Being part of a management team comes with a lineup of responsibilities, and one responsibility may include onboarding new hires to your team. No matter how obvious the tasks of the new hire's role may seem to you, you already know the ropes at your company. New hires are just getting started and being introduced to all aspects of the job and organizational culture for the very first time.
With stats indicating that 22% of new hires leave a position within the first 45 days, the onboarding process is integral for making employees feel comfortable and capable for tackling the job at hand.
A highly organized onboarding process can help new hires gain confidence in their role and reduce turnover for the long haul. Check out these several tips that can help you effectively integrate new hires into your team:
Start with an HR Orientation
The first thing employees should do on their first day is have an HR Orientation with the HR Manager or the company's designated onboarding personnel. During this time, provide the new hire with any necessary paperwork they need to fill out, along with an employee handbook and other documentation they may need to move forward. Sharing the company mission statement, values, and vision are three incredible ways to allow the employee to share in their new team's guiding principles and long-term goals. Also, providing a copy of the company's organizational chart is a great way for individuals to learn more about how each department operates and how processes flow 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, the conference rooms to the printing stations, it’s customary to give new hires a tour of the office on their first day. In addition to the obvious office highlights, also point out the lesser-known locations, such as the mail room, 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 be working most closely. As you introduce your peers to the new hire, share information about the new person's role with existing employees so that the awareness is mutual.
Go Over the Basics
A new hire’s first day is an ideal day to ensure all the basics of the position are covered. Show them the company website, intranet, email, and any software programs they may need to know. It’s helpful to have training documentation available in case they need it, since there's plenty to memorize in a new role.
As an added bonus, you can also have a folder full of resources they can peruse at their leisure to get a better feel for the company. These can include items such as recent marketing materials and even a few annual reports. This is also an ideal time to discuss the company culture, upcoming events for employees, and expectations.
Connect Them 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. 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 for the new hire will help them 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 at the company moving forward.
Using a workplace personality assessment (such as The Birkman Method) can be useful to match a tenured employee with the new hire. By looking at the what the new hire 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.
New hires should have a general idea of what their role entails from the job description and interview process, and you can provide even more direction if you sit down with them and create specific goals for success. 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 crucial goal setting stage of onboarding. Different people respond positively to different goals. Some people prefer shoot-for-the-moon targets to feel motivated, 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 instead.
Start Assigning Tasks
Training is essential for providing a rundown of basic functions, but there’s no better way to help new employees to hit the ground running than assigning them tasks or projects to complete. Make sure the project is something that challenges them, rather than confuses or overwhelms.
Also make sure 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. Regularly check in to determine how the new hire is doing and what he or she has accomplished. Give them the opportunity to ask any questions or express concerns about their job role.
Review and track their progress to ascertain what procedures or tasks they still have left to learn. Periodic performance discussions during the onboarding period can help create a platform for learning and growth. Also, between performance discussions, make sure they know how to reach you if needed with any questions during the course of the business day.
Listen to Feedback
Invite feedback from the new hire; their fresh perspective can help your organization improve the onboarding process and beyond. Although they may be new to the company, new hires may be experienced in the particular industry or role, bringing background knowledge that can benefit your company.
They may share valuable insight on processes that can be improved in various areas of their job as well as areas for development, including what 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 down to 0%, you can certainly decrease the likelihood of new hires leaving by helping them feel knowledgeable, secure, and supported in their new environment. These onboarding tips provide a warm, comprehensive, and ongoing welcome that can help new hires establish their footing as they continue to acclimate and grow. Of course, well-developed hiring and selection practices to ensure proper fit are key to taking the first step with a new hire – then thoughtful onboarding procedures are the next step in creating success in the employee life cycle.
Joy, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communications and a membership to SHRM, has a real passion for helping the Birkman team be the best that it can be. Originally from The Motor City, Joy traded in her snow boots for flip flops and now loves Texas weather (almost as much as she loves the color pink). On the weekends you’ll find Joy serving the community and her church, exploring Houston’s culinary scene, shopping, or relaxing at the spa.