We all know the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”—and savvy employers know the importance of providing new employees with first-class, positive onboarding experiences. Effective onboarding reduces turnover, can reduce costs associated with learning on the job, and can increase productivity if the new hire is welcomed and trained correctly from the outset.
While some employers are turning to new technologies, such as Web-based onboarding portals (which we’ll explore in a future blog), there remain many effective, traditional approaches you can put into place to provide an excellent onboarding experience for your new hires:
- Your welcome should be genuine. Make the new hire feel wanted, and ensure the employee is introduced to management staff and to his or her work group.
- Utilize a well-developed new hire checklist to review all relevant new hire documents and action steps. This should include employment policies, benefits, payroll, training, computers and systems—and other items such as work stations, keys/access, parking, and even where the bathroom is located!
- Think beyond the first day. Create an onboarding plan that includes set training and orientation times with specific employees and periodic check-ins by both HR and the new hire’s supervisor.
- Consider designating a new hire “buddy.” This person would act as a go-to person for the new hire—answering questions, mentoring, and providing ongoing guidance and support.
These four simple steps to provide a solid foundation of support, training, and communication can aid in making new employees feel welcome as part of your team and ready to meet the challenges and expectations of their new roles.