Onboarding beyond the first day
There is something to be said about initiating a great onboarding program within your organization. Strong onboarding can influence successful employee retention and enhances your employer brand. Onboarding procedures begin during the interview process. Here are some best practices to put your best foot forward starting from the job applicant experience extending to well after welcoming the new hire into your organization.
Creating a memorable interview experience is key for potential new hires to become enthused and eager to join your organization. It is important that the candidates meet with the hiring manager and any other leader or engaged employees within your organization that can speak to job requirements, experience working on the team, as well as company culture. If the interviews are conducted in person, take the time to show the potential new hire around the office and point out where all the important things are such as the kitchen, meeting rooms, and restrooms. This can help alleviate first day anxieties.
During the final stage of interviewing, set expectations for next steps. This includes when they can expect to hear from you, what the first 30 days in the position would look like for that potential new hire and address any questions the candidate may have. It is just as important for the candidate to ensure that it is the right move for them and get a better understanding on whether or not is it a good fit for both parties.
Now that you’ve selected the right candidate for your organization while executing an amazing job applicant experience, what’s next?
Always reach out to the new hires before their first day. Send an e-mail to your new employee including your organization’s employee handbook, a warm welcome, start date, time and location and reminders of any specific documents they are required to bring. The employee handbook will address things like dress code and company code of conduct. Additional information can include their first day schedule and further contact information to keep communication ongoing. Company swag is always a nice touch. The more connected a new employee feels to the organization and their team before their first day, the more welcome they are likely to feel.
Inform your existing employees of your new hire’s arrival, job title, department and team, as well as information on the new employee’s background (education, prior working experience, perhaps a fun fact). Invest some time in team building activities to integrate the new employee into their team, this can be a team lunch or small collaborative projects. This can be effective for both the new employee and their manager to further get to know each other’s communication styles and expectations.
Prepare the new employee’s office equipment and workspace to ensure a successful first day. Create the new employee’s e-mail account, order any required IT equipment, add the employee to existing calendars and mailing lists, order business cards, prepare required documentation (HR documents and forms), and prepare office key or ID card.
The new employee’s first day can be nerve wracking. Take the edge of by following these steps to ease any anxiety and make the new employee feel welcome almost immediately.
- Meet and greet your new employee, introduce them to existing employees and give them an office tour, again pointing out all the important things. This is a good time to provide your new employee with a welcome package and employee handbook.
- Set up your new employee’s desk and IT equipment, walking them through any internal processes that are important to be aware of. Provide them with office supplies, security equipment (ID Card, parking card, access to elevators, etc.), help them set up their IT equipment, and provide instructions on said equipment.
- Complete required HR documents. This includes compensation and benefits, work policies and procedures, safety and security policies, reiterating the company code of conduct, and complete any necessary forms or contracts.
- Schedule a meeting for your new hire with the CEO or owner of your organization. They can introduce the company’s history, expand on the organization’s mission, vision, and values, and highlight the organization’s goals.
- Schedule a meeting between the new employee and their manager. The manager can walk the new employee through the organizational chart, their job description and address any questions, set goals for their first month of service, and discuss both parties’ expectations moving forward.
Ensuring a smooth, welcoming first week for the new hire is essential for employee retention. It is important to check in with your new employee every day, schedule regular meetings, introduce the new employee to other teams and departments, and schedule necessary trainings including software and health & safety. An added bonus would be organizing a social activity or gathering for the whole team to come together and celebrate the new hire!
Successful onboarding should not be rushed. Onboarding is an ongoing process that benefits from feedback collected by both the new employee as well as the team. Managers should establish check-ins on the 30, 60 and 90 day marks to evaluate how the new employee is integrating into the team and company and evaluate performance thus far. Discussing feedback from the new employee’s perspective will make them feel valued and help you improve the onboarding process for future new hires.