Onboarding new employees is a time of promise for everyone involved. Yet, that can all come to a screeching halt if the onboarding process is bad. In fact, a new hire is twice as likely to look for new opportunities if they have a negative onboarding experience.
Don’t cut the excitement short— take your onboarding to the next level! Build a sense of connection with new hires that boosts employee retention and productivity.
Let’s look at 8 ways to give a great onboarding experience for your employees.
1. Start Before Day One
Successful onboarding should start before the new hire walks through your door on their first day. Orientation should actually start during the hiring process.
Throughout interviewing and recruiting, inform all potential employees about company values and policies. It not only helps them get a better understanding of your business environment, but it also makes the onboarding process easier.
Then once you extend a job offer, have HR or the recruiter start the first onboarding phase. Explain what the next steps will be, answer all questions, and send them any forms that need to be filled out.
Doing all this before their first day will give them a head start. Plus, it will help them feel more comfortable in knowing what to expect.
2. Prepare for Their Arrival
Not only do you want to get your new hire ready for the first day, but you need to prepare as well.
Nothing will make your new employee feel more like a last-minute thought than walking in to find you scrambling to get them set up. It looks as if you almost didn’t expect them at all.
That doesn’t look good on your company or give the onboarding experience you want them to take away.
Before they show up, make sure their workstation is set up with everything they will need. Inform other employees of their start date. They could even make a welcome banner to make your new hire feel important and valued.
3. Make Documentation Available Online
Besides the forms you want a new hire to fill out, making other documentation available for review is helpful. The easiest way to do that is online.
Use email or staff onboarding software to make information readily available. The documentation you’ll want to send out could include orientation schedules, benefits information, an employee handbook, and company FAQs.
Having easy access to this will prevent a new hire from getting piles of forms and booklets on their first day. It also gives them an opportunity to learn more about the company.
This will make their first day less overwhelming and feel more productive.
4. Create an Onboarding Checklist
To keep yourself and your new hire on track, you should have an onboarding checklist prepared. That way you don’t have to worry about getting distracted and forgetting a step. It’s all there in a checklist for at-a-glance review.
To help create a checklist, engage with recent new hires. Ask them about their onboarding experience and see If there’s anything they would change. They may also have ideas of things you could add to make the experience even better for incoming employees.
Have a checklist for each day of the onboarding process. Just don’t overdo it. Spread the orientation and new job responsibilities out over time to prevent them from becoming overloaded.
5. Make Expectations Clear
When a new employee finishes the onboarding and orientation process, will they know what’s expected of them when they sit at their desk? Part of a great onboarding process is making all expectations crystal clear.
Schedule an initial meeting with the new hire, supervisor, and other relevant co-workers. Be very specific with what the expectations are. Break it down into the first few weeks’ expectations, what should happen at the end of the month, and so on.
Your new hire should have a great understanding of what they need to do their first 90 days on the job. It gives them a goal to work towards, preventing them from feeling lost and just “winging it”.
6. Assign a Mentor
Everyone needs someone they can reach out to when searching for guidance or when questions come up. Your new hire is no exception.
Assigning them a mentor is a great way to give the onboarding experience a needed lifeline. It’s especially important into today’s sometimes chaotic workplace environment. It prevents a new hire from falling through the cracks and feeling forgotten.
This mentor should be a company veteran who knows the ropes. It doesn’t have to be a supervisor, just someone who can care and counsel a new hire in all aspects of the company and in job functions.
7. Make It a Team Effort
Another part of making a new hire feel important and a true member of the team is by holding a welcome reception for them. This can be either in person or virtually, depending on the schedule and set up of the team.
Many management teams have also been planning virtual team bonding events with their teams when onboarding new employees. Planning fun events like a virtual escape room with a site like escapely.com, or an ice breaker bonding session can help your new member really feel a part of the team.
Many companies get too busy to do this, only introducing a new person in a scattered way over a long period of time. This can look unorganized and feel off-putting. Not the kind of first impression one should be making if they want to build employee retention.
Plus, it’s beneficial to the team. Having a face to the name creates instant comradery for all team members.
8. Start Career Development Early
It might seem ridiculous to discuss career development while a new employee is starting their current role. Yet, it’s not only beneficial for the employee, but your business as well.
Employees engage more with companies that show nourishment in their careers. This includes having an early conversation with new hires in the first month of their role.
Ask them where they envision themselves in the company down the road. Find out what support and resources they’ll need to get them there. Then set measurable goals to help them.
This will get your new hire excited about opportunities within your company. And it gives them something to work towards, which means keeping hard-working, loyal employees for you.
Make Your Onboarding Experience a Success!
You made a great decision by hiring the best people for your business. Now show them they landed their dream job by giving them an onboarding experience that will set them up for success.
Looking for more workplace advice? Check out the posts located on our Business blog!