As the saying goes, “There’s nothing more expensive than a bad hire.” If a company is not successful in onboarding new employees, it can lead to low employee morale, reduced confidence, lower levels of employee engagement, etc. - all of which can result in missing milestones and revenue targets.
Making sure new hires smoothly transition into their role will be very beneficial to your company. It will ensure that the company’s training resources were put to good use and that on-the-job training is drastically reduced. In order to have a successful onboarding process, there must be detailed planning and an optimistic mindset in place. Here are some step that will help you perfect your onboarding process.
10 steps to help successfully onboard new employees
1. Reach out to new hires before their first day
This could be a simple message to set the mood and create a sense of belonging by welcoming them to a new family. This first communication should also include any paperwork to be finished before day one; this allows their first day at work to be productive and informative, rather than being filled with tedious forms to fill out.
2. Know the new characters on the team
It’s a smart move to understand your new hires since everyone has their own unique style. Try to find a balance between having them work individually and blending their styles to form a great team output that fits the organizational approach. If you have a distinct working style that they must stick to, walk them through it. Be sure to learn their personal strengths as well as their blind spots to help their transition into your workplace go well.
3. Define the job clearly and set expectations
People often seek many different jobs at once, and for that reason, they have a jumbled list of work descriptions in their head before starting a new job. A simple lack of clarity of a job title or description could derail them. This is why you are tasked with the responsibility of defining the particular job and listing out their responsibilities ahead of time, as this can also help them know their employer’s expectations and set their minds to the overall organizational goals.
A job description should include:
- Job title, work hours, pay range
- A summarized objective of the job which outlines general roles and descriptions of key tasks
- Education, experience level and skills required for the job
4. Create an orientation program
It is very important to have a session that brings both the needs of the employees and the policies and procedures of the organization into a better light. This orientation program will help to inculcate the basic knowledge and the company culture required for running the organization effectively. This program could be in the form of mentoring classes, group training, or a workplace learning guide. Be sure to streamline your programs and give clear instructions.
To streamline these programs:
- Set clear and focused goals
- Turn to technology to become more organized and efficient
- Ask for feedback
5. Prepare the work environment
Readiness is the first mental step to success. In other words, all the required equipment and tools for work should be in place right before the start date of the employees; this ensures that there is no wasted time which increases productivity. Some of this includes basic office tools and supplies, computers with access to the Internet, online training software that is up-to-date, a ready office line, and an email account setup.
6. Outline the workplace learning guide
Preparing a learning guide is an important step to ensure that your new employees adapt to the policies required for effective on-the-job learning. This will promote fast development and ensure that employees are working in line with expectations. Do a quick jargon busting. Every company likely has its own language/jargons alongside norms. So be sure to explain jargons in the form of acronyms, slangs, and inside jokes to help new hires adapt and blend into the workplace. This reduces awkwardness and gives them a sense of community.
7. Prepare the organizational charts ahead of time
Providing organizational charts should be part of the induction for new employee onboarding, and it is an introduction of the critical stakeholders and the informal stakeholders in the list of hierarchies. Inform them of the importance of these stakeholders to the company to help new hires understand who they are subordinate to. At the end of the day, they should know who to go to when they need certain things, who the gatekeepers are, and who to go to for up-to-date company information.
8. Choose the right training software
The use of online training software is one of the tools for convenient e-learning. Online training software can help deliver a favorable learning platform for time-saving and cost-effective training for new employees. Many of these softwares come with pre-built training courses to enhance employee’s skills and development that will save the time needed to conduct regular training classes. Online training will also save the cost of hiring instructors, purchasing training materials and other utilities, while giving employees ample time to learn at their own pace and also have access to the information for future reference. In order to choose the right training software for your new employees, you need to know exactly what you are hoping to gain from it and if the online training platform can be introduced alongside the workplace learning guide.
The best employee training software is all-encompassing:
- Allows you to create training modules
- Customizable by adding interactive features to engage your employees
- Helps you track learning speed and performance
- Evaluate your learner’s feedback
Some of the best online training software includes: SkyPrep, Litmos, Docebo, Bridge, and TalentCards.
9. Involve the whole company
Acquaint new employees with established team members. Teamwork is encouraged by familiarizing each employee with one another. Explain how each individuals’ duties fit into the current flow of work. Help them to connect with each other during coffee breaks and other light social gatherings. This will bring them closer and help them work as a real team despite any diversities.
10. Allow new hires to give their feedback
This can be done through their online training software such as SkyPrep, which has interactive features and can be used to communicate their thoughts. This can also be achieved during meetings where new employees are encouraged to give feedback on their tasks, observations, the company, and their development status.
After following through all of the above, it’s a great idea to keep new hires in the loop. Check on your new employees often after their resumption, make sure that they are in tune with their assigned positions, that they aren’t encountering some beginner glitches, and help them through any tough situations. Don’t wait for them to encounter those hiccups and learn the hard way, as they may eventually overcome the problems with time but also with a great cost and a slowdown of their productivity. In other words, put in some effort in explaining exactly how business is run in your company, and the rest should go smoothly.
About the Author: Ehsan Memari is a blogger for SkyPrep, a provider of leading online training software for organizations to train employees’ partners and customers. Ehsan is a regular contributor to blog posts related to knowledge sharing, L&D, and eLearning. Follow him on Twitter @ehsanmemari