It’s easy to think that the hard work of hiring is finished when your top candidate accepts your offer. But don’t relax just yet! Without an effective onboarding program, the hard work you’ve put into finding a great new employee doesn’t reap its maximum rewards.
Good onboarding is a must for any company seeking to improve retention, build a positive internal culture, and help new employees reach maximum productivity in minimum time. Here are eight ways to make that happen:
- Separate “onboarding” from “orientation.” Most companies combine new employee orientation with the rest of their onboarding process – if they do any onboarding at all beyond that orientation. Instead, use orientation to introduce the new employee to the company’s employees, buildings, and workspace. Use onboarding over the weeks that follow orientation to integrate the new employee with the team and teach how you want the job done.
- Identify the new employee’s strengths. Use onboarding to find your new employee’s strengths – both their best work skills and their strongest “soft” skills, like organization or teamwork. Use these to personalize the onboarding process and capitalize on your new team member’s strengths from the start.
- Take the initiative in making introductions. Introduce the new employee to each member of the team he or she will work with. Don’t abandon the employee to make these introductions; instead, the team’s direct supervisor should make them. This tactic helps build personal connections and make both the employee and the team feel more comfortable.
- Avoid information overload. Break up onboarding tasks so that “learning and remembering” tasks alternate with “doing” tasks. This way, you avoid overloading the new employee, which allows him or her to do better work.
- Make onboarding interactive. Videos and slideshow presentations throw a lot of information at a new team member without placing that information in the context of the new employee’s day-to-day work. Instead, opt for onboarding activities that encourage the employee to use and practice new information as it’s learned. Bonus: The employee can begin handling on-the-job tasks more quickly and will understand them more thoroughly.
- Measure your program’s effectiveness. It’s hard to know if this year’s onboarding program is “more” effective than last year’s unless you measure. Using a standardized list of objective metrics will help you determine whether the program’s goals are being met – and target areas for improvement if they are not.
- Hold new hires accountable. Once new employees know the rules, hold them to the same standards in following those rules as you do everyone else. This provides a measure of security for both the new employee and the team – it’s obvious that this person “belongs” to the group.
- Ask for help if you need it. Effective onboarding programs aren’t built overnight. If you feel stuck, talk to your staffing partner. Staffing firms specialize in identifying ways that each client can find and keep the best new talent.
At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters can help you improve your onboarding process in order to boost productivity and improve retention. Contact us today to learn more.