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When I say onboarding, I am talking about going well beyond 1-2 days of being introduced to colleagues and shown where the facilities are. Onboarding is the process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly. If not, it’s time to put one in place.
Successful onboarding is guaranteed to help your new employees reach full productivity more quickly. In addition, there is a direct correlation between onboarding and retention rates.
How to create a successful on boarding program:
1. Start before day 1
Commence your communications early. Before their first day, encourage some communication with both their line manager as well as your HR department. Perhaps there could be some reading materials or a welcome pack sent in advance that will give them an idea of your organisation, culture and your practices. You could also send all forms required in advance for your internal processes, such as ordering mobile phones or asking for copies of driving licences.
2. Buddy system
You’ve probably been there yourself at some point. The feeling as you walk into a new job on day one with a level of anticipation and anxiety as you shake hands with people and worry about not being able to remember everyone’s names. A good way to help ease people into their first week is to introduce them to a mentor or buddy within week 1. This person should be different to their line manager, ideally someone who has worked for the organisation for at least 12 months who is positive and confident at answering any questions about the company.
3. Clarify expectations early on
Despite what the job specification or advertisement may have already stated, it is wise to have a face-to-face meeting early on to confirm your expectations from your new recruit. Ensure they have a true understanding of their role and objectives of the role, giving them more chance to exceed your expectations.
4. Prepare your existing team
It is easy to be so focused on hiring the new recruit that your existing teams can be left alone to their own devices. Upon acceptance of your offer, make a note in your diary to communicate to the existing department/team a week prior to their agreed start date to make sure that everyone is kept informed. Convey your enthusiasm for your new addition and the need for them to be welcomed.
5. Create a 3 month plan
Consider the training needs of your new recruit. Build a structured plan including systems training, internal processes, meetings with key members of staff to help them get up to speed with your industry. If you work in HR – ensure you consult with the line manager to create this plan. A comprehensive plan will improve the productivity and performance of your new employee.
6. Ongoing appraisal
The onboarding process doesn’t stop after 3 months. Once you have a start date confirmed, plan the appraisal dates ahead in the relevant peoples’ diaries (every 6 months is recommended). This is a great opportunity to have a two-way dialogue once the employee has settled into the organisation. You can work to establish a personal development plan with clear objectives/targets and give them the opportunity to address any personal areas of concern they may have.
Ultimately, when you invest more into your onboarding process, you are improving your retention rate, time to productivity, customer satisfaction, organizational commitment and reducing stress levels of your employees.
We’re here if you need help defining a role or brief, specialist insight to help shape your ideas or expert help with your recruitment process. Just get in touch to arrange a conversation with one of the team or if you’re ready for us to find the perfect person for you, send us your brief.