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Employee Onboarding Process

Being on a management team comes with a lineup of responsibilities, and one responsibility may include onboarding new hires to your team.

You may think the tasks of the new hire's role are obvious, but you also already know the ropes at your company. New hires are just getting started and being introduced to all aspects of the job, organization, and team culture.

With stats indicating that 22% of new hires leave a position within the first 45 days, the onboarding program makes employees feel comfortable and capable of tackling the job.

A well-organized and effective onboarding process can help new hires gain confidence in their new role, reduce turnover for the long haul, and provide a great overall employee experience. 

Check out the tips below to help you effectively integrate new hires into your team with an effective onboarding workflow and ensure a positive experience for new employees.

Start with an HR Orientation

The first thing newly hired employees should do on their first day is have an employee orientation with the HR Manager, hiring manager, or the company's designated onboarding personnel. The direct manager of the new employee should also be involved in this process. 

During this time, provide the new hire with any necessary paperwork they need to fill out, an employee handbook with company policies, and other documentation they may need to move forward. An onboarding checklist can keep you on track.

Sharing the company culture, mission statement, and vision are three ways to teach the new employee about the team's values, guiding principles, and long-term goals. Providing a copy of the organizational chart is another way for individuals to learn more about how each department operates and how the entire process of work flows through the business. These insights will help the employee understand the key building blocks that support the company's people and resources.

Tour the Office

From the restrooms to the office kitchen and the conference rooms to the printing stations, it is customary to give new hires a tour of the office on their first day. In addition to the obvious office highlights, be sure to point out the lesser-known locations, such as the mail room, office supplies closet, HR, and security offices.

Being familiar with their new environment can go a long way toward making new hires feel more at home. Include introductions to key employees in your tour, especially those with whom your new hire will work most closely.

As you introduce your peers to the new hire, share information about the new person's role, including who their direct manager is,  with existing employees so that the awareness is mutual.

Even if you're onboarding hybrid or remote employees, it's important to introduce them to key people within the organization so they understand who to contact for different needs.

Go Over the Basics

A new hire’s orientation is an ideal time to ensure all the basics of the position are covered.

Show them the company website and any software programs they may need to know. It's helpful to have training materials available if they need them since there's plenty to memorize in a new role, such as a folder full of resources to peruse at their leisure to get a better feel for the company. These can include recent marketing materials and a few annual reports.

This orientation session is also ideal for discussing the company structure and culture, upcoming employee events, and expectations.

Assigning the new hire an onboarding “buddy” to guide them through their first days and answer any questions can be helpful. Additionally, HR should send out a company email about the new hire’s position, start date, and direct report.

Connect with a Mentor

Whether it's you or someone else from your team, assigning a mentor to a new hire can help immensely during the early days of a new position and improve the chances of long-term employee retention. The mentor can help guide the new hire, serving as the go-to person for any questions or concerns. 

Providing an ongoing source of support will help new team members feel secure in their position and integrate quickly with the rest of the team. Mentors serve as a valuable bastion of knowledge and inspiration for a new hire's career moving forward and can improve overall employee retention rates. Ideally, this connection between a mentor and new hire will be the start of a long-term relationship.

Using a workplace personality assessment (such as The Birkman Method) can be useful to match a tenured employee with new team members. By looking at the new hire's needs from their environment to be productive, you can determine which of your team members has a style that would mesh well with them and provide the support they need to thrive. Matching the right tenured employee with new team members is important to ensure a successful onboarding process.

Establish Goals

New hires should have a general idea of their role from the job description and interview process. Still, you can provide even more direction if you create specific goals with key performance indicators to measure success and employee satisfaction. Outline what the new hire should be doing in one month, three months, and six months down the line.

A lineup of tangible goals helps to set the standard for the type of learning and development new hires can expect as they become more ingrained in the company and team. It will also give them an idea of the people with whom they'll be working to achieve those goals and become better acclimated to their new environment.

One Style Never Fits All

Again, utilizing a reliable personality assessment can be helpful for the goal-setting stage of a formal onboarding program. Different people respond positively to different goals. Some people prefer shoot-for-the-moon targets to feel motivated, while others want realistic and attainable goals that they feel confident they can achieve. People also vary in the type of management they want from their leaders. Clearly outlined procedures and projects may resonate with some individuals, while some prefer general guidelines.

A personality assessment can even provide significant insights to improve the remote onboarding process for remote employees. Not taking advantage of the benefits of a personality assessment will result in not knowing what type of goals motivate new employees.

Start Working on Tasks

Training is essential to provide a rundown of basic functions, but there's no better way to help new employees hit the ground running than assigning them tasks or projects. Make sure the project challenges them rather than confuses or overwhelms them.

Also, ensure that you or the mentor oversees the project from start to finish to ensure the work aligns with your company standards. Working on a project can reinforce learning much more quickly than simply reading about different processes or procedures in a training manual.

Check-In and Communicate Regularly

Even if you're not their designated mentor, you'll want to maintain an open channel of communication with the new hire to improve their onboarding experience. Regularly check in to determine how the new hire is doing and what they have accomplished. Allow them to ask questions or express concerns about their job role.

Review and track their progress through an employee onboarding checklist to ascertain what procedures or tasks they still have to learn. Periodic performance discussions during the onboarding period can help create a platform for learning and growth. Between performance discussions, make sure they know how to reach you if any questions arise during the business day.

Listen to Feedback

Invite feedback from the new hire. Their fresh perspective can help your organization improve the new hire onboarding process and beyond. Although they may be new to the company, new hires may have experience in the particular industry or role, bringing background knowledge to benefit your company. 

They may share valuable insight on processes that can be improved in various areas of their job and areas for personal development. This includes skills they have that are underutilized and skills they'd like to acquire. 

Even if your company can't reduce the new employee turnover rate to 0%, onboarding employees successfully can decrease the likelihood of new hires leaving by helping them feel knowledgeable, secure, and supported in their new environment. A successful onboarding experience provides a warm, comprehensive, and ongoing welcome that allows new hires to establish their footing as they acclimate and grow. An effective onboarding program does not end after orientation day.

Of course, well-developed hiring and selection practices to ensure proper fit are key to taking the first step with a new hire. After ensuring fit, the next step is a thoughtful onboarding plan and procedures to create success in the employee life cycle and improve job satisfaction.

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