How to onboard new hires

9 Feb

Onboarding is crucial for future employee happiness.

Onboarding employees is important for keeping up company standards. A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Managers indicated that while over 25 percent of U.S. workers transition in their careers every year, half of hourly workers leave their jobs in the first four months, and half of senior hires leave within 18 months. The best way for human resources management to combat this is with an onboarding program that is honest and strongly focusing on teaching culture and presenting expectations.

Begin before the official start date
The first step to a good onboarding begins before the first day, according to HR Bartender. Workers should get an email explaining the logistics of their beginning day at work. It should include information about parking, the dress code and other details about the onboarding itself. There should be no surprises or confusions regarding what is expected on day one.

Inc. Magazine suggested mailing some of the paperwork that must be signed ahead of time. This way, employees won't be bogged down in minutiae during company presentations.

Don't be afraid to dwell on details
During the onboarding process itself, there will be a lot of information about the company's history. This is necessary as a way of explaining the culture of a business, but don't forget to teach people the practical requirements such as using the phone. Even something as simple as this can help prevent any hiccups that are associated with new hires.

Arrange a brief welcome
During the orientation, it wouldn't hurt to have the new hire receive his or her own workstation, freshly cleaned and with everything he or she will need for the job. Send out an email to inform workers a new employee is starting. This will encourage people to drop by just to say hello and find out about what the new person is like.

You should also have his or her email address ready so work can start as soon as onboarding is finished.

Doing the tour and giving the company presentation
Make sure your tour is useful. This means showing where the bathrooms and the kitchen are. Don't forget to talk about lunch and the expected protocol. Show them offices of important staff members like the head of HR and the new hire's immediate superior.

For the company presentation, remember not to turn it into a history class, but at the same time, show real pride in the founders of the company, and demonstrate how the culture fits into that history. Be sure to explain issues like 401(k) and other matters of importance. This way the people being onboarded understand a little more of what they are signing up for. If the worker is left alone to fill out paperwork, then make sure he or she has plenty of time to read and ask questions. It might help to use Google Chat to open a line of communication with the onboard expert, so questions and answers can happen even during a downtime when someone is just reading.

Informal onboarding
After the formal onboarding, it wouldn't hurt to have the new hire's team take the person out for lunch or dinner. This gives everyone a chance to get to know each other, and more informal aspects of company culture can be discussed. People can talk about the kind of worker who does well in the company, and they can talk about the successes and challenges of the team itself. This way, the new hire has an early chance to demonstrate his or her character, and so do the members of the team.

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