The search is done. Interviews are complete. A job offer has been accepted and a start date is nearing. Your new employee will join the team in a matter of days... but wait, your work is not done.
The beginning of a new employee's tenure often determines their success - and could result in failure if onboarding is not done positively.
Everyone wants to belong. A basic human need is to join an existing group, but feeling like a part of an existing group is not always easy.
Here are six steps to ensure your employees orient, connect and succeed:
Plan the First Day
Decide who will greet the new employee when they walk through the door. Determine what basic information will be shared in that first meeting. Keep it brief but informative. New employees are often nervous and the focus should be to make them feel welcomed.
Create Important Introductions
During the first two weeks of employment, schedule time for the new employee to meet with key stakeholders - colleagues that the new staff member will be interacting with in their job.
Tell Them How Things Work
Every organization has rules of engagement or operating norms. New employees often learn about these by trial and error. Share information about your culture, norms and the little nuances of how to get things done. It may seem trivial, but it goes a long way in making the new employee comfortable.
Assign a 'Buddy'
This colleague/neighbor needs to have the time and willingness to answer questions, ask how things are going and make sure that the new employee has what they need to accomplish their job.
Check in and Communicate
Meet with your new employee within three weeks to ensure that they are receiving the tools that they need to do their job. Then again at regular intervals. Make sure they understand their job expectations, policies and procedures, and company values and make sure they enroll in any required training. Solicit feedback on their experience.
Introduce Senior Staff
Set up informal meetings with senior leadership. Offer informal chat sessions with the president and senior staff, so new employees can meet and hear about each senior staff member's area and challenges.
Investing time in your new employees up front will not only make them feel like they belong to your organization, but add to their success.
As Martha Muldoon, Principal at Strategic Marketing and Communications commented, "I really think onboarding is one of those things many believe is a "soft" topic but in reality, as with all things, first impressions are the lasting ones. Employees who feel valued by the organization from day one, with a well planned and well thought-through onboarding process are more likely to stay."
Diane L. Dunton M.S., president of Potential Released Consulting Services since 1996, has over 25 years of business and HR experience. Diane has received specialized training with National Training Labs, the Gestalt Institute, Center for Creative Leadership, the University of Michigan's Organizational Career Development and the Center for Reengineering Leadership programs. She has developed programs for over 25,000 employees and leads more than 20 workshops annually offering executive coaching, professional individual coaching and programs on leadership and strategic planning. She has appeared before conferences of up to 9,000 participants and her work has appeared in both U.K. and U.S. management publications, including the Society for Training and Development's Team and Organizational Development Sourcebooks (2003-2006).Learn more about Diane at PotentialReleased.com.