10 Onboarding Best Practices


If you want new hires to become productive, loyal and even outstanding employees you have to pay close attention to the onboarding process. In many instances, an employee's early experiences with a company determine how he or she adjusts in the long term. The following onboarding best practices will make it easier for new employees to adjust.

10 Onboarding Best Practices for New Employees

1. Connect with New Hires Before They Start

Don't wait until the first day of work to make new hires feel at home. Reach out to them ahead of time, whether it's by phone or email and tell them you look forward to seeing them. Possibly send out a welcome package with gifts.

2. Make Them Feel Welcome on The First Day

The first day of employment makes a big impact and sets the stage for how someone feels about the new workplace. Make sure new hires feel right at home. Arrange a friendly lunch with people with whom they'll be working. Make sure everything they need, such as ID badges, passwords and paperwork is waiting for them.

3. Have Realistic Expectations

It always takes a certain amount of time for even the most talented recruits to reach their full potential. Even when people learn the nuts and bolts of their responsibilities, it will still take them quite a few months to truly feel like members of the team. Do everything you can to help them fit in but understand that it takes time.

4. Connect Them with Multiple Departments

To help new employees feel part of the organization, it helps to have them meet people from every department. This makes them feel more at home and also gives them an introduction to different aspects of your company. Have them sit in on meetings in other departments and perhaps do some job shadowing.

5. Give Them a Tight Schedule

One thing that makes new employees uncomfortable at a new job is not knowing what to do. If they have to constantly ask a supervisor or co-worker what to do, it's hard to feel at home. That's why you should create a fairly rigid schedule for new hires. This lets them feel secure and somewhat self-sufficient from the start.

6. Provide a Mentor

A mentor goes a long way in helping a new employee adjust and learn the ropes. This person can answer questions and provide guidance as the new hire gets acclimated. Choosing a mentor with patience and experience is one of the best ways to make the onboarding process go more smoothly.

7. Help Ease the Paperwork

You can't avoid paperwork when you hire a new employee. You can, however, do some things to prevent new hires from getting overwhelmed with all the forms. Don't rush them. Give them a few days to fill everything out at their convenience. When possible, let them fill forms out online.

8. Help Them Adjust to Your Company Culture

Hopefully, you're careful about hiring people who are a good match for your company culture. Even when someone is a good fit, however, it's still important to do everything possible to help he or she acclimate and learn what your business is all about. To some extent, many of the other tips offered here such as matching new hires with mentors will help you do this.

9. Provide Clear Expectations

You want new employees to have a clear idea of what's expected of them. Without clearly defined goals, people tend to feel adrift. Provide them with performance milestones so their progress can be measured. Communicating expectations is good for both the company and new hires.

10. Encourage Honest Feedback

It's important to know how your new hires feel about the onboarding experience. This can be challenging as someone probably won't feel comfortable openly criticizing your organization during the first few days or weeks. However, if you make it clear that you genuinely want to know what they do and don't like, they're more likely to give you helpful advice. You can use this information to finetune the onboarding process.

These onboarding best practices will help you absorb new employees into your company in a way that's beneficial for everyone. Keep in mind that onboarding takes time and concerted effort.

Learn about Cohesion’s Staffing Solutions, to see how we can help find you the right people for your business.

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John OwensComment