Onboarding is an important task when you bring on new employees. Successful onboarding makes them more productive faster, so they can make a positive impact on your brand performance without as much disruption to your business.
Onboarding can make you feel like a bundle of nerves and excitement, whether you’re an employer or a new hire. Companies must help employees feel welcome while getting their documents in order and preparing them for working with the rest of the team. Training is a big part of the onboarding process for many businesses as they need new hires to understand not only how to do their jobs but understand the company culture and how to get things done in the organization. There are several requirements during onboarding, but there are also a lot of ways you can personalize the process. You might treat your in-office employees to lunch or conduct virtual icebreakers with your new remote team members.
First and foremost, the onboarding process should prepare new hires to thrive in their roles. Before their first day, clarify their responsibilities and the performance metrics you use to gauge their progress. They shouldn’t face any surprises in your expectations or the projects you assign them.
Equip your new hires with the tools and resources they need to succeed and give them sources to ask for help. Set them up with essential devices, software subscriptions, and company emails. Give them a breakdown of what their first day will look like, and schedule check-in meetings around the 30 and 90-day marks to get their perspective on the role and the company culture while offering them constructive feedback.
Perhaps the most overwhelming aspect of onboarding is collecting and securely storing employee documents, especially if you’re in the process of scaling your company. However, with the right HR software, you can expedite this process, helping your employees start sooner (saving you money) and giving them the peace of mind that their information is safe. You can start receiving essential documents after the new hire accepts your offer letter. That way, by the time their first day rolls around, you’ve established effective communication and covered your HR bases. You might send them the employee handbook so they can become familiar with the company’s objectives, directions to the office space, and how you log virtual hours.
Finally, you’ll need to introduce your new hire to the rest of your team. Give them a chance to introduce themselves and become familiar with their coworkers and managers. The sooner you take the step, the less time new employees will have to feel like the odd one out. Introductions also help everyone get on the same page to optimize workflow.
Additional tips for onboarding
You may have an efficient onboarding system, but is it a personal one? As beneficial as it is to establish a clear process, you never want it to feel robotic. Acclimating new employees goes beyond your legal obligations as an employer.
The buddy system has a place in the office. While you don’t have to set up a particularly formal mentorship system, it is beneficial to all parties to assign your new hire a go-to person in their first days or weeks at your company. This mentor can be a colleague or a supervisor familiar with the flow of the department and the employee’s role within it. Mentors act as touchpoints. New hires can receive guidance and direction when they run into challenges. They offer practical assistance as well as moral support. New employees may initially feel more comfortable sharing their honest insights and questions with mentors versus employers.
Give a tour
Entering a new workspace can be intimidating whether it’s in-person or virtual. Giving employees a lay of the land will help ease nerves and encourage them to embrace their place within the team.
If you have a physical office, you can travel through it side-by-side with your newest team member, pointing out locations and details that can be useful to them in the future. If your employees are working remotely, consider taking them on a virtual tour. You can share your screen on Zoom to point out functions in the company software and chat platforms.
Although it’s crucial to be personable and check in with new employees during the onboarding process, there is also value in giving them space. Companies with high employee retention rates don’t practice micromanagement, and that starts during the onboarding process.
You want to make yourself available and establish clear channels of communication for new hires, but you don’t want to be peering over their shoulders every step of the way. Demonstrate your trust in their skills by respecting boundaries and giving them time to become acquainted with the role and the space on their own.
Establishing an efficient onboarding system that treats new employees as individuals is the first step in helping them acclimate to the environment. Set them up for success by clarifying your expectations, planning “get to know you” activities, and providing mentors who can provide direction and support.
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