How’s your employee onboarding process? Does it look something like this?
You have a set of new hire documents in a drawer. There’s a company handbook that was last updated about five years ago. You ask your assistant to make copies and stick them in the folders. Actually, wait. You need folders. Oh and what about insurance paperwork. You need copies of that too. Oh shoot, add tax forms to that list.
Now, you have an assembly line of employees copying documents and putting them into the folders they ran across the street to buy. A few minutes ago, these employees were productively working.
Is this efficient? Hardly. Sure you’re getting the job done, but is there a better way to complete employee onboarding for new hires?
There most certainly is, and this post can help you. Read further to learn how to smooth out the wrinkles in your employee onboarding process.
Employee Onboarding: Making the New Hire Process Smoother
Know Your Goals.
Sure, you need to distribute important documents to new hires, but getting through paperwork isn’t the only goal of the onboarding process. Think beyond the necessities.
Your new hires have done the work of impressing you – that’s why you hired them. Now, it’s your turn to impress them. That’s how you keep them. Retention is one of the most crucial, overlooked elements for keeping money from flying out the door.
You put a lot of energy and expense into training and hiring new employees. A high turnover rate reduces your profit considerably and effects company morale.
Create an onboarding process that makes a great impression.
Keep in mind that this should also be an accurate impression. Is your workplace friendly and energetic? Calm and laid back? Professional and sophisticated? Make sure that you are accurately presenting the day-to-day experience your new hires will have. This will help them understand how to fit in and succeed.
The onboarding process can be exciting for new hires. This could be their first job, a step up from their old job, or a needed change of pace. Both employees and the employer have expectations and goals they’d like to pursue during their time together.
Eventually, that newness wears off, and the reality of the daily grind settles in. Ideally, the workday remains a hopeful situation, full of collaboration and productivity. Still, unless they’re working from home, your employees will spend most of their time at work. Keep this in mind when introducing them to what will be, essentially, their second home.
Here’s a new hire checklist to help you welcome them:
1. Give new hires a walk-through rather than a sit-and-talk.
For an effective employee onboarding, get your new employees walking around the office.
This is a much better way for them to get to know the place, and the people. Being tucked away in a back office for the entire onboarding process can feel isolating. Let them see the workplace in action.
2. Take your time.
This is a walk-through, not a run-through. You’ve made it through hiring employees. Now, you’re onboarding these new hires, not preparing a fast food order. You want these relationships to last.
This step in the new hire checklist is your opportunity to show your employees that you have time for them – for their questions, their concerns, and their ideas. Slow down and be present.
Give thorough introductions and explanations. Take time to answer questions. Make sure they know where the bathroom is, and how to turn on the computer. These seem like small considerations, but they’re the business equivalent of offering your guests a drink or taking their coats when they first arrive.
3. Keep current employees clued in.
Before your new hires arrive, let your current staff know. Your current employees will appreciate being in the loop – this will help the company feel more like a team. Employees like to know what’s going on, especially with hiring new employees.
Give them information upfront to eliminate fear or gossip. Also, let current staff know how you hope these new employees will fit in and help. Make them excited about the new hires. Your current employees are a huge part of making a good impression on new hires during employee onboarding.
4. Make it fun.
Go a step further to unite the team during your employee onboarding process.
At the end of the day, consider hosting a game of trivia. Form teams that are a mix of current and new employees, or have current and new employees compete against each other. Ask trivia questions about basic facts or little known aspects of the business.
Give small rewards throughout the game for correct answers, and allow bragging rights or a goofy trophy for the winning team. This activity acts as an icebreaker for new employees, and a team builder for the entire staff.
Check-in. Again and again.
Hiring employees is different than the onboarding process. Once new hires get into the workplace, it can be difficult for them to speak up if they are struggling. They want to appear confident and competent.
For these reasons, new employees may engage in a dangerous “fake it til you make it” policy. You can fight this by frequently and effectively checking in with new employees. While the onboarding process is designed to acquaint new employees with all they need to know, you can’t cover everything in one day. It simply isn’t possible.
Check in with new hires 3-4 times each day for the first week, then steadily reduce check-ins. Don’t just say, “I have an open door policy” and expect them to walk through the door. Go to them.
To effectively check in on new employees during the onboarding process, ask inviting questions. Instead of “Do you need help with anything?” ask “What can I help you with right now?”
Or, try specific questions like, “What would you say is the most confusing/overwhelming thing right now?” Ask for feedback on the onboarding process. When employees feel like they’re being surveyed rather than judged, they’re more willing to give honest answers.
Paperwork often gets in the way of the employee onboarding process. Notice that our new hire checklist did not include any paperwork.
Once they’ve signed up, employees can sign employee documents, complete tax forms, and even enter their banking information to receive direct deposit! This gives you plenty of time to go over what’s really important to you and your business with new hires!
Go paperless, and simplify your employee onboarding process!