Not convinced you need an onboarding strategy? Sit down with your hiring managers and ask yourselves two simple questions …
A: How long does it take for you to know when a new employee is going to be a long-term productive member of your team?
B: How long does it take for a new employee to exhibit the values and competencies that make you feel comfortable enough to have them work with a valued customer?
If your answers don’t quite measure up, you’re not alone. In fact, in many companies one third of new hires are job searching within less than six months of employment, and almost one third of externally-hired executives miss expectations in the first two years.
The better your onboarding process is, the faster your new hires become productive members of your team, and the more likely they’ll commit to being valuable long term business builders.
A good onboarding program makes all the difference in how quickly your new hire steps up to the plate and really shows their stuff.
Let’s review the essential components of employee onboarding:
#1 A TIGHT EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK
Organizing this in an easy to follow reference format – and published online –will encourage your employees to have a link on their smart phone so they can find important information as needed on the job. This also gives more time for the new hires to focus on training with tasks at hand. Beware of too much industry jargon, do’s and don’ts, as this can be a sure fire way to put new hires to sleep, and deter longer term employees from properly using it.
Tip: Always keep your “bus book” up to date. This is the book that tells others what to do in the event someone on the team, for whatever reason, and hopefully not because they were hit by a bus, simply doesn’t show up.
#2 WELCOMING YOUR NEW EMPLOYEE
Nothing makes someone feel more welcome than when you do things to prepare for them, and to make their arrival feel special. Common first day essentials to have in place: email account, computer with passwords and networking protocols in place, business cards, security badge, keys, access cards, cell phone, credit cards …
#3 BUILD ENGAGEMENT FROM DAY ONE
Making your new hire feel they belong is at the very heart of employee onboarding. Team involvement, relevant, interactive and fun should be top of mind.
New hires feel much more secure knowing that you care enough about their well-being to ensure they have others to safely turn to with their questions. Consider a mentor, someone established in the company – not their boss – but someone at a level that your new hire will feel comfortable seeking assistance and learning the ropes from.
Tip: Building engagement is about being consistent. Values clearly communicated and consistently committed to throughout your organization leave little room for misinterpretation.
#4 A (REAL) TRAINING PROGRAM
Today’s hires are looking for employers who will invest in them in return for their commitment, drive and loyalty. Let’s face it. An employee’s pay cheque turns cold pretty quickly when care and concern for their emotional well-being and professional development is overlooked. Your training program needs to be clearly laid out and documented to avoid misinterpretation, and will often form the first of their performance benchmarks.
#5 ACTIVE LISTENING
Asking relevant questions and actively listening demonstrates you care what your team likes (or not) about their work and the company as a whole, and where they see their career goals fitting in with the goals of the organization. New hires and seasoned employees alike will be talking about this and deepening their commitment to you because of this during break times.
Tip: Asking these questions can be tricky, as many employees won’t freely volunteer the whole truth for fear of losing their job or being bypassed for a promotion. Here’s where anonymous survey software is a great resource. A FREE and easy tool for this is SurveyMonkey. You can set up a core of ten questions to assess what some or even all levels of employees think about current workplace problems, concerns, and their wish list for career development. That will give you meaningful insight and get you and your team off to some very important, and engaging, dialog.
Building Your Bottom Line:
A good onboarding program makes all the difference in how quickly your new hire steps up to the plate and really shows their stuff. In other words, the better your onboarding process is, the faster your new hires become productive members of your team, and the more likely they’ll commit to being valuable long term business builders.
Barbara Ashton is President and Chief Recruiter at Ashton & Associates Recruiting Inc. A senior executive search consultant with over 30 years experience, she is a leading social recruiter with close to 13,000 LinkedIn followers.
Ashton & Associates Recruiting … Helping you hire right. Every time.
Ashton & Associates Recruiting – Placing Powerful People.
Offices in Kamloops and Kelowna serving BC industry leaders.
This post has been approved for public release by Barbara Ashton. All certified posts carry this Google Authorship link to Google.