A well-designed onboarding process can help engage your new employees as well as shorten their learning curve.
Companies with little emphasis on employee onboarding are missing out on a golden opportunity to lower their turnover rate. Welcoming and integrating new recruits directly contributes to their retention.
In fact, a good onboarding process can boost a company’s retention rate by up to 40 %.
Here are 5 steps to successfully welcome and integrate your new recruits.
1. Lay the groundwork for onboarding
Onboarding planning begins before the new employee has even signed their contract.
It’s important for every company to have a clear, systematic process for welcoming and integrating new employees.
By setting up a structure, you can make the onboarding process more fluid and less stressful for new employees and the people who welcome them.
Here’s a list of things you should definitely factor in for onboarding to be a success:
- The announcement of the new employee’s arrival
- The schedule and procedure for the first day
- A team lunch on the first day
- A meeting with the company’s management
- Work equipment and login/access
To make sure you don’t forget anything, use our new employee onboarding template.
You don’t have to write out this whole process by hand if you don’t want to. There are a number of tools available to automate onboarding for your new employees. Some scheduling software even offers an easy-to-use onboarding module.
💡 Be sure to personalize your process so it’s not too generic and employees don’t feel like mere numbers.
2. Maintain communication with the candidate between recruitment and arrival
One step managers often neglect is the transitional time between when an employee accepts the job offer and when they actually arrive at the company. Managers need to be proactive and keep in touch with the new hire in order to start off their professional relationship on the right foot.
Send an email to explain how the first day or even the first few weeks will unfold, and be available to answer any questions the recruit may have. You can also suggest that your recruits follow the company on social media so that they’ll stay in touch with the organization.
Also, take the opportunity to write a welcome note so that the employee knows that their presence is expected. Failing to communicate with your new employee before they arrive can send the message that the company doesn’t really care about them, or that it isn’t well-organized.
💡 This being said, be careful not to bombard your new employees with unnecessary communications before they’ve even started working for you.
3. Welcome the new employee to the team
When you welcome a new employee to your team, your goal should be to build engagement fast. In this respect, their first day is crucial.
It should be neither too light, nor too busy. Don’t forget to plan lighter moments, such as a lunch with colleagues, to make the day more enjoyable.
During a new employee’s first week on the job, it’s essential to introduce them to HR practices and the company in order to help along their integration. Although this might sound obvious, don’t forget to go over the employee handbook, visit the office premises, properly introduce the company (history, values, traditions), etc.
Organize a meeting with members of management or the directors of each department so that the employee can quickly get to know how they do things.
Team-building activities are also a great way for your new employees to quickly bond with their colleagues. Feel free to plan a light, fun activity for everyone to get to know one another.
💡 Employee onboarding takes time—in fact, it can stretch out over several months.
4. Assign a mentor or resource person
To facilitate your new employee’s integration, assign a mentor or resource person who can quickly answer their questions and help them socialize more easily.
With the support of a mentor, it will be easier for your new employees to connect with their coworkers, and they won’t be left to fend for themselves.
The resource person or mentor doesn’t have to be in charge of training the new employee, although this can be useful.
💡 Try to pair up your new employees and mentors based on their affinities. To do so, you’ll need to take the time to get to know your team members by asking them icebreaker questions.
5. Plan follow-ups
All companies should schedule follow-ups with their new employees.
Schedule a meeting after the first week to check in on your new hire.
You will then be able to make adjustments if something isn’t going well.
Regular follow-ups will also help prevent your employees from leaving you just a few months after their arrival.
These kinds of interviews are often referred to as stay interviews or retention interviews. They simply involve meeting with your employees on a regular basis to ask how their day-to-day work is going.
These sessions also allow managers to course-correct or discuss problematic aspects if necessary. In turn, this helps prevent employees from leaving due to an accumulation of irritants.
💡 Don’t forget to hold regular meetings, even after onboarding.
Put people first
The most important thing when onboarding a new employee is to make sure they feel comfortable in their new work environment and that they can thrive in their new role.
In the midst of the many administrative tasks involved in bringing a new member onto your team, don’t neglect the human dimension. Welcome new employees as you would have liked to be welcomed.