Onboarding Essentials: What to Provide New Employee Needs when they Start Working
A ship can’t sail if it’s not being properly manned, much like how a company can’t succeed if it’s not fully staffed. Filling a position can be an arduous endeavor in and of itself, the time and expense of posting job listings and conducting interviews is something no employer enjoys, but the price of doing it over and over again because the people you hire don’t last is even more unbearable.
If you feel you’ve finally selected the right applicant for your company, then you need to take steps to ensure that they stay with your company. Turnover is higher amongst new hires during their first month on the job, not just because of the new hires who demonstrate that they aren’t right for the job, but because of the companies that demonstrate to the new hires that this job isn’t right for them. It is during this initial period the new hires get a feel for their new workplace, so if you want to make a good impression on them, then follow these tips so you can start on the right foot.
Ease their Transition into the Role
No one wants to arrive to their first day at their new job and find that nothing is ready for them.
If there is nowhere for them to sit, nothing for them to use, or nothing for them to do, then they will see no reason to stay. As eager as you may be to bring this new person into the team, do not be so hasty that you fail to have the essentials prepared for them. See to it that you have a workstation ready for them to make use of, that the proper tools and programs have been set up ahead of time, and that a list of tasks or training sessions are lined up well before they arrive.
Even if the pieces are all in place, you must still ensure that the new hire is guided through everything they’re presented with in an efficient and encouraging manner. Do not dawdle on details, but do not rush them through the system either, clearly explain how things work and what is expected of them, providing any supplemental reading material or manuals along the way.
Involve Your Team
Teams need to establish and follow a unique rhythm if they want to succeed, finding that rhythm can take quite some time, so disrupting it by adding in a new member out of the blue will make reestablishing it all the more difficult.
Whether you’re filling an empty seat or expanding a team with new positions, make sure you explain all this to your current employees in advance. Take the time to inform them of the upcoming changes and intentions, seek out their feedback and suggestions, and find ways to make them part of the process.
Identifying what your team will need from new members can not only guide you during the hiring process, but it can also provide useful information for developing onboarding procedures. Instead of simply introducing the new hire to the team before slotting them into their role, see to it that the new member is properly familiarized with who they are working with, what they’ll be working on, and how they’ll be working together. Appointing a mentor is an ideal strategy, as giving them someone to turn to will make it easier to bring them up to speed.
Put an Actionable Plan in Place
Before the new hire even starts their first day, make sure that they’ve completed all necessary paperwork. Doing so in the office can be stressful, and they may require information that they do not know off the top of their head, so it's better to let them do it from their own home ahead of time.
In addition to collecting the boring legal information, try to gain an understanding of the new hire, provide them the opportunity to share what makes them unique as a person, and keep that information in mind when bringing them on board. If they’re an outdoorsy type who enjoys being active, perhaps try to put them in a location with windows and offer a standing desk. If they’re a talented worker but struggle with social interaction, make sure you have a full assortment of materials for them to make use of nearby and avoid placing them in the center of high traffic areas.
As I mentioned in my first point, don’t bring them in and have nothing for them to do. Make sure you have a fully laid out task schedule or lesson plan so they won’t end up twiddling their thumbs in boredom. However, as I added in my second point, have a mentor available to aid and instruct the new hire on how to handle their responsibilities and navigate their new systems, you do not want to throw the new person in blind and hope they figure things out on their own. Lastly, combine what you’d learned about them ahead of time with what you learn about them during their first few days, then utilize that information as you move forward. If they’re excelling in their lessons and exceeding their goals, then perhaps you can have them take on more advanced tasks you had planned for them to begin later down the line. If they’re struggling to grasp their lessons but what work they do accomplish is of satisfactory quality, then perhaps they need a new mentor or different teaching method to reach their full potential.
There will be times where the person you had high hopes for turns out to be a poor fit, but there are plenty of people with loads of potential just waiting to be tapped into, it falls on you to identify which ones are which. It won’t be easy, and having to let an unsuitable hire go means more work for you, but putting in the work to bring on the right people will yield fantastic returns for you and your business.