New employee onboarding is a process often overlooked by employers. But putting an efficient system in place will not only help you make new recruits feel at home, but also boost your business’s productivity. Here’s how to onboard a new employee.
According to research by TINYpulse, almost half of millenials want better onboarding processes. And employees are 69 percent more likely to stay at a company for three years if there’s a well-structured induction scheme available. What’s more, an effective new employee onboarding programme can increase a worker’s performance by 11.5 percent (Recruiting Roundtable).
The statistics are clear; fantastic onboarding processes are not only welcomed, but incredibly constructive in terms of staff productivity. So, don’t be tempted to overlook this part of recruitment as a first-time employer. Here are some great tips for new employee onboarding best practices.
How to onboard a new employee - top tips
1. Be prepared for their arrival
Make sure you create a positive first impression for your new employee by getting everything ready in advance. Fail to do this, and you might inadvertently suggest you don’t expect the new recruit to be productive immediately, which will damage your business’s productivity.
Here are the key factors to consider before your employee arrives:
- Desk, chair, laptop and any other equipment
- Cables and adaptors needed to use the equipment
- Computer software, apps, tools and any passwords
- Uniforms and name tags
Also, scan or print out any paperwork you’d like the new employee to read or sign. You might need to consider:
- An employment contract
- Workplace policies
- Payroll forms
- VISA and work requirements
- Checks such as DBS
If you want to avoid missing anything, try walking through the employee’s day; this should prompt you to remember any other preparations you need to make.
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2. Make sure they feel welcome
No one wants to start a new job and feel like a complete outsider. Go out of your way to make sure you give your newest team member the know-how they need to settle in quickly. As well as getting all their equipment and paperwork ready, you should send them an information pack a day or two before their start date.
Let them know where they can park their car, which room they should go to on their first day and where any important supplies are stored. You might also tell them where the loos are and what the dress code is. You could even give them a glossary of the office’s frequently used terms and abbreviations.
On the big day, greet the new recruit warmly and introduce them to each team member. You could hold a short meeting explaining more about your business’s values and culture, and give them a tour of the premises.
3. Assign a mentor
New employees may not always want to turn to the CEO for support, so even the friendliest of bosses should introduce a mentor system. Pick someone who will be working closely with the newcomer, and make sure they have time in their schedule to help out.
Research by the Society of HR Management showed workers with mentors became more knowledgeable about the business and invested in its values than those who were left on their own.
4. Create an employee database
It’s hard to remember the names of a whole office of people on day one, so consider creating some form of database with key information about each person. You should include each worker’s name and photo, along with their job role and any personal traits, hobbies or interests.
Then, new employees can refer back to the spreadsheet when they need to, and use it to make new connections in the team. Having this database can be incredibly useful when it comes to breaking the ice, as the new recruit will have a selection of possible conversation starters at their fingertips.
5. Ask them why they left their last job
You may have asked this question at the interview stage but, if you didn’t, consider raising it during the new employee onboarding process. Their answer could be incredibly insightful; their motivation for leaving their previous role will probably mean a lot to them, and they’re likely to quit your job for the same reason.
Depending on the answer the employee gives, you can try to avoid the mistake made by their previous employer. For instance, if they left because of a lack of support, professional development opportunities or fun social events, you can work on making sure your business provides these opportunities.
6. Consider launching a ‘digital’ new employee onboarding process
These days, more and more business processes are moving online. You might find you’re able to develop a more convenient employee onboarding phase by taking advantage of technology.
Think about inducting new employees through a dedicated intranet with easy-to-use resources giving them the information they need. You could even incorporate a quiz at the end, to make sure they’ve absorbed the details they’ll need.
This approach has the added benefit of taking work off your plate, as everything can be done remotely once the system is set up. Plus, the new recruit will arrive on day one with a wealth of knowledge, so they can get started much faster.
7. Organise a meeting in week one
Make you sit down with your new employee at some point during their first week. Making time to informally chat about their experiences so far and any queries they have should help them settle in.
A study at Microsoft showed new recruits who had a one-to-one meeting with their manager during their first week collaborated more often and contributed towards higher-quality meetings than their peers. Also, their internal network within the business was 12 percent bigger, helping them feel more settled (Klinghoffer, Young & Liu).
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8. Gather feedback
Whether you’re a first-time employer or a seasoned CEO, you should be collecting feedback and constructive criticism on your new employee onboarding scheme. As a leader, it can be surprisingly easy to lose sight of what’s important to staff members, and getting an opinion on your welcome package could be extremely helpful.
Consider handing out a survey to get workers’ thoughts on their induction. Alternatively, you could organise an informal meeting with new recruits to find out how you could improve your onboarding system.
Be a fantastic first-time employer
Hiring employees for the first time can be nerve-racking, but there are plenty of resources out there to help you crack the formula. Take a look at our other articles to learn more about appointing a talented workforce:
- Tips for First-Time Employers: How to Write a Great Job Description
- Tips for First-Time Employers: How to Structure a Great Interview
We also have a wealth of information on a wide range of other topics across the business and franchising sectors. Browse our articles or use the search box to continue your research.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©