New Year, New Ideas For Onboarding

January is a typical time to hire new employees, as the company and its staff embark upon the challenges of a new calendar year. However, if your hiring-spree is provoked by high turnover, you may want to look at onboarding protocols. Research suggests that within six months, four-fifths of new hires will decide whether or not they will stick with an employer. By implementing some new onboarding techniques, you can make significant gains on these unwanted statistics.

Take ownership of onboarding

If the new hire is your direct report, own that responsibility. Yes, HR professionals, hiring managers, office coordinators, training staff, and other helpful folks will all make the new hire feel welcome. But you are their manager. So your displays of organization, professionalism, mentoring capabilities and problem solving are integral to the new hire’s perception of the company. Having an onboarding process that is unique to your sphere of influence is a great start. With a practical plan in place, you will ensure that a new hire understands the corporate vision and responsibilities, their duties and job description, the team they work within, and the progress that is expected of them.

You are a tour guide

Tourism industry professionals understand customer service. Their job is to make sure people have a good time in a strange place. But a great tour guide understands when somebody does not want to be cajoled into activities that make them feel uncomfortable. Think of yourself as your new hire’s tour guide. Show them and teach them everything that is essential about the job and workplace. Introduce them to key figures and work peers. But be willing to pick up on non-verbal cues that will tell you if the new hire is uncomfortable or overwhelmed. A job orientation can be exhausting, so meet your responsibilities with a customer-focused attitude.

Empower the new hire

Make sure that your new hire understands the projects and targets that they, as an individual, are being asked to meet. And, if necessary, what role they are playing in the team’s goals. Then negotiate some short-term targets with the new hire to get then into the swing of things. Do not assume that someone else in the office will mentor the new hire. Or that any in-house training beforehand has answered all questions in advance. Be available and be a team-player. If onboarding is truly one of your retention tools, you will be enthused to get your hands dirty.

Review progress

As the days and weeks go by, schedule time with the new hire to review how things are going. Discuss career goals and, where possible, explain how you and the company can support the new hire in meeting them. By being friendly and informative the new hire will, in time, come to trust your integrity and usefulness. In return, you will improve the chances of 2016 being a great year for retention in your workplace.

Free onboarding guide

The above article provides some guidelines for improving your onboarding process. To help further facilitate new hire success, we have created a comprehensive employer’s guide to onboarding – “Onboarding – Preparing for a New Employee”. It includes an onboarding checklist, templates for welcome letters, performance reviews and employee questionnaires. Download your copy here »