Businesses need to have a strong onboarding process for new employees. Unfortunately, research by Gallup finds that only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job in this area. A poor onboarding experience can make new hires feel disconnected from the company, ultimately impacting retention rates.
You can't have a strong relationship without a solid foundation. The same goes for employer-employee connections. If you want to improve talent retention, you need to improve the onboarding experience for your employees.
Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to help ensure a smooth onboarding process and make a great first impression on your new employees. Here are 17 tips to provide a positive onboarding experience.
Here are seventeen action items to help you give new hires the best start possible. Use some or all of these tips to foster engagement, create a sense of belonging and inclusion, and provide new employees with the right tools and information to shine in their new jobs.
1. Create a plan. It's important to create an overall plan for how new hires will be trained and introduced into their role at your company. Consider creating an agenda for employees' first day that you can use as a template for each new hire.
2. Email new employees an orientation packet. Include items such as a welcome letter, company policies and procedures, an official job description, the company dress code, a digital copy of the employee handbook, and any other information that will prepare them for their first day. Have new employees fill out paperwork before their first day. E-signature technology makes signing documents before arrival much more convenient.
3. Email your current employees, letting them know about the new hire, their start date, and what they'll be working on during their first few weeks on the job.
4. Create a Welcome Notebook. Include information in #2 and add the office layout, emergency procedures, policies and regulations, contact information, schedules, and more. Present it to the new employee on their first day, so they can access all the information they need in one handy place.
5. Plan a series of introductory meetings with your new hires. Get them on the calendar now. Consider including an introductory lunch or dinner, depending on the time of day they start work. Invite other staff when appropriate.
6. Prepare the workspace in advance. Set up the employee's new workstation with all necessary tools and resources before their first day. Place orders in advance for computers, phones, projectors, and other equipment that may be required for their position.
7. Plan to be at your work location on your employee's first day, if possible. Please arrive at the office before your new employee so you can greet them at the door and walk them in. They'll be grateful to see a familiar and friendly face.
8. Provide a Welcoming Package. Give new hires a welcome package containing all the items they need to start their new job. You can include pens, notebooks, business cards, company swag, and anything else they may need to feel welcome and comfortable. Consider purchasing a potted plant or flower arrangement to leave on their desk before arrival.
9. Present your employee with the notebook you prepared (#3) and review it with them. You can use this time to provide them with information about their benefits, payroll, and other relevant topics.
10. Give your new employees a tour of the office and introduce them to key people working closely with them. These meetings aim to acquaint your new employees with the company, its culture, and its people. Don't introduce them to everyone in the company at once. Spread introductions over a few days so you don't overwhelm them.
11. Set expectations and goals with new employees early on regarding what's needed from them while training. That way, everyone knows what's expected before starting work officially begins. And all parties will know what kind of performance level they can expect once things start moving faster later down the road!
12. Introduce your new employees to the company's training program and show them how it works. Demonstrate how to use a new software application and find available training courses. Create a customized training program for each new employee based on their specific needs.
13. Provide new employees with a mentor to help them get started and answer questions they may have.
14. Send a follow-up email to all staff members introducing your new hires and thanking everyone for their support during this process.
15. Encourage your new employees to interact with each other to form relationships (bonding!) and become familiar with one another's work styles early on in their careers.
16. Arrange for new employees to meet with their HR representatives and key company officials.
17. Meet with your new employee regularly over the first few weeks to answer any questions, assess their training progress, and ensure that they fit in.
Taking the time to properly onboard new employees is essential for any business. It sets them up for success and helps ensure that they understand their role within the company and how important they are to its overall mission.
By following these steps, you can create a smooth transition into your team and ensure each employee feels welcomed in their new environment. Regular meetings with your new hires over the first few weeks will help build relationships between them and other staff members while also helping you assess if their training needs additional support or further explanation on specific topics.
Ultimately, it's important to remember that onboarding isn't something you do once - it's an ongoing process. So stay involved and keep checking in with your new hires throughout their transition period to ensure they feel supported and successful in their job.
Good luck! Welcome your new employees aboard!
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