The worst thing you can do after investing so much time and energy into the hiring process for a new employee is ignore the importance of a solid onboarding process.
Having a candidate accept a job offer is a great outcome, but doesn't mean the hard work stops there. In reality, your job is far from over when the ink dries on the offer letter.
Here are a few ideas for ensuring your new employee feels that they are fully part of the team when they walk through the door on their first day.
1. You can’t onboard new team members if they don’t actually join in the first place, so make it a point to stay fully engaged with your new starter as they transition out from their previous company and into yours.
2. Try and get as much of the onboarding administration done as you can before a new team member starts so you don’t lose valuable time those first few days.
3. Does the rest of the office know that someone new will be joining? If not, make sure they do. You would be amazed at the number of times new starters are met with “Who on earth is that?” stares upon arrival.
4. Never underestimate the value of an unexpected gift, and so have a swag bag prepared to welcome your new team member. If logo t-shirts or hoodies are part of the office uniform, make sure your newest member is able to dress the part from day one.
5. Are they a PC or a Mac user? Do they want a standing desk? Find all this out in advance and do your best to make sure that they have all the tools they need to kick off their first day.
6. If you are the hiring manager, make sure you book time in your own calendar to show a new starter around and help them settle in on their first day.
7. Make sure everyone else on the team makes it a priority to introduce themselves to the new employee. Don’t leave the introductions 100% on the shoulders of the newest member of the team - they have enough on their plate. And trust me, nobody wants to hear ‘Remember everyone yet? There will be a quiz at the end of the day!’ when they are making the rounds of intros.
8. Have a schedule of meetings and projects booked in for a new starter’s first few days on the job. Make sure the employee feels productive while quickly learning about the company. Also, use this crucial time to mould the mind of your new colleague. Take advantage of the time your new employee has free of deadlines to really hone in on the mission and core values of the company.
9. Order lunch in for the whole team on a new employee’s first day. Nothing facilitates social interaction like a buffet line. Cultural fit is key to happiness in a new role, and creating opportunities for a new employee to meet and share a little about themselves alleviates the anxiety of manufacturing those scenarios on their own. Having ‘first Friday happy hour’ is another good way to grease the wheels.
10. Your new starter will be excited to join the team, so look to make the most of their high energy levels by getting them down to work as quickly as possible. Employees will settle in much more quickly if they feel that they are contributing and usually learn much more on the job than they will through lengthy classroom style training sessions.
Good luck growing out your teams and successfully onboarding your new employees. It may require a bit of trial and error to nail down the best process for your team, but it is time and effort well spent to make sure you set the right tone with new employees.
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