Many employers provide their new employees with an orientation to their new job and workspace. Unfortunately, an orientation often lacks the depth and strategic planning that an onboarding process offers. Onboarding is much more than just orientation – it includes the initial welcome, human resources paperwork, job understanding and expectations, and the tools the new employee needs to understand and assimilate themselves into the workplace culture. If this process is not done well, it can certainly contribute to negative productivity from the employee and increased turnover for the company.
Here are some suggestions for managers or supervisors to consider when someone new joins their team:
- Accepting a position is a huge commitment and can cause stress and anxiety. Be thorough and honest in the recruitment process and address questions before you make the job offer.
- Take the time to make sure the work space is ready – check that the desk area has been cleaned, the phone is working and the computer is ready to go!
- Notify the team of the new arrival and spend time with the staff who will be training new employees, being clear on what is expected of them.
- Send a welcome email a few days before the new employee is to start that provides some basic information such as what time they are expected, where to park, who to ask for and a schedule for their first few days.
- Spend time with your new employee and show them around the company – where the washrooms are, where they eat lunch, where to find supplies and areas they will be expected to know. You might even take them outside the company and show them what amenities are nearby.
- Strategically introduce them to colleagues and schedule time with each to learn about the jobs that they do and how they fit in. Give them an org chart and maybe start with the departments they will be working with most closely so they have a better chance of associating names with faces and positions.
- · Be sure not to overload the new employee with information on Day One, or even Week One. Create an onboarding timeline and spread the activities out to provide the new employee the time to process and retain the information they have learned.
- · Schedule regular check-ins with the new employee. These meetings will help develop an open relationship and assist the employee in understanding the specifics of their role and responsibilities, such as how to properly complete key tasks, who to go to with questions, how to get approval for their work and how to make suggestions.
If the fear of going through the search and recruitment process doesn’t motivate a company to properly onboard a new employee then the long-term cost savings should. It is an ROI that both the employer and employee will appreciate!
Christine Willow is a Partner with Chemistry Consulting Group and GT Hiring Solutions. She is a Certified Management Consultant and Registered Professional Recruiter.