9 Things to Include When Onboarding Your New Hire

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Before your next new hire gets down to business, there are a few things that need to happen. Put your company’s best foot forward. Good, well-structured employee onboarding is where company culture, employee engagement and productivity begin.

First-day-on-the-job horror stories abound—from being plunked down in a corner with the employee manual to being scooted right up to a computer to begin “learning by doing.” A poor training program for your new hires contributes to lost productivity down the line, not identifying a bad hire early in the process and a higher number of employees who quit. According to Equifax Workforce Solutions, “more than half of all employees who left their jobs in the past year did so within the first twelve months—with roughly 60 percent of those leaving voluntarily.”

That’s why it’s so important to take the time to develop a thorough, consistent onboarding process.

Hopefully, even before your new employee’s first day rolls around, you’ve done all the right things: sent confirmation of start dates/times, first day schedule/overview, what to wear, etc. Maybe you’ve even thought to start including them in a few company emails, or sent them a nice note or a company logo item. And hopefully you’ve made sure their workspace is ready—clean, equipped, looking good. (Read Help New Employees Beat the First-Day Jitters for more information.)

Start with an onboarding schedule, suggests yourerc.com. Include details on first day and first week time allotments. This will help your employee feel more secure about what will be happening. They’ll know they’re spending time with their manager each day at 3 p.m. They’ll see they’re getting their HR questions answered on the first day. They won’t have to wonder if they should attend the staff meeting everyone else is going to.

What to include in the schedule:

  1. Introductions: As you introduce the new hire, speak first about the current person’s role within the team or organization
  2. Overview of organization: This is a crash course on your business—history, customers, culture, the products you offer (and don’t offer), etc.
  3. Overview of department: Help your new hire understand where he or she fits in
  4. Job procedures: Explain how to do the job
  5. Expectations: Speak about 30 days out, three months out, etc. Including an explanation of why you hired them might help get them excited about goals and expectations.
  6. Compliance: Include safety, legal, etc.
  7. Computer or technical training: This might include industry articles or documents to read
  8. One on one time with co-workers, a mentor and managers: Assigning a mentor gives your new hire someone to go to with questions—even small ones. Also, be sure you personally spend a lot of time with your new hire—giving you an opportunity to build a relationship and get them excited.
  9. Projects to work on: A new hire is usually anxious to contribute. Have a small project ready, so they immediately feel like they’re part of things. Also, be sure they know who to go to with questions.

You spend a lot of time finding and recruiting the right employees. Onboarding those new hires should be handled just as carefully. It begins before your employee walks through the door and continues for several months as you show them the ropes. Don’t rush the process. And don’t wing it. By creating a thorough checklist for yourself, you’ll cut turnover and help your new employee become a highly productive and integral part of your team.

Agree? Disagree? Add your insightful comments here.