Creating An Onboarding Process For Your Company
Employee orientation is often confused with the onboarding process but they are entirely different. While orientation typically offers an employee a tour around, explanation of the time clock and a quick list of rules and procedures, onboarding goes well beyond this. This process of introducing a newly hired employee with a company as well as its culture, demands ongoing and frequent communication between management and the employee long after the first day on the job.
The onboarding process should offer frequent feedback, mentoring and relationship building to be effective. This will ultimately increase morale and production, reduce employee turnover and empower your employees to be valuable contributors to your organization's success.
While no one can argue that the process is intense and time consuming, it is also worthwhile and in your best interest. The onboarding process is a critical period for new employees who are naturally forming expectations of the company, their job and their leader. Of course, it may not seem appealing to commit to so much extra work in your already busy day, simply to ensure the success of someone else, keep in mind that their success reflects on you as a manager.
Rules To Follow
It is always helpful to take the time to develop a consistent onboarding process that will be used for all new hires.
- Start From the Beginning - The process needs to begin the very second that a new hire accepts your offer, after all, expectations are already developing in their mind. Make a point to be there on their first day of work to reach out to them, make them feel welcome and answer any questions that they have. Always let your new hires know of any supplies or tools that they should bring with them for their first day of work. Just because the have done this job before does not mean that it is the same job.
- Take it Slow – Be careful not to throw too much information at your new employee at one time. Inform them of the basics and then add more as you go.
- Slacker – An important part of the onboarding process is making the new hire feel comfortable. Break up some of the monotony with a little casual time. Go next door for a coffee, take them on a full tour or just allow them to go outside if they want to for a cigarette or to make a phone call. The first day is always stressful and exhausting.
- Survey Time – Utilize one-on-one interviews, surveys or focus groups to receive feedback from all of your new hires about how they feel about the orientation process. You can always use this in the future if you feel you need to tweak the current onboarding process that you have. This feedback should not stop after a couple of days either! Continue to request this for several months. This could help you save an employee that you may otherwise lose or find out why you seem to have a three month turnover trend.
- Don't Give Up – Always aim to improve your process. Just because a routine works good now does not mean that it will still be as effective a year later. Watch for areas that can be changed for the better.
Questions To Consider
When creating an onboarding process for your company, it is helpful to ask yourself a few questions, such as:
- What do you expect to accomplish with the process?
- What information should new hires be told about the company that will allow them to feel more comfortable?
- How do you want the company to be perceived on an employee's first day?
- What impression do you want to give new hires about the type of manager that you are?
- Will coworkers take part with onboarding?
- What are your goals after one day, one week, one month and one year?
- How will you obtain feedback?
- How will you measure the success of your program?