You’ve finally hired that employee you were looking for and you’re breathing a sign of relief. Not so fast! There’s still one crucial step in the hiring process: Bringing the new employee on board in a way that makes him or her feel welcome, part of the team and ready to get to work. Try these three tips for a smooth “onboarding” process.
- Be prepared. Have you ever started a job where you got there all excited, only to find they didn’t have a workstation ready for you? Nothing takes the wind out of a new hire’s sails faster than being shuffled off to sit in the supply closet, lobby or on a spare chair waiting (and waiting…and waiting) while someone figures out where he or she is going to sit, sets up a computer and hunts around for a spare phone. Be prepared with everything the new employee will need to hit the ground running, whether that’s a computer, workstation and phone or a uniform and tools. Also have the necessary paperwork ready to fill out (better yet, email it to the person in advance and have them bring the completed forms on the first day).
- Explain the lay of the land. Your new employee may not remember all the names today, but take him or her around your workplace and introduce him or her to everyone (or at least to the key people). Explain what the different departments do and the basic rules he or she needs to know for the first day—phone extensions, what time work begins and ends, when lunch and other breaks occur, how to sign in or punch the time clock, where the restrooms are, and any other crucial information. You should also provide an employee handbook and have the new employee read it and sign to indicate that he or she understands your company’s rules.
- Use the buddy system. As the busy boss, you might not have time to spend the day getting your new hire acclimated. That’s OK, as long as you pair him or her up with someone who does. This might be the immediate supervisor, or a co-worker who will be working closely with the person and showing them the ropes. Ideally, you want this to be a friendly person who will invite the new person to lunch or otherwise make them feel at home in your workplace.
- Check in. Regularly check in with your new hire. The end of the first day and first week are good times to assess how well the new employee is acclimating, answer any questions or concerns he or she has, and introduce new aspects of the job. If your company has a probationary period, such as 90 days, it’s also a good idea to provide feedback at regular intervals, such as the end of every month, to make sure the new worker is progressing satisfactorily through training.
By implementing an onboarding process, you’ll ensure that every new hire has the best possible chance to learn the ropes, fit in and feel welcome at your company, reducing turnover and saving you time and money.
Image by Flickr user Dru Bloomfield – At Home In Scottsdale (Creative Commons)