Hiring is a lot of work. Not only do you need to find the right person, but you also need to make sure they are ready for what your company has in store.
As an employer, it’s important that your new hire is on board with not just their job duties, but also the culture of the workplace and expectations set by management.
The process of onboarding can be time-consuming, but incredibly important! If you want to retain top talent, you need to put in the work up front.
This article will break down a successful onboarding process into five stages.
In order to get employees “bought-in” to your company culture, you need to make a great first impression.
You want to make sure the new employee feels welcome and excited about their job from day one. This will help them feel motivated during training sessions and as they progress in the day-to-day.
During the first day of employment, you have a limited amount of time to make an impact.
Here are some tips for introducing your new hire to the company and their role:
Introduce them to the team
Give them a tour
Discuss the history of the company
Describe company culture and values
Discuss the future of the company and their role in it
Outline expectations/job duties
Give them with a welcome kit (welcome letter, training schedule, business cards, branded swag, etc.)
Showing new hires that they are welcome and appreciated is important for maintaining morale and making lasting impressions.
It’s the small things that will go a long way during this first impression stage.
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Now it’s time to actually teach the new hire what their job entails!
Training can last anywhere from a few days to several months, depending on the complexity of the role, their prior experience, and the industry (for e.g. an apprentice will need more training than an administrative assistant).
Be sure to make your training schedule clear from the beginning!
Have a plan on paper that both you and the new employee can refer to as they make progress.
Staying on track and making sure you don’t miss any steps is essential for a smooth training process.
Here are some tips to consider during the education stage:
Have a set schedule
Provide your new hire with an outline/training plan and include who will be training them on each item
Provide them with any training materials (handbooks, manuals, video resources, etc.)
Establish measurable goals
Keep consistent communication
Be sure that you both know what’s expected of each other from day one.
This will help ensure that expectations are met and there aren’t any surprises along the way. In addition, it helps you track progress as they learn!
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Your new hires need to learn new skills and responsibilities, but don’t bury them in everything at once.
This education stage should focus on teaching new hires about:
Processes and procedures
Relevant tools and technology
Local regulations (especially if they’re new to the area)
Every company is different. So even if this person has 30+ years of experience in the role or industry, they are still new to your company and the way you do things.
Your new employee isn’t an expert at your company’s ways yet. Be patient with them and allow them time to become comfortable in their role.
Be mindful of how much information you give them during this time. The first week at a new job is overwhelming for most people.
Here are some tips that will help the training process go smoothly:
Ask questions, but don’t interrogate
Provide guidance when necessary
Allow them room for independant learning and trial and error
Provide constructive criticism when appropriate
Motivate them by showing appreciation for their progress so far
Be approachable and open about answering questions and helping them along; but remember that they do need time to become comfortable with the information on their own.
Help your new hire feel like part of the team. The more involved they are with everyone else, the more comfortable they will become in their role!
This is why integration into daily tasks and group activities is so important during this stage.
Having a variety of team members work with the new employee will give them exposure to all levels of the organization.
If you have people that excel in different areas (sales, customer service, technology, craftsmanship, etc.), then create a rotational training schedule that allows your new hire to work with everyone to build the skills they’ll need to be successful.
This will give your new employee exposure to the best ways of doing things in your company.
Trying new processes together will help them make connections between what they learned during training and how it fits into the real company culture.
Include the new person in any regular, weekly company activities. This could be something like a staff lunch, company meetings or even after-hours activities such as bowling or happy hour!
Sometimes, employees feel lost in a sea of coworkers. Making them feel connected will help them settle into their new role sooner.
At this point, your new employee should:
Understand what’s expected of them
Know how to get their job done
Be comfortable asking questions and receiving guidance from co-workers or supervisors
Be working independantly with minimal help
They should be pretty independant at this point.
But to make sure they’re meeting expectations, you have to do two things:
Hold them accountable
Check in with them frequently
During the first few stages of onboarding, you should have set key performance indicators (KPI’s) to monitor their progress.
Now that they’re getting settled in, you should continue to monitor their KPIs on a regular basis to see if they are meeting or exceeding expectations.
Hold them accountable for doing the things they were hired to do. After all of your hard work to train them properly, it’s easy to fall into a comfort zone where you believe that everything is going well.
But in reality, there will always be areas that need further developing.
Check in with them regularly to make sure they are comfortable in their new role.
Ask if there is anything you can do to help them perform better, or if they felt anything was missed during onboarding.
There may still be times when your employee needs some guidance or clarification of expectations. But try not to hover too much; independence will play a big role in job satisfaction later on.
Congratulations! Your new hire has been with the company for a while, and now’s the time to help them become even more efficient by encouraging growth and development.
There is always room for improvement!
Part of growth and development is knowing what those areas are and how to address them.
Your employees’ KPIsshould always be evolving. Each time you meet, you should set the bar a little higher. If you see areas where they’re struggling or performing poorly, you should take time to show them how to enhance their skills.
As you pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses, give them ongoing training to improve their skills or learn new ones.
Ongoing training is what sets companies apart. You can empower your employees by letting them know that you care about their long-term success.
Do you want a good employee? Or an excellent employee?
There is a difference.
And ongoing training and follow-up throughout their time with your company will ensure that you get the best out of them!
I want to hear from you! Do you have a structured onboarding process? If so, how do you think it increases employee retention and productivity in your company?
Tell me in the comments!