Setting up new employees to become top performers who stay committed to your company starts on day one. The quality of your onboarding program not only determines how quickly new hires will acclimate, it also influences their perception of the company and your leadership. Check out these five ways to make your onboarding process more effective:
1. Commit to a Structured Plan
Onboarding cannot be an impromptu process if you want it to be as effective as possible. Commit to a structured plan that you prepare ahead of time. This will ensure you don’t inadvertently miss communicating any key information, and that all new hires receive the same experience.
2. Stay in Contact Before the First Day
To make the most of your onboarding process, avoid wasting time on tasks that could be completed before day one. For example, send new hires any necessary forms or policies to review ahead of time. Even just staying in contact before the first day with a quick email stating you’re excited to welcome them and to let you know if they have any questions can go a long way toward making them feel like valued employees before they even start.
3. Turn to Your Current Team
No one knows the most crucial information necessary for success at your company better than your current employees. Get them involved in the onboarding process – ask what information needs to be included and provide clear expectations on who should be a point of contact for the new hire if you’re not around. Simply keeping them in the loop before a new hire starts can prevent any confusion and streamline the process.
4. Make it a Big Deal
It can be disheartening for new hires to show up on their first day and no one seems to acknowledge their arrival. It sets them up to feel awkward, lose self-confidence, and be concerned about how employees are treated at your workplace. Make it clear from the start that your employees matter by making the onboarding process a big deal. Have your team sign a welcome card, have some company-branded items for them, arrange for a group lunch, etc. – whatever you do, treat it like the special occasion that it is.
5. Schedule Check-Ins
Effective onboarding isn’t a matter of throwing a bunch of information at new hires in one day – it should continue for the first days or even weeks on the job. Schedule time to check in with your new employees on a consistent basis to see how they are adjusting and to offer them feedback. This way, they can feel confident they know where they stand and how they’re doing (and allows you to correct missteps before they become ingrained bad habits.)
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