How great are you at pleasing your customers? If you’re like most businesses, you spend a great deal of time learning about your target customers’ needs and how you can meet or even exceed them.
But how much attention do you give to your employees? After all, without them, you won’t be able to deliver the outstanding results to customers that you promise to give.
Within the first 12 months, 25% of new hires quit. Then you have another 20% quitting within the first 45 days. These are large numbers that shouldn’t be overlooked. And it’s one of the top reasons why you need to implement an effective onboarding process.
Roughly 32% of global executives claim their onboarding is poor. This too is an astounding number that needs to be dealt with and fast.
If you feel the same way, then it’s time that you make some changes. Let’s take a look at onboarding best practices you should implement in your organization.
1. Provide Structure and Lots of Work in the First Days/Weeks
When you first hire a new employee, you don’t want to throw them to the wolves on their first day. It’s important to give plenty of structure to their day during the first days and weeks.
It’s also good to keep them busy so it’s easier for them to learn the ropes of their position. For example, you can use tools like Asana and Trello to outline their tasks for the day.
This way, they can see exactly what needs to be done daily. With this type of structure, you can ensure they’re getting their feet wet vs leaving them out to dry.
Being the new kid on the block can be intimidating as is – so don’t leave them alone to figure out how to perform their duties.
It’s also important to note that 45% of new hires apply to other jobs after having a bad day on the job. So if you can make their integration into your company seamless, then you can minimize bad days.
2. Be Interactive with New Hires Right Off the Bat
Onboarding is an ongoing process so even if you feel confident in the training materials you created, it’s still a good idea to be involved. It’s a good idea to interact with your new hires early and often.
You don’t want your new employees to feel isolated, especially since you’re their first contact within the company. So make sure to check in on them frequently via whatever mediums work best for you and them.
For instance, you can use social media pages designed specifically for workers within the company. Or you can use text message, email, or a combination of them all.
Why is this important? Stats show 79% of UK workers feel their manager doesn’t care about their happiness. And another 30% consider leaving a company if they’re unhappy with their work.
By you reaching out to new hires, you’re showing you care and you’re ensuring they’re happy within their position. Then if they’re having troubles adjusting, you’d be the first person to know and will know what to do.
If you can keep your new hires happy, you can improve retention and productivity rates. Nearly 40% of workers say they’d work harder if they are happy in their current position.
3. Don’t Go Overboard with the HR Paperwork
There’s a lot of information you have to gather and papers that require signing during the initial hiring stage. A better idea is to spread out the documents over the course of a week or two.
Have employees sign a couple of documents per day so they aren’t spending their entire first day signing documents they didn’t even have time to go over.
Or a better idea is to use a platform like eversign to send documents via email. This will enable new workers to sign the document electronically.
Just add a deadline for the paperwork so they can manage when they get them to you.
4. Provide an FAQ Booklet
Surely by now you have a general idea of the most frequently asked questions by new hires. So why not create a document with answers to these questions?
This way, you can hand these out to new hires who more than likely have the same questions. Also, you should either create separate documents or sections based on the positions of the employee.
Include task-related questions so they can adapt to their role easier.
An employee handbook isn’t a bad idea either. Having go-to resources your employees can use can greatly help in the onboarding process during the first month or so.
If there’s a lot to go over, it’s best to create an online resource you can direct them to. This way, they can use the search feature to find what they’re looking for quickly.
Then you can even implement a forum so employees can ask questions that managers and other employees can answer.
5. Allow New Hires to Set Up their Electronic Credentials
If you have a system in place that employees have to log into, then allow new hires to create their own electronic information. This includes choosing usernames and passwords, as well as setting up profiles.
This will save you time and will allow the employee to take control of their accounts (and have an easier time remembering their log-in credentials).
Of course, if the employee isn’t familiar with this process, you can always assign a co-worker to help them out.
6. Go Over the Employee’s First Day
The first day is always the scariest for newcomers. So to make things easier, it’s a good idea to have them start on a Monday. This way, they’re not trying to assimilate into your company in the middle of a busy workweek.
Also, make sure to go over what’s expected of them on their first day. For example, you can let them know what time they need to arrive, the dress code, what will occur that day, how to contact you, and what they need to bring.
The more information you can provide, the less anxiety they’re likely to have. It’ll also eliminate confusion and mishaps that could’ve otherwise been avoided, such as wearing the wrong attire.
7. Make New Hires Feel Welcomed
Starting a position at a new company can be a bit overwhelming. And in some cases, you may feel invisible and unnoticed.
Not only does this make new hires feel awkward, but it can also make them feel less confident and motivated. So to deter these negative feelings, you can do all you can to make them feel welcomed.
One idea is to set up a special work area just for them. This can be an office or a desk in their own area of a room. You can also have a scheduled lunch with the new hire and co-workers to give everyone time to introduce themselves and chit chat.
Swag packs with branded gifts can also make them feel at home. Include items like pens, coffee mugs, and other items they’re likely to use on a daily basis.
8. Encourage New Hires to Ask Questions
There’s only but so much you can include inside the FAQ section of your employee handbook. So to help new hires get acquainted with your rules, processes, and procedures, it’s good to promote them to ask questions.
You can do this by reaching out to them to see if they need assistance and establishing an open door policy. Or if you’re not physically available, you can use email, text, or social media to grant them access to you (or others).
That social media group or forum we discussed can help crowdsource help for new hires. Get your employees involved in the onboarding process.
9. Start the Onboarding Process Before Day 1
Now, you don’t want to wait until new hires start working to begin the onboarding process. It’s better to get this rolling as soon as possible, this way when they start work, they’ll get into the swing of things easier.
If you’re on a platform like Slack, then invite them to join your group. They can begin meeting the team and asking questions.
It’s also a good idea to have them fill out important documents in advance. Again, you can email these to new employees and have them sign the documents electronically using eversign.
Then if you have an employee handbook, you can give this to them to read as well.
Improve Your Onboarding to Enhance Workplace Productivity
Effective onboarding is no longer an option – if you forego creating one, then you run the risk of losing valuable new hires. With the above tips, you will have a better chance of appealing to new employees.
And if you’re able to appeal to new hires, you have a higher chance of keeping them on board for more than a year. Today’s workers are taking happiness seriously – so do everything within your power to make your new employees feel appreciated and at home.
Let us know in the comments how you plan to improve your onboarding process (or how you already have)!