Six Steps to Improve New Employee Onboarding
September 9th, 2014 by Mindy Flanigan
Have you ever seen a new employee leave after just one day of work? What was your first thought when that happened? Probably somewhere along the lines of “Wow, it must have been bad”.
Unless there was some type of unexpected challenge or emergency, this is not a good sign for a company. And it must be addressed because the result is unnecessary monetary loss. Turnover is costly, but new employee turnover is particularly troubling, because you have just wasted all the time and money you spent to hire them.
Don’t give up right away! Feedback is critical. A quick phone call and some soft questions to this former employee may help you identify key areas for improvement, repair your company’s image and set the stage for changes to current processes.
New job opportunities, family emergencies or changes in personal circumstances are not always the reasons why new employees don’t return. Generally, they leave because they did not like the way they were treated. They would rather go home and look for another job than to work in an environment where they know they will not be happy, appreciated or productive.
How can you make sure your new hires return to work feeling comfortable or, better yet, enthusiastic about returning to work after their first date of employment? How can the company improve new hire onboarding? (a.k.a. new hire orientation and the probationary or introductory periods)
According to an online source, “Onboarding, (organizational socialization), refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders.”
Here are six simple steps to improve your company onboarding process.
Prepare, right away. This includes preparing and mailing new hire orientation packages, or referring them to your intranet system to obtain necessary forms, policies, procedures and other paperwork, and request that they return this information to you no later than their first date of hire. Coordinate a company tour, order business cards, organize their work station, order supplies and make sure their equipment (including their computer and other technology) is working properly. Is training material current and relevant? Has a comfortable and productive location for training been secured?
Greet new hires on time; be confident, professional and friendly. Communicate with new employees by name. Answer their questions and follow up with them to make sure they do not need further assistance. Make sure they have contact information for various personnel and departments within and outside of your company. In other words, provide outstanding customer service to them while they get acclimated to the company, practices and procedures. Remember to demonstrate this same service throughout the new hire’s tenure with the company.
After accepting the offer, have the hiring manager place a welcome call. Make the new employee feel appreciated by inviting him or her to lunch on their first day. Introduce the new hire to their team, customers and others. Answer any questions he or she may have about the unit, department or the company.
Use your employee handbook! Teach them about the company’s history, mission, and vision as well as the accomplishments and challenges, and goals and objectives. Explain how their skills and their role will help the company meet and exceed department and/or company goals and objectives. Inquire about personal goals and objectives. Give the new hire information about the company’s training and development offerings, such as webinars, offsite seminars, certification classes, etc. Review an education assistance benefit program if one exists.
Do not give into “sink or swim”. Schedule follow up meetings! Hiring managers or mentors should be meeting daily during the first week of employment and at LEAST weekly after week one through first 90 days. You should also consider having the employee meet with and be accepting of feedback from one or two top performers and/or long term employees. Schedule some time for the new employee to meet with the president and/or one of the executive team members to learn more about the company from their perspective. Make sure the executive team is also interested about the employee’s career path, goals and expectations.
Use the job description! Does the employee know what is expected? When conducting employee development meetings during the new hire period, the manager should be reviewing and discussing the job description. It should be clear how the job description fits with individual, team and company goals. Regularly discuss individual goals and objectives. Be open to feedback regarding work related challenges and obstacles. Schedule regular employee development meetings; emphasizing an open door policy. The new employee should always feel that the can easily access their manager when questions or concerns arise. Lastly, the manager should make sure the employee is aware of the standard steps to be followed for a 90 day and annual review.
After three months, the company should send a survey to the employee to obtain feedback about the organization’s customer service, quality of service and processes, and request any suggestions for improvement. The company should address any problems or concerns immediately so they are able to attract and retain top performers and continuously improve the company’s image, performance, processes and reputation.
Are you prepared to cut the cost of unnecessary turnover and obtain a greater ROI on your new hires?
Click the link to view our recent blog: The Three Most Common Job Offer Mistakes or check back for more on human resources, payroll, insurance and benefits.