Do you have a concise and organized on-boarding strategy? If not, it may be a chance to set one up because — real talk — on-boarding isn't just for employees anymore.
If you see high turnover, low morale or lack of trust within your company, it may be time to start implementing an on-boarding strategy. To help you get started, we've come up with a list of the top 10 strategies and solutions to get your new hires feeling comfortable and confident while saving you time and money.
1. Build trust and be transparent
When hiring for a job role, it's vital that the description and interviews leading up to the hire of your new team member be consistent with the position the employee will be doing from day one. The quickest way to lose trust is to misguide or misrepresent the employee's new role, and the turnover for that position will be quick because no amount of orientation can undo the damage to you and your company.
2. Dissect the details
By providing a written plan of employee objectives and responsibilities, there is a mutual understanding of expectations. This plan should be specific and communicate projections of future results and an understanding of what success looks like in the role. By providing your new employee with this information up front, it eliminates confusion and opens the floor for conversation and growth opportunities.
Put down the phone, close the laptop and look up. Hi! In a digital age, it's difficult to build relationships human-to-human, but it makes the difference, especially during orientation. By letting the pings and dings of your digital devices distract you, it sends a signal to your new team members that you have better places to be than assisting them, which ultimately minimizes morale. Also, it's just rude.
To help yourself stay on track, prepare a checklist of subjects to review with your new team members. Then set aside the appropriate amount of time to do it, and let others know that you are not to be interrupted while you are orienting your new workers.
4. Prepare the Paperwork
Whether digital or hard copies, it's crucial to come to the orientation prepared with the proper paperwork to stay on track (see number 3) and get all the I's dotted, and T's crossed, so employees are set up for success on day one. These organizational forms include employment, direct deposit, and benefits.
5. Network with Neighbors
Orientation is the best place for new employees to meet current staff and vice versa. Provide staff member with new employee's résumé and job description and advise them to follow a meeting format that includes sharing a description of their positions, ways in which their roles interact with that of the new hire, and how they might expect to work together in the future. At this juncture (This is also a good time to assign a mentor or buddy to the new hire as an immediate resource for any questions and critical information about organizational culture and goals.)
6. Workstation Setup
There's nothing worse to a new employee than a cold, sterile and empty workstation. Before the new employee arrives on day one be sure to stock their station with all the essentials — pens, paper, keys and if possible some company swag. You're also going to want your tech team to check to make sure their computer and phone are working and have the proper voicemail and email accounts set up correctly. Also, leave a copy of an organizational chart, staff list and phone directory on the new hire's desk. As an additional tip, highlight the staff on the phone directory that is a part of their team.
7. One-on-One Follow Ups
Schedule your next one-on-one meeting with new employees at the conclusion of orientation. If you can't do this on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, schedule meetings to provide feedback at 30- and 90-day checkpoints, or before a semi-annual review.
8. Stay Balanced
The first day for most new hires is a bit overwhelming. Vary the first day's schedule by including less formal gatherings between meetings and arrange for a group of staff members to treat the new hire to lunch to provide a little non-meeting relief.
9. Clarity on Culture
Just as in number 2, you want to avoid confusion in the future by providing the employee with company info, policies — dress code and late policies — and benefits. If your organization has a new employee handbook, leave that on their desk as well. The key to this is not to make the new employee ask for it or get embarrassed because you didn't provide them with the proper information from the start.
10. From the First Day and Beyond!
After the first day, you will want to set a reminder in your calendar to request formal feedback at the 90-day mark on the new hire's performance from their supervisor as well as solicit feedback from the employee as well. Beyond-First-Day is also an opportunity to address any issues of concern and note accomplishments, so all parties involved are confident that the new hire is set up for success in their new role.