Employee Onboarding: How and Why

employee onboarding: how and why

You’ve hired a new employee. They are excited for a new opportunity. Now what? Employee orientation is just as important to the employee as it is the company. If a new hire starts off on the right track, they are more likely to stay engaged and stay with the company longer. Maren Hogan, from Red Branch Media, stated “When you train your new employees in the ethos of the company while simultaneously showing them how to do their job, everyone wins.”

Onboarding is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the act or process of orienting and training a new employee.” Of course, you have the mandatory items that need completed right away to do this, I-9, W-4, et cetera. Create a plan for these immediate aspects of onboarding and keep it consistent among all new hires. After you’ve done that, there is no right or wrong, or proven method and length of time for employee onboarding. However, I can share some tips that have served me well over the years.

Focus on the First 90 Days

From what I have discovered, the first 90 days are the most critical. During this time, the employee is getting to know the company’s values, it’s employees, and his or her own job. By providing a structured onboarding process to train the new employee, you are showing them you want them to be successful. For example, have them sit with a more seasoned employee, giving them a mentor, and allowing them to make a connection. A piece of caution is to make sure the seasoned employee has the time to train and mentor, so they don’t feel overwhelmed.

Provide Extended Support

During the onboarding process, show the new hire the ropes, train on technology needed to successfully do their job, show them around the facility and introduce them to people. Try not to rush this process since, as we all know, starting a new job is stressful.  Providing employees with a copy of the policies and a short video or presentation about the company is great, but it shouldn’t stop there. Let new hires know what the company’s expectations are and what they will be evaluated on.

Involve Senior Leadership

Providing an open dialogue between new employees and senior leadership sets a standard early on. Allowing a new employee to make new working relationships with various levels of employees helps to make them feel welcomed. Also, check in with them! Receiving feedback from a new employee on what they are learning and how they feel helps to build a positive culture. As we all know, positive cultures lead to better retention rates and a more productive staff.

Combine Technology with Human Interactions

There is an array of technology for employee orientations and onboarding processes, which is great for streamlining process and keeping things consistent. You can show a PowerPoint presentation to introduce the company, provide employee portals to communicate with staff, and offer online learning tools. Onboarding technology can also help you to stay focused and provide checklists. While these options can be very helpful, don’t forget to put the human interactions in as well. As an example, instead of sending an email to check-in with the new hire, make an appointment with them and have a conversation.

As stated previously, there is no perfect way to conduct an employee onboarding, though hopefully these tips will help. The important thing is to do one.

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Shelly Wallace Johnson

Shelly Wallace Johnson

Shelly Wallace Johnson, aPHR, Experienced HR professional with a passion for people! She is fascinated with the learning and development and organizational development sectors of HR. Writer/blogger focused on OD&T.

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