Springtime in Utah is my favorite time of year! Days get longer, temperatures get warmer, and we start to see new possibilities and growth all around us. In April we start to see trees & flowers blooming. I love to take walks in the evening to see life begin again!
I also see a flurry of business activity! I know that a lot of companies are hiring, have open positions, or are in the process of training those new employees. The cost of turnover in staffing can be substantial. In addition to making sure you hire the correct person, having a strong onboarding process will be key in retaining that talent, and keeping costs down. Your onboarding process should be a living, changing process. Integrating new employees into your organization the correct way will increase employee engagement.
Challenges you can overcome:
Time to Productivity: You want to bring your new hire employee up to speed as quickly as possible, without overwhelming them. Balance is key. Remember that new employees may be nervous. You want them to feel comfortable to ask questions and remember what they’ve been told.
Manager Commitment: Managers have a lot on their plate and may look at this as time-consuming. This is an investment and can pay back in the future with the correct commitment from them.
Complexity: There are many pieces to onboarding and many things to consider. It is better to keep lists and reminders than to forget a step. Take some time to perfect the process. Do not forget Corporate Values, Individual Needs, and Culture.
Ownership of Onboarding: HR can direct the process, but line management should take ownership. Make sure everyone is on the same page!
Preparing for Arrival
Before an employee arrives, you can do several things that will help the process go smoother. Have a brief discussion and plan with their manager before the employee arrives. First impressions are important! A little organization ahead of time is helpful. Here are some items to consider for preparation ahead of time:
Set up the employees’ workspace. Make sure the equipment is clean and in working order.
Organize Access & Security. Do they need a computer, access to the network, voicemail, or email?
Organize and collect documents or manuals they will need.
The new employee’s direct manager should greet and welcome the new employee. You may want to introduce co-workers or give a brief tour of your company.
Give them all the necessary access and information they will need to complete their job, as well as showing and explaining any equipment.
Explain department structure, goals, and agenda for training.
An employee’s first week is a key factor in determining their level of engagement. Make sure to stay in contact during this time, giving them lots of opportunities to ask questions.
Review the workspace to make sure everything is working order.
Create a work plan. Establish timelines & metrics.
Introduce other colleagues and direct reports within the company.
Clarify the employee’s job description.
Ongoing Support, Feedback
After orientation has been completed, staying in contact with a new employee will help them and you. Give feedback on how they are doing. I have not always been very good at giving feedback early. I have learned that complete information in advance, and immediate feedback is key. Learn how to redirect errors without blame and guilt. Finding an employee as a work “Buddy” can help a new employee.
“The only thing worse than training your employees and losing them is not training and keeping them” -Zig Ziglar
Technology can help!
Onboarding does not have to be boring and hard! Technology may be the key to efficiency and fun! All my clients have access to Employee Navigator. Paid for by me! Employee Navigator has an onboarding tool that can help make part of this process easy! Here is a video demo!