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5 Ways to Simplify Employee Onboarding

5 Ways to Simplify Employee Onboarding

Much is being said these days about talent. The conversation centers on the best place to find it and make your company attractive enough to hire good talent and keep it. This is not unusual since having great people in your company equals success for your organization. During the times that you have these conversations, however, is an important bridge to finding and keeping great talent: onboarding.

After spending extended periods of time screening resumes and conducting interviews to find the right person who not only has the right skills, but will also be a good fit for your company’s culture, the day arrives to make an offer and have it accepted.

Now, you do not want to watch this incredibly expensive effort come to an end three or six months down the road. You must continue the recruiting efforts of impressing this person so he or she will stay longer than it takes for the ink to dry on their signed offer letter.

This is where simplifying your employee onboarding process makes a huge difference. It is important to address things that your new hire wants and needs. An orderly process helps to ensure nothing slips through the cracks of miscommunication and misunderstandings.

Here are five things to do as you not only simplify the process, but you establish expectations going forward.

1. Plan Ahead

One thing is certain: Your new hire does not surprise everyone on the first day of work. His or her arrival is known, at the very least, to everyone involved with the recruiting process. One way to prepare ahead of the first day is to send electronic paperwork that often consumes a new hire’s first day.

Basic training on company policies and procedures still matter, but do not necessarily require spending an entire day in a classroom full of new hires. This would require that you make mass hires or spend all day training one or two employees. Obviously, this is not an efficient use of your time.

There are some helpful learning management systems that require employees to take a quiz after viewing the videos. This can encourage feedback and ensures that they understand the information and might even elicit questions that strengthens their knowledge.

You do not want to postpone training for new employees simply because you do not have enough people to fill a classroom. Instead, technology has advanced so companies can create videos to train new employees. This is an efficient use of time and allows employees to access videos from the company server and watch them during the first few days.

2. Connect New Hire with Their Direct Supervisor

Putting management in charge is essential to giving new employees a good start. Employees need an immediate connection with their direct supervisor. In many cases, this is automatic since the manager was most likely part of the interview process.

Besides, having managers be the one to guide new hires during their first few weeks should happen naturally. Leaving it to HR not only pulls that department away from other activities that are important to the company, but it would require expertise that only managers know.

It is important that the person who will oversee the work and who can directly affect employees’ contribution to the company be with new hires on day one. HR can be very supportive. However, the supervisor or manager is the one who ultimately determines the success of onboarding.

3. Outline Expected Responsibilities

New employees need to know exactly what their responsibilities are going to be. While the position was discussed during the interview, being in the role takes on a new meaning. You have someone who was hired for their skills and abilities. However, this person’s skills and abilities were acquired elsewhere.

Obviously, their work experience was one of the deciding factors in offering the position. But, employees need to know the processes that are setup within the company. They need this information before the begin working on projects.

Equally important is letting new employees know how their job performance is measured. Knowing how to do their job well requires knowing how their work will be evaluated. Give them space to ask questions in the beginning and along the way.

4. Understand Onboarding Lasts Up to 90 Days

Providing information about performance evaluations lead to the fourth way you can simplify acclimating a new person to the company. Onboarding goes well beyond the first day or first month. In fact, it continues during the first 90 days. In some cases, onboarding still happens throughout the new hire’s first year.

Too many companies make the mistake of viewing the onboarding process as something that ceases after a short period. On the surface, this means the new hire is no longer considered the “new guy” or “new girl.” In reality, there are many things that cannot be crammed into a few weeks when someone enters a new environment.

New employees need continued support so they will feel like a trusted, valued member of the team. Be sure to chart out the induction process long-term.

5. Have Workstation Ready for Day One

This takes us back to planning ahead. Hiring new employees is not a surprise. You made the job offer, they accepted and was giving a start date. Therefore, your new hire’s work station should be ready when they arrive at the office. Nothing is more disconcerting for a new hire than to hear the supervisor say the department is disorganized.

They are in a new environment, feeling prepared and confident that they know their job. Yet, they walk into a department that is not ready for them. This is not the best way to welcome a new employee or instill a sense of purpose.

Employee onboarding is the first impression new employees receive about the company for whom they have agreed to work. Making sure they have an efficient and well-organized experience builds confidence not only in themselves, but will also reassure them that accepting your job offer was the right thing.