5 Ways to Nail Employee Onboarding

Think back to the last time you started a new job. You nailed the interview, accepted the job offer, and haggled over salary. Tomorrow is the big day when you’ll walk through that office door and start your new gig. There’s plenty to be anxious about when it comes to employee onboarding. That first few days is all about learning new processes and policies, figuring out all the details of your job, and heck, trying to find the bathroom! 

Did you know 33% of new hires quit within their first 90 days? Some of the reasons for this include a lack of communication and undefined expectations. As HR professionals, we serve as ambassadors for our organizations. Sure, there’s plenty of onboarding paperwork to fill out, but that’s not the whole picture. Employee onboarding is also about making your new hire feel welcome and honestly conveying what they can expect their working hours to look like.  g

Reach Out to New Hires Before Their First Day

Finding that perfect candidate to fill a vacancy is like a breath of fresh air. You know they’ll be the perfect fit. Make sure they do, too. How many of your team members have said something like “Boy! I can’t wait until they start!” or “Gee whiz, they’re going to be such a huge help!” Don’t shy away from reaching out to your new hire to tell them how excited you all are for them to start. 

A new employee’s first day also comes with a lot of questions. Things that have become second nature to you and your team were once new, right? Try to alleviate some of your new hire’s concerns by covering all those fun little things you wish you’d known on your first day. Sure, you’re probably not a mind reader, but you could ask your current team what they think a new hire should know. For example, not parking in the third spot on the left—everyone knows that’s always where Karen from accounting parks. 

Make Sure Everything’s Ready to Go When They Get In

Onboarding a new employee is inherently hectic. From the hiring process to gathering all the right forms, there’s plenty to do before your new employee ever steps foot in your office. Try to keep the chaos behind the scenes. You and your new hire are looking for an easy transition, and a big part of that is making sure their work station and other must-haves are all ready to go at 9am. 

Take some time to set up their desk. If you provide a work computer, make sure it’s preloaded with all of the software,apps, and log-ins your new hire will need. If you want bonus points, bookmark websites on their internet browser. You want their workstation to be as inviting and ready to go as possible. New office supplies, coffee mug and/or water bottle, and any orientation materials show your new employee their arrival wasn’t an afterthought but something you’re actually excited about. You are excited, right?

Involve the Team in Your Employee Onboarding

As an HR professional, you probably play a large role in the employee onboarding process, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the rest of your team involved. Think about it. You’re there to help your new hire get acclimated, but most likely won’t be interacting with them as often as other team members. Show off your company culture and make your new hire feel welcome from the start. Make time in your employee onboarding process to introduce a new hire to the rest of their department along with their supervisor. 

You definitely want to keep things moving on an already hectic day, but you just can’t overlook the power of team bonding. Encourage team members and/or the supervisor to have lunch or grab coffee with ther new hire.

Finally, allow team members to help you with some of the onboarding processes. That way you get a break, other employees get a chance to shine, and your new hire gets to know more people. Everybody wins! 

Don’t Make Onboarding Just About Paperwork

W-4s, emergency contacts, personnel files—yeah, there’s a lot of form filling your new hire has to complete. You know it. They know it. It’s tempting to want to just get it all out of the way, but do you enjoy filling out forms for hours on end? While you work in HR and might like paperwork, be sensitive to the folks in other departments. If you have the latitude to space out the paperwork, space it out. Show your new hire a little empathy and help them avoid writing cramps. Talk about a great first impression!

Give Your New Hire Time to Ramp Up

In a previous section, we talked about how excited your team members are for your new hire to get up to speed. Sure, having another helping hand is probably going to make everyone’s life a little easier, but let’s slow down a little bit. Remember, it takes a while to get used to any job. There are names to remember, policies and procedures to get straight, and did they ever find the bathroom? 

Be patient with your new hires. Throwing them into the mix too quickly can be overwhelming and makes it more likely they’ll join that 33% of new hires who quit within three months. Create a realistic action plan for onboarding. Again, don’t be afraid to ask other team members what they think is reasonable. 

Make Employee Onboarding a Snap with isolved

Employee Onboarding doesn’t have to be a major disruption, especially when you have isolved from CTR. This nifty program gives you total control over your onboarding process and keeps everything neatly organized. New hires can fill out all of the forms online before they even start and you get an update on their progress. Click here to learn more about Employee Onboarding from isolved.