Welcoming new hires is not just about a handshake and a quick tour around the office. It’s a process that could take weeks, even months. How you onboard a new employee can make a massive difference but it helps to understand exactly what it is.
As the Society for Human Resources Development (SHRM) explains, employee onboarding is the “process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly, and learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to function effectively within an organization.”
Onboarding is important because it introduces new hires to their new role and makes them feel like a member of the team, which contributes towards retaining staff.
A survey conducted by Careerbuilder and Silkroad Technology showed that 1 in 10 employees have left a company because of a poor onboarding experience. Furthermore, 37% percent of employees said their manager did not play much of a role, or offer support, in the new employee onboarding process.
Knowing this, the next step is understanding how to onboard a new employee.
Before the first day
Once you have selected the right candidate for the job, the obvious next step is to send a formal job offer. This is the part where the process for onboarding a new employee begins. Sending through all the necessary paperwork before your new hires’ first day will also save you a lot of time and hassles on the day.
The first day
The next step in the process of onboarding a new employee is introducing your new hire to the company, the office, their co-workers and their new role.
Let your receptionist know that they will be arriving. Once there, give them a tour, making sure to show them where key areas such as the boardroom, restrooms, kitchen and human resource offices are.
It is also important to give your new hire something to do to ease them into their new job and to introduce them to your company’s policies. Leave is a topic of much confusion among staff so explaining how their annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave and any other relevant leave works is a good idea. If you are using an online leave management system like LeavePro, it is a good idea to familiarize them with the system.
The first week
This is when you will assign your new employee their first project. Be sure to check in on their progress and also to find out how they are easing into their job while explaining expectations for the next month.
The first week is also when a supervisor should discuss the new hires’ role and their future in the company.
Arranging an orientation session is another good idea. This will involve HR, peers, other new employees and possibly senior executives.
The first three months
The process of onboarding a new employee does not end after the first week. It is an ongoing journey that can take months, even a year.
During the first three months it is important to check in with your new hire to measure their progress.
This is also the time for open communication. Chat with your new employee to see how they are easing into their role. And don’t be afraid of small talk as this is another good way to measure your new hires’ level of happiness.