Finding qualified employees can be a real challenge, and then there is the problem of training those new hires and steeping them in the corporate culture.
Many business owners and hiring managers do everything right, from posting complete job descriptions and screening potential hires with a fine-toothed comb, only to fall down with the onboarding process. They work hard to hire the right people, and then leave them adrift on their first day. That is a big mistake, and one that can be easily avoided. Here are some simple tips for effective onboarding of your new hires.
. Create a welcoming environment. First impressions count, so take the time to set up a workspace that will make the new hire feel right at home. The computer should be up and ready to go, the desk should be freshly cleaned and there should be a welcome kit with important paperwork and lots of company swag.
. Schedule time for a facility tour. Too many new employees end up wandering the hallways looking for their colleagues — or their own desks. Scheduling a quiet time for a thorough facility tour can prevent this common problem and make the newcomer feel at home.
. Build a “Who’s Who” section on the company intranet, complete with current photos, job descriptions and short biographies. This mini directory will give new hires more confidence and make it easier to match names with faces.
. Send your new hires home with the important paperwork they need, like signup forms for the workplace 401(k) plan and a copy of the employee manual. This will allow new employees to read about the company and its policies at their own pace.
. Post orientation materials in a central location. Instead of making them search through the entire company website, post all new hire orientation materials, from the employee handbook to an extensive list of FAQs, in a dedicated spot. Use the standard new hire email to link to those orientation materials.
. Use mentors to make new hires feel more welcome. The personal touch is often lacking during the onboarding process, but a mentor can make things a lot easier. Some companies assign individual mentors based on common interests and backgrounds, while others assign a single mentor to each newly hired group of employees.
. Sit down for a one-on-one chat. The first day of work can be overwhelming, and this feeling of being overwhelmed can wreck the onboarding process. Hiring managers can fight back by scheduling a one-on-one chat with all their new hires. This chat session gives new employees a chance to ask questions, and hiring managers a chance to learn more about their newest team members.
. Check in at the end of the day. That first day can be pretty overwhelming, so smart hiring managers always check in with their new hires before the close of business. This last check-in gives employees one final chance to ask questions and learn about the company, and sets the stage for a great second day.
The onboarding process can be a difficult time for hiring managers and new employees alike. Starting a new job can be an intimidating experience, but setting the right environment, providing the right materials and guidance and having a friendly chat can go a long way.