It can be a scary thing, bringing someone new into the company. So many things could go wrong.
According to Inc., “90% of companies say that between 10-25% of new employees leave within 6 months”
What are some of the prominent challenges in the onboarding process?
Leadership moves too fast.
Leadership isn’t prepared for the new hire.
The new hire is subjected to an overwhelming (or underwhelming) and often discombobulating experience.
The result? Everyone gets frustrated. Expectations don’t meet reality. Damage can be done.
How do we make the process smoother? How do we ensure that Leadership is confident in the new hire and the new hire feels welcomed and well-equipped?
We start with a plan.
1. Hire Slowly, and Prepare for Day One
Make sure you’re hiring the right person with both the right skills and culture fit. As HR Exchange says:
“Talent is expensive – hiring someone for their credentials without an indication if they fit into the culture of the organization, is more costly than hiring someone with the same credentials and the cultural fit – who will engage, and retention is not an issue.”
Once you’ve carefully selected the individual, ensure that everything is ready for the new hire. A clean and ready workspace. A strategic and well thought out work plan. An onboarding program program or friendly and capable colleague available to train them.
2. Give New Hires a Whopping Welcome
Have the manager there to introduce themselves and co-workers personally.
“Introduce the employee to the whole team, and I mean everybody, even those that are outside his or her department. Dedicate a moment or two to chat with each of them just to check on them and make them feel that somebody actually cares enough to know what he or she is currently up to. This also helps them be more communicative.”
Rather than boring the new hire with dry reading and an outdated orientation video, include a 1:1 meeting that will give them a good idea of what they’ll be working on and what their day-to-day might look like.
3. Be Honest and Supportive
Remember, first impressions go a long way. Michael Schneider shares:
“The one question that has guided me: How do you want the dinner conversation to go after your new hire’s first day?”
- Be transparent. Don’t over-promise in the interview.
- Live what you say. Be a true example and leader, modelling what you want to see in employees from the beginning.
- Make sure you always have their back. This is your team. And when you have their trust and allegiance, they will move mountains for you.
4. Hear Employee Feedback
Once onboarding has been completed, it’s important to get feedback from your employees so you can gain insights on how the onboarding process is working and how it can be improved. Without an effective system designed to give employees a voice in your company, you won’t be able to gauge how they’re feeling.
This is where employee engagement platforms come in. Anonymous pulses and engagement surveys are priceless because they both increase trust with employees and help leaders gain insights to help them become stronger and more efficient. When employees are given a voice in the company, leadership is able to more deeply understand how to improve the employee experience, which further strengthens both onboarding and retention. Employee engagement platforms are a win-win for everyone at your company.
The key to ensuring the onboarding process is smooth and seamless for all parties involved is planning.
Plan before you hire. Plan before they come in for their first day. Plan what you want them to do. Plan how you’re going to model solid leadership. Plan how you’re going to check in with them, support them, and encourage them. And of course, plan the post-communication through pulses and surveys.
This is how to make onboarding smooth. This is how to make new employees want to stay.