Finding and hiring a new employee is stressful, and unfortunately, the stress doesn’t end once the hire is complete.
Once a new employee has joined your team, it’s time for a new challenge—onboarding.
Like many other aspects of hiring, there’s a right way and a wrong way to onboard someone new. Do it right, and the employee will feel impressed, respected, and excited about their choice to come work with you. Do it wrong, and the employee may second guess their decision.
Today, we’re outlining some of the dos and don’ts of onboarding, in the hopes that it will get you off to a strong start with new members of your team.
DON’T assume they know the answers. New employees don’t have any idea of how things work at your company. Things that are second nature to you and the rest of your team may be completely foreign to them. This applies to everything from computer systems and software to where the break room is.
DON’T ignore personal introductions. Don’t focus solely on the job and workplace. Make sure to take the time to introduce the new employee to their new coworkers, especially the ones they’ll be working with directly. Also, make sure they know who they report to, and how to get a hold of that person.
DON’T give vague instructions. The key to helping new employees have clarity is making sure to be as specific as possible when giving instructions. This is especially true in terms of expectations. Your employee needs to know exactly what’s expected of them if they’re ever going to succeed at their job. This will also help the employee feel more confident as they know exactly what needs to be done.
DON’T expect to be done in one day. Successful onboarding takes time. As a new employee encounters new experiences and challenges on a daily basis, onboarding will continue as you help guide them through the right way to do things. The employee should feel just as supported on day ten (or day thirty) as they do on day one.
DO prepare ahead of time. Before your new employee arrives to work on their first day, make sure you’re ready to begin the onboarding process. Print forms, set up their desk, get them a welcome gift, and do anything else that will help them feel valued and set up for success. Also, make sure you notify them of any forms or documents you’ll need them to provide (e.g. a driver’s license, bank information for direct deposit setup, etc.).
DO check in often. Throughout the onboarding process, make sure to check in with the new employee to see how they’re handling all the new information. Encourage them to ask questions as often as they need to, and to let you know if they’re feeling overwhelmed or confused.
DO talk about culture. Your company culture is what sets you apart from everyone else, so you want to make sure that new employees have a strong grasp on what your culture is and what it looks like in action. Onboarding is the perfect time to show your new employee what your culture is all about, and to communicate what is expected of them in terms of culture.
DO set a schedule/plan for onboarding. It’s important to give your employee (and yourself) a clear path forward for onboarding success. Make sure every person involved in the onboarding process knows the role they need to play, and when their part needs to be done by. Also consider giving the new employee a schedule or calendar to help them know about meetings, trainings, and other events that are part of the onboarding process. This will help them feel less overwhelmed, and help them stay on track.
The first few days and weeks with a new employee can be stressful for everyone involved. Follow these tips to help onboarding go as smoothly as possible, and you’ll present your company as a well-organized, thorough organization that values its employees. With a great start like that, your employees will be excited to work for you, right from the start.
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