal and above all else, special.
2. Have A Human Face
A common concern for a new hire is wondering how he or she will fit in with the team. Your new starter’s first day will be full of new faces and handshakes and they may have trouble remembering everyone’s name. Instead of providing a list of names and job titles, why not create a collage of their new team with photos and a brief personal biography. This will put a human face on the company, while also giving your new employee some conversation starters with their team.
3. Deep Dive
Immersing a new employee into the company culture is a great way to make them feel involved. Get them started on a project straight away so they can start adding value while working alongside and getting to know their new team. Encourage them to create their own personal plan for what they want to do or accomplish in the future. Make sure your on-boarding process takes place both inside and outside of the office - take them for lunch and go for a drink after work… help them adjust to the new culture and people both inside and outside of your business.
4. Keep Learning – Keep Refining
An onboarding plan should include key stakeholders both within and outside of their new team. From the management down, everyone directly involved with a new hire has a role in making the new starter feel welcome. Get feedback from your new hires and current employees to adapt your process for future hires. Ask them what it was like for them on their first day and week; what could have been done to make them feel more welcome and accepted? The answers to these questions can be used to help refine your on-boarding plan and demonstrate how much you value the individual joining your team. Remember, it is likely they left a good job where they were recognised for their talent and contribution to join your organisation.
So those are our 4 tricks for making the onboarding process smoother and more effective. We’ve written an ebook about onboarding and retention called ‘Hiring & Holding Onto Your Superstars’. Download it today to lean more about how you can monitor and support every aspect of your new employee’s onboarding.