You did it. You managed to bring on a great recruit and you can’t wait for them to get started.
Can you remember what your experience was like Day 1 on the job? Did you feel the same level of excitement once you started as you did while you were interviewing for the job? As an employer, you want your new hire to believe they made the right decision in joining your company and make those first impressions good ones.
The term is “onboarding” and it is equally if not more important than the recruiting process. It’s that opportunity to continue the excitement that an employee felt while they were being recruited. The Social Workplace has developed a fun “Onboarding for Dummies” infographic.
It’s startling that so many companies do not have a formal onboarding process and employees are often left to manage a fragmented first few days. Conversely, some organizations are so rigid, it doesn’t give the employee the opportunity to really get a feel for the new position, colleagues and culture.
Tips on Doing it Right
Structure the First Few Weeks. Remember the new person doesn’t know anyone or where to find anything or how to navigate your environment. Setting a structured environment the first week can be important to help them assimilate and get productive. An agenda also helps others set aside time for the new employee so they explain their role or provide important information on their role and future interactions.
Technology Training. Just about every job requires an employee to use some sort of technology. Make sure that the computer is set up, passwords are provided, badges have been activated and that someone spends time reviewing how the phones, email and other technology platforms work and where the employee can find the things they need to do their job.
Peer System. Some companies, particularly large ones, have set up a peer system that designates someone in the organization to be an “informal” buddy. They are there to take your employee out to lunch the first day and they can explain some of the less formal but much needed information about how your company works.
Don’t Overwhelm. Sometimes if a position has been vacant for some time, there is a desperate need to get this person going right away. Try not to overwhelm your new employee which set a negative tone right away. You may be unconsciously setting them up for failure. Even if they are superstars, make sure they are capable of taking on new tasks. It will help them build confidence as they grow into their role.
Make Time for Two Way Feedback. At the end of the first week, schedule some time for two way feedback. Give your new employee some time to reflect on what they have experienced and provide feedback. Allowing for this back and forth exchange of information upfront can avoid confusion and disappointment for both you and your new employee.
Onboarding is a time consuming but important part to keeping employees engaged. If you want more information on how to develop a great OnBoarding Program, download our E-Book: Best Practices: The Effective Onboarding Process.
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