Creating the right impression for new employees starts before their first day. Getting the onboarding process right is vital to ensuring that your new team members feel part of the organisation and settle in quickly. Here are our top suggestions for what you can do to make sure that the experience is the start of a successful and productive experience for employer and employees.
Having a good onboarding process will contribute significantly to your staff retention levels – it’s not just about the employee needing to make a good impression from the outset; during the first few weeks, new starters will be looking at every aspect of your company.
Get a head start
You don’t need to wait until a new employee’s first day before starting the process; to ensure a smooth transition, consider what information can be gathered and provided in advance – such as copies of policy documents, supply of bank details etc. It is also worth preparing a pack of useful information (which can be provided either online or in hard copy format) which details information about the company and team structure as well as an outline of what to expect during the first week.
One size doesn’t fit all
Whilst there will be information that will be relevant to every employee, try where possible to personalise the onboarding experience so it can be tailored to suit new starters at different levels of seniority and job roles.
Be sure to include relevant information about your new starter’s department, what its key aims and objectives are and how it supports the company’s overall business strategy. Demonstrate that you are looking to support your new team member by providing an introduction to key members of the organisation – particularly those with whom they will need to build a working relationship with quickly.
Getting the balance right between providing too much or too little information is a tricky one. As tempting as it might be to make more resources available than necessary so nothing is overlooked, being faced with pages and pages of materials to absorb can be overwhelming and confusing for an individual to get to grips with in a short period of time.
Consider what information is essential and perhaps look at how other resources can be provided in more manageable quantities over a longer time period.
A collective effort
It will primarily be down to a new starter’s line or department manager alongside the company’s HR function to be responsible for the onboarding process but that is not to say other members of the organisation don’t have a key role to play.
An important element of the onboarding process will be to introduce a new employee to other departments and senior managers; ensure they understand how they can contribute and the information that they should share about their role and the work that their teams are involved in.
Remember that everything that you offer during the onboarding process should be geared from the employees’ perspective. Be sure to check in with new employees are regular times during their induction and probation period to see if there is anything that they feel hasn’t yet been addressed.
It is also worth regularly reviewing the onboarding process as a whole; speak to people who have recently joined the company to ask what they did or didn’t find useful, what they would have liked to have been included and use this feedback to shape and refine your processes moving forward.
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