Onboarding is more than just a new hire’s first day of work where he or she is oriented on the company’s culture, the job’s specific functions and where the bathroom is. The new hire starts to form an impression of the company and his colleagues and starts to imagine himself or herself in this new position, long term. And in that moment, if a negative impression is formed, he or she may already start forming the idea of how long he or she will stay in that job before resigning. Onboarding can make or break that employee’s retention, how they will work and eventually, it will have an effect on your company and its output.
As they say, first impressions last. This is why we have 5 tips to make the most out of onboarding at your company.
1)Prepare paperwork and other details ahead of time.
Upon hiring, there will be a stack of paperwork that needs to be prepared. Contracts to sign, log in details to be set up, forms to be filled out, etc. These can all be done before onboarding. Having to do these on the employee’s first day will seem daunting, and takes away from the actual onboarding process. To focus on your main objective for onboarding, do away with unrelated but important concerns by doing them ahead of time before their first day.
2)Prepare a welcome kit.
We recommend preparing a comprehensive guide that the employee can easily refer to. This guide can include vital information such as the company’s organizational structure, which includes pictures of the people. This will make it easy for the employee to identify these people if they bump into them, and for him or her to know who to approach for a specific need. It can also be very helpful to the employee if you prepare a list of company-used jargon and abbreviations. Every company will have its own language and jargon, and briefing the employee about this will avoid any possible alienation. You should also prepare the employee’s work station ahead of time with everything he or she will need for the job. This can be as simple as preparing standard supplies like pens, paper and post its. A welcome banner or card (or even a gift) is always a nice touch. Make them feel welcome, and give them an outstanding first impression on their first day.
3)Introduce the new hire.
This may seem like a very obvious tip, but there are ways to do this more effectively. It is very important to introduce the new employee and to make sure everyone can at least identify him or her by name and face. This is to assist you in making the person more welcome in the coming days. It will ensure that people from other departments don’t just dismiss him or her as the new guy or girl in the office or worse, a visitor.
A good place to start is by opening the work day with an e-mail to the entire team, or company for those smaller companies, introducing the person. Include his or her picture, the job position, and interesting facts about the person to make them memorable. Relevant information may include schools, previous jobs, or specific skills, things that can be used by other employees to start a casual conversation.
Next, when you show the employee around, introduce them to people along the way. The employee will probably not remember everyone, but at least he or she will be welcomed. Give more identifying details when introducing the big bosses, and people who have functions directly related to the employee’s position. You can say something like “This is Arthur. He is in charge of our IT department. You can ask for his help when you prepare your reports.”
4)Take them to lunch or coffee.
To give the employee a break from information overload, take them to lunch. If possible, try to invite the immediate superior of the employee so they can get to know one another on a more informal level. You can also take this time to share the fun side of your company, by telling stories of past and upcoming activities. Give the employee more to look forward to. A really good use of this opportunity is to create a trusting relationship with the employee, letting him or her know that they can be open to you for any concerns. Finally, ask the employee if he or she has any questions and address them accordingly.
5)Give them space to take it all in.
Finally, after a long day of onboarding, give the employee some time to sit back in his or her new workplace, and take everything in. Give the employee time to explore on their own. Let that person know that your office is open for any further questions. The employee will probably also use this time to get to know certain people better, get familiarized with his work station and the job, and maybe even think about the future in a positive light.
Onboarding may seem like more work than necessary, but all these efforts poured into this one day can have a long-term effect on your company, so it’s a very important process to invest in!
Ready for onboarding but do not have the perfect candidate yet? We’ll help you find the perfect employee so onboarding is a sinch, just click here!
Ronny Cheng is one of the Co-Founder’s of Digital Astronauts and has helped drive lead generation in the software industry for organizations of all sizes — from start-ups to Fortune 500’s. He helped build one of the first online software review websites, specializing in CRM, ERP, and HR software. He’s a nationally published author with extensive experience working with the HR/Recruiting industries largest brands. In his spare time, you can catch him on Instagram doing his best food blogger impersonation.