How to Properly Onboard New Hires

Onboarding is essential as it helps new employees acclimate to their role and understand the company's philosophies. It increases the odds that they'll be committed to the organization's success while reducing turnover as it can make them feel more like a member of the team.

A survey conducted by Silkroad Technology and Careerbuilder revealed that one in 10 employees have left a company due to a poor onboarding experience, so if you're hoping to avoid the high cost that comes with re-filling positions, ensuring your new hires are properly onboarded is a must.

Of course, you might be asking, “What is onboarding?” It's basically management jargon, a term that was created in the 1970s referring to the method in which new employees acquire the skills, knowledge and behaviors necessary for becoming effective, productive members of the organization.

Taking these steps can help ensure you have the best onboarding process possible so that your new hires will be beneficial to your company.

Set the Mood Before They Start

Onboarding should begin before a new hire officially starts the job. You simply want to create a sense of belonging, such as sending a welcome email. If possible, attach any necessary paperwork so that they can do that ahead of time rather than spending their first day filling out forms.

Introductions

Introductions are important for helping new hires assimilate with the company's culture, the team, and to make friends.

Consider taking them out to lunch with the team they'll be working with to encourage face-to-face interactions. Ask the new hire to share a few personal things such as their interests outside of work and then add a blurb about their background related to the job that can be sent out to everyone via email.

Orientation

An orientation session is a must in order to explain policies and procedures while providing at least a basic knowledge of the company culture. This is also a good time for a manager to sit down with a new employee to walk them through their daily responsibilities, share what's expected of them, and answer any questions they might have about their job, particular rules, and the company as a whole.

You might even design a program in the form of group training, mentoring classes, or a workplace guide. Instructions should be as clear as possible by setting focused goals, asking for feedback from current employees, and using technology in the most efficient way to become more organized.

Ensure All Tools Are Ready

Far too often the first day for a new employee is spent twiddling their thumbs because they don't have what they need in order to work. Readiness is an important step to success, which means all required tools and equipment should be in place before their start date. That might mean basic office supplies, a computer with Internet access, an email account, online training software, etc.

Readiness will ensure there isn't wasted time, not to mention boredom that doesn't bode well for a good, productive start or a happy employee.

A Feedback Loop

Part of the onboarding process should include a complete feedback loop. Those who are involved are best equipped to evaluate so that steps can be taken to improve it if necessary. You want feedback from all levels, including the new hire.

SCORE: SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.

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