Hiring Employees: Perfecting the Onboarding Process

by J.B. Maverick

2 min read

High-functioning employees are the lifeblood of any successful business, and this is especially true for small businesses with limited personnel. For new employees to become accustomed to your workplace, settle in, and begin performing at a high level, the process of onboarding – orienting, training, and easing them into their positions – is critically important. Just as interviewees only have one chance to make a good first impression, your company only has one chance to make a good first impression with new employees. Having an established onboarding process in place can significantly impact a new hire’s success in their position – and in your company’s growth that stems from their participation on your team.

A Genuine Welcome

Don’t just tell a new hire they’ve got the job and to show up at 8 a.m. on Monday. Make a point of officially welcoming them in a way that communicates that you see them as a valuable asset and are looking forward to having a mutually prosperous relationship with them. You can engender a feeling of corporate family by having the new employee’s immediate supervisor give them a personal call to welcome them to the company and express their enthusiasm about benefiting from the new employee’s unique skill set. Prior to the new hire actually starting work, have someone – for example, an employee the new hire will be working closely with – get in touch informally, by phone or email, at least once every two or three days and ask if the new hire has any questions or needs any help in preparing to start work. Take steps to avoid thrusting the new employee into an uncomfortable experience of starting their new job cold – facing a sea of unfamiliar faces and having no idea where or how to begin. They may not be officially starting until the 14th, but there’s nothing that prohibits you from inviting them to come by for an informal lunch meeting on the 10th to meet co-workers or to go ahead and arrange their office furniture as they like. Simple steps like these can help the new person coming aboard begin developing a sense of belonging to a corporate family well before they jump in and start working.

Smooth the Way

You can develop a good onboarding plan by thinking about what will help new employees ease into their positions as smoothly as possible. Don’t wait until the first time they need to use the copy machine to take the time to familiarize them with how to operate it. The same line of thinking ahead can be applied to other job duties they’re likely to encounter. Help new employees become familiar with other team members by preparing a photo array of employees, complete with names and job titles. Make sure someone introduces them to key go-to personnel for various needs, like the person to call if they’re having a problem with using their iPad or company mobile phone. As the owner, meet with new employees early on and share the history of how you got things started. Note recent accomplishments and current company goals, and let them know how you envision them contributing to the company’s future success. New hires will be more effective, more quickly, the sooner they feel like they have a clear vision of your company’s brand identity and how they can help to enhance it.

References & Resources

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