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With as much attention as most companies put into hiring new employees, it’s quite shocking to see how little attention is paid to onboarding. Still, I would say that onboarding is equally important.
The right onboarding process ensures a strong employee experience right from the start (at a time when the new hire is most impressionable). It also leads to higher employee engagement, a higher comfort level and a stronger company culture. Ultimately, it leads to better employee retention and less turnover within the company. Do you want to improve the onboarding process of your employees? You are in the right place.
But good onboarding requires strategic planning. (It’s not something that just happens). And if you want to improve your own onboarding process, there are several “secrets” I recommend putting into practice. Here are a few:
1. Assign a new rental buddy
My first suggestion is to give the new employee a buddy. This is a permanent employee at your company who is loyal to the business and knows it inside out. Ideally, this person is also very personable, outgoing and friendly.
By assigning a buddy, you ensure that the new hire knows at least one person outside the team of people who hired him. It also makes for some quick relational wins and shows your business in the best light (people like working with people they like).
Related: Here’s What Happens When You Improve Your Onboarding Process
2. Streamline the paperwork
Hiring a new employee usually means a lot of paperwork. And while some of this paperwork is obviously required (by law), you should do your best to streamline the amount of documents new hires have to go through. Find ways to shorten and combine documents. You can also make it easier for the new hire by doing all the paperwork in one go, instead of constantly pushing out papers and pens during the first week on the job.
3. Explain jargon and culture
Every company has its own language, tone and culture. This is part of what makes organizations attractive. New employees enjoy the opportunity to immerse themselves in a fresh environment. However, don’t underestimate how intimidating it can be to be the new person. New hires often feel like they’re the only ones who don’t understand what’s going on. If you are not careful, it can cause anxiety.
Make new employees feel less intimidated by explaining the jargon and culture (as best as possible). This includes company-specific language, buzzwords, traditions and even inside jokes. Giving your new hire this information up front will help them not feel nearly as outcast.
Again, this is where having a buddy is invaluable. They can take the time to explain all these things to the new hire so that there is less confusion.
Related: Why it’s time to ditch your outdated and impersonal onboarding process
4. Stimulate a sense of pride
You want a new employee to feel like they belong. In fact, you want them to feel a sense of pride that they are part of your organization and culture. One of the quickest and most tangible ways to do this is to give them physical tokens of their “membership” in the company.
Shortly after you are hired, I recommend that you give new hires a ‘welcome box’. This box contains branded goods and equipment. This can be t-shirts, mugs, stickers, pens, notebooks, etc. You can get a lot of branded items for $100 (and it might be the best $100 you’ve ever spent on a new employee).
5. Take it easy with the communication
Good communication is essential during the onboarding process. However, do not confuse the idea of good communication with a lot of communication. You don’t want to overwhelm your new hire.
A constant barrage of emails, phone calls, and visits from HR will negatively impact your new hire’s experience. For the first few days, give them the essential information for better onboarding. Everything else can wait a week or two. At this point, the new hire will hopefully feel less overwhelmed.
Related: 4 Ways to Make Hiring Happier for New Employees
6. Perform regular check-ins
New employees receive the most support during the first week of work. But after that first week, all that support tends to disappear. Unfortunately, this can lead to insufficient support for the new staff feeling. And because they are the newbie around, they may be hesitant to ask for help. You can avoid this by checking in regularly for the first 90 days.
In the beginning, your check-ins may take place every day or two. Then, after the first few weeks, it could be once a week. Then once every two weeks, etc. The goal is to make sure the new hire has everything they need to feel comfortable. Your periodic check-ins give them the chance to ask for support or gather clarifying details without feeling needy.
There are plenty of good reasons to invest in a better employee onboarding process. But in the end, they all deliver one ultimate benefit: stronger retention.
Research shows that organizations with a strong onboarding process recruit new employees within a 82% higher rate† And when you consider that 11% of candidates change their mind about an offer within hours or days of signing an offer, a good onboarding process is a must. Let this article point you in the right direction.