A couple of months ago I gave one of my customers three tips to the best onboard their new hires: Culture, Partnership and Accountability. We also discussed the first thing to understand about employee onboarding: Employee onboarding is creating the future of what your employees will feel, see, and hear after they have been hired. It is not just training or the administrative tasks of setting up paperwork, it is about creating interest to start building employee engagement and long-term loyalty.
The onboarding process is about cultivating the organizational culture from day one. It is about introducing your new hires to your team and operation in a structured manner that helps them understand and engage with your mission.
If the employee onboarding process is building the foundations for a long-term relationship, then you must have a plan before their arrival. Have their tools, and resources read up a “Buddy System”. Facilitate a partnership with team members.
Once you have this in place then follow the next 3 tips to best onboard your new employees
Consider a creative way to introduce culture by sharing mission and values immediately. This will get them engaged and start the process of team engagement. If your mission is all about creating quality product, a visit to the shop site or a video explaining all the thought and technical details behind the design may be a good way to create interest in your new employee what you’re all working toward. Similarly, if you are a customer-focused company or department, perhaps arranging a meeting with a model client might leave a lasting impression and inspire a commitment in a way that no written company policy document can. If your team is very social and not particularly hierarchical, a great way to start building the relationship might be to invite your new hire out to a fun team lunch.
Your values should shape how you work and tackle your company’s and your team’s missions, which means they should be integrated into how you train your new hires and help them through the process of organizational socialization. Instead of just providing a company statement or list of values to read, consider organizing your training program by values. For example, if one of your values is to work through collaboration, you can introduce all the ways in which your company lives that value, such as the special collaboration and brainstorming spaces in the office and the way your team leaders’ open door policies work.
Engage your Leaders: During this period of uncertainty, it is important for leaders to reassure new hires that the organization is committed to their growth & development. Assign them a “Buddy”: I recommend my clients to set up new hires with buddies, who serve as a resource and sounding board for the new hire, answer any questions and provide helpful tips and best practices. Buddies can schedule weekly virtual coffee breaks with their new hires.
Create Routine: Set up onboarding check-ins at least once a month for your new hire’s first 90 days. Your new hire might be adjusting to new challenges (e.g., kids’ schools, commuting, relocation, just to name a few). Now more than ever, it is important to encourage open dialogue to set your new team member up for long-term accountability and success.
Remember, a strong employee onboarding process reduces employee turnover and increase the likelihood that employees would stay at a company longer and can also improve employee’s immediate performance.
Train to win.