While an organization cannot completely rid the chance of a bad hire, it’s onboarding that can make or break the success of a candidate. Often times, the strategy is simply, “Here is your desk, get to work,” along with the misconception that you should throw new employees in at the deep end. The new hire then struggles to stay afloat, keeping them from excelling in this new role. Given this stark reality, here are 10 ways you can help your new hires hit the ground running:
1. Announce it!
You have just made an amazing hire, so why keep it quiet? Announce the new hire to your team and include some information about who they are, as well as the reasoning behind the hire and the role being undertaken. Make sure the team understands how they can connect with them, and don’t leave it all on the new person to make new friends at work. Put together a lunchtime gathering or happy hour to bring people together in a less formal setting. Send out their email and invite them to the company intranet.
10 easy onboarding steps to take when introducing new employees:
2. Keep in contact prior to day one.
It’s necessary to keep in contact with your new hire prior to their start date. Send any paperwork that can be done in advance so their first day isn’t spent signing a bunch of documents. Give them updates on what’s going on to keep them in the loop before their first day. Keeping in contact also builds a sense of community and belonging which is important in the onboarding process. Put their nameplate up and make sure their extension is well-known to the entire team.
3. Introduce formal stakeholders.
Most companies have some sort of organizational charts that shows who reports to whom. If you have one of these, make sure the new employee understands where they fall in the chart. It’s very useful in learning the formal hierarchies of the business and helps the hire learn who the critical stakeholders are. Explain why these people are important and make introductions, don’t just send your new employee out to go find “Rebecca.” Make introductions in person and via email if possible, so the role and name are cemented for the new hire. Nametags during their first meeting are very helpful!
Don't just send new employees to "go find Rebecca" when they have questions. Try this:
4. Introduce informal stakeholders.
The organizational chart is all about formal hierarchy, so the informal stakeholders are all about what really goes on in the day-to-day role. Take time to explain how the informal network works and who they can go to for a variety of things. It’s important your new hire understands who the go-to person is for a range of questions that may arise.
5. Inform your new hire of jargon.
It’s hard to find an organization that doesn’t use their own language and jargon. Take the time to describe those pesky acronyms, jokes and phrases. A useful avenue would be to make a “translation dictionary” for new hires to keep with them while onboarding. This way, they can refer back to it whenever they need. Keep a handy glossary of industry and company terms and give one to every new hire so they don’t feel lost during important conversations.
Make a "translation dictionary" for new hires including all your company's internal jargon:
6. Rules of engagement.
This step is crucial in the onboarding process and can ensure future success. Whether your new hire has been in the industry for 15 years or this is their first job, you must cover the rules of engagement, also known as corporate and team etiquette. Some of these topics may be the etiquette of dialing into a meeting, decision-making, covering difficult topics or issues and the cadence of meetings. Every organization has unwritten rules, so tell them yours.
7. Understanding the team.
Summed up, this is all about taking the time to share your management style and expectations, what frustrates you, your strengths and blind spots. Repeat this process with the rest of the team members so the new hire has an idea of what will help them be successful. This will prevent any guess work or misunderstandings, as well as better the overall understanding of each member’s style and approach to their work. Don’t forget to ask how they prefer to communicate!
8. Keep their schedule structured.
Structure ensures that the new hire always knows what to do or what will happen next. It shows that the company is organized and that you, as a manager, know what you are doing. Onboarding checklists are a fantastic way to keep organized, compliant and straightforward, and gives managers the chance to keep updated with tasks and where the hire is in the process.
9. Spread out the boring stuff.
Onboarding employees often correlates with doing a lot of paperwork, but it doesn’t have to be this way! Mentioned previously, you can send some paperwork that can be filled out before the new hire’s first day – as part of employee onboarding – or even make your process paperless. Spreading out all of the paperwork will ensure that nobody gets burnt out in the beginning of their hiring process. Using a software that takes care of the onboarding paperwork alleviates stress from both parties and makes sure all paperwork has been completed.
10. Have realistic expectations.
It’s okay to have high expectations, but it’s important to make sure they are also realistic. Don’t expect every single new hire to hit the ground running right off the bat. In most cases, it takes time for people to acclimate and find their own niche. Patience is an important best practice to keep in mind when onboarding a new employee.
Finding the perfect candidate is only part of the battle in hiring. Onboarding is crucial to ensure the future success of the employees and helps your new hire feel confident and comfortable in the process. Take these tips and make a great experience for new hires.