The job market is heating up and hiring is on the rise. If your organization will be bringing on new hires, it pays to have a solid onboarding process.
New hire, or employee, onboarding is a critical function for any business. However, far too many businesses tend to overlook this process or downplay its importance.
Unfortunately for these businesses, studies have shown that contented employees are more likely to stay with a company far longer than those who are not. And a crucial step in making "happy" employees is a comprehensive onboarding process.
Perhaps you've always known this to be true, but have struggled to pull together a systematic approach to effective onboarding. To help you in that direction, we've put together five of the top tips and management best practices for making that happen.
Five New Hire Onboarding Tips for HR Managers
Before we jump into the tips it is important to note that an onboarding process is not - and should not - be treated as a "one day" event, or process. In fact, a truly comprehensive onboarding should take weeks.
1. Bring Them Into Your World
This involves an actual tour of your facility and the office layout, as well as introducing your new hire to as many co-workers and management staff as possible. In addition, to actual introductions, having a personnel directory on your company Intranet with photos, titles, and brief bios is a great way to allow your new employee to become familiar with everyone.
Some experts suggest broadcasting the arrival of a new employee to the entire staff of a business, complete with a photo, bio, and other pertinent information. This can be a bit intimidating for some new hires so make sure the individual knows in advance that this will be done.
2. Make it Easy for Your New Hire
We understand there will be the inevitable paperwork with forms and signatures, etc. But the overall process of indoctrinating them into the company culture, learning the ins and outs of breaks, staff meeting schedules, etc. should be spread out over time. And finding creative ways to make it both interesting and engaging will make the process easier for everyone.
A comprehensive employee handbook is a great tool for answering a multitude of questions, as well as offering a structured approach to providing needed information.
3. Provide a Mentor
In this instance, a mentor would be someone who can serve as the first "go to" person for your new hire with questions and concerns. It is probably unlikely that even the most prepared HR manager will answer every question that new employees might have. Assigning one person to serve as a "company" mentor and coach during the onboarding period can be hugely valuable.
This step will also help the new employee quickly assimilate into your business's corporate culture. There are likely a myriad of unwritten expectations and ways of being in your business that cannot be captured in a quick orientation speech. Fitting in and feeling a part of the "team" or "family" is critical to cementing employee loyalty and longevity.
4. Take the Long View
While it may seem somewhat counterintuitive, taking time upfront to discuss your new hire's personal goals and expectations can be powerful. The idea is to bring into this conversation the company's goals, expectations and vision for the employee and the company.
Instilling a sense of having a tangible future with real opportunities as early as possible will set the stage for having a truly committed and engaged employee. According to Gallup's "State of the American Workplace" report,
Organizations have more success with engagement and improve business performance when they treat employees as stakeholders of their future and the company's future. They put the focus on concrete performance management activities, such as clarifying work expectations, getting people what they need to do their work, providing development and promoting positive coworker relationships.
5. Prepare Them for Success
In addition to a large amount of paperwork to be completed and signed, there is almost always a large amount of documents and company publications that need to be read. Creating a flexible reading plan for your new hire is a great way to ensure that everything that needs to be read is scheduled.
In addition, this offers a convenient way to allow your new employee to stay productive during "down times" between other onboarding activities. While the content and volume varies with different types of businesses, every company has a variety of documents, guides, handbooks and plans that employees must become familiar with.
It has been shown that, for the most part, people tend to avoid reading when possible so making this task as simple and convenient as possible will help to ensure that any required reading actually takes place.
Your Onboarding Process is a Vital Investment
Too many businesses tend to take a short-sighted and utilitarian view of new employee onboarding. Yet, many of these organizations also claim that their employees are their "number one investment." However, the real investment should begin at the beginning in the form of time, attention, and guidance.
The larger your organization, the more likely the value of this process may be overlooked. According to the same Gallup report,
The larger an organization, the greater the chance of inconsistency and misalignment. Managers may be responsible for more employees than they can support effectively. Workers may feel like just another number with no understanding of how their role connects to the company's vision or strategies.
In small companies, people are more likely to know each other and the leaders of the organization -- they know how all the pieces fit together and understand the value of their role.
Yet, having a comprehensive and documented new hire onboarding process intentionally implemented will overcome this tendency, even if your company employs thousands.
Onboarding is a Management Function
It's never too late to make improvements to your onboarding process. In fact, 2018 is a great time to review your current recruiting and hiring processes with the goal of upgrading and optimizing them for your planned new hires.
In addition to demanding roles of recruiting, hiring, and continually training employees, the HR staff is responsible for other functions such as payroll management, tax filings, employee records compliance, and workforce management.
Considering alternatives such as outsourcing is increasingly becoming a cost-effective and strategic option. Accuchex can help you in managing your HR needs, payroll processes, and staying on top of compliance demands.