Great employees are hard to find, so you have to do your best to make them want to stay. This is where onboarding plays a crucial role. Onboarding is the process of introducing and integrating a newly hired employee into a company. It should start as soon as the new employee has accepted a job offer and can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Smooth and well-planned onboarding makes the newbie feel welcome and have a great start. When the onboarding process goes well, both new employees and companies benefit in the long run.

Here are five key things for making your onboarding process a blast and enticing new hires to stay and see where their career in your company takes them.

1. Induct 

Well-organised induction is the foundation of a strong employee onboarding process. It doesn’t have to be limited to the first day — the length depends on how much the new employee needs to learn as they progress toward being fully functional in their position.

Create an induction plan 

Induction doesn’t have to be a formal process, but it should be well-planned, structured and managed. Always remember that the kind of start your new hires get off to is the key to shaping their attitude to the organisation and the job. 

Plan who else will be involved in the process besides the recruit. Someone should be in charge of welcoming and mentoring the new hire (these could be the same person or two individuals). 

Think about everything that needs to be covered and put it on paper. It’s a good idea to create a checklist in order not to miss anything important. If you have time and will, you can tailor your induction plan to your new hire’s needs. Individuals coming straight from college might have different needs than those who already have some work experience, so they might need to be approached differently. 

Begin before the employee starts

Once your new hire has accepted your employment offer, surprise them with a welcome pack, an onboarding kit containing some practical items. A well-thought-out welcome pack will show the recruit that you really care and reassure them that accepting the job offer was the right decision for them.

Camaloon, a world-known company that specialises in creating personalised gifts can help you with this. Simply choose your welcome pack from their selection, and they will personalise it with your company’s branding and ship it directly to your new hire’s address.

You can also send them a paper copy or an electronic version of a short guide with some important information and answers to some frequently asked questions. New employees are usually eager to learn everything they can about their new employer and the job prior to their first day.

Prepare their workspace 

Don’t let your new hire come to work on their first day and realise that you haven’t set up any workspace for them. Whether it’s an office, a cubicle or just a desk, make sure your new employee has somewhere to work from day one.

Clear out anything they don’t need, double-check all of their equipment, and get all of their login credentials for communication tools and work management hubs ready. A clean and neat workspace will help them get organised and encourage productivity from the start.

Make introductions

When your new employee arrives, the person in charge of welcoming them should show them around. If the same person is not their mentor, they should introduce them to the mentor and give them time to get to know each other a bit. The new hire needs to establish rapport with the mentor early in the onboarding process.

Try not to introduce the new hire to too many people too quickly. After the mentor, continue with their line manager and colleagues they will be working with immediately. Make clear who does what in the company and let them have a short sit-down with their line manager. 

These introductions will make the new employee feel valued while also allowing you to communicate their role within the organisational ecosystem.

your onboarding process

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

2. Integrate

Although most job seekers research the companies they apply to, after they get the job, they are still fairly unfamiliar with the business and don’t understand how things really work. 

It’s your responsibility to educate the new employee about the company’s history and brand, as well as its products or services, customers, technologies and systems. Identify key stakeholders, explain how the organisation works and how decisions are made. New recruits consider learning about ins and outs of the business to be one of the most valuable aspects of their onboarding experience.

Furthermore, give the new hire an overview of the company’s culture, including attitudes, behavioural norms and values. Understanding the company’s culture and how they fit in will allow them to integrate more quickly.

3. Provide a detailed job description

Provide all role-relevant information and role-specific training so that the new hire understands how to function on a daily basis, both on their own and within their team. Be as detailed as possible when it comes to their responsibilities, accountability and authority levels. 

Explain how their performance will be assessed, possible opportunities for development and training and routes for promotion in the future. New hires have to know what they need to do to be successful. Articulate any expectations you might have from them. Unclear expectations are among the leading causes of employees leaving their jobs within the first few months.

4. Create a sense of belonging

Being the new person at work is tough, so set aside some time for social integration. It’s paramount that you provide ample opportunities for newbies to form connections throughout the office in order to gain a better understanding of the various roles in the workplace community and also feel like they are an important part of it. 

Research shows that a person’s feeling of loneliness also relates to lower job performance, so employers should try to alleviate any such feelings from the very beginning. For instance, the recruit’s mentor or new teammates can invite them for a cup of tea or something to eat. Lunch outside the office is a great idea as well. 

5. Set short-term objectives

You’ve found the right person for the job, but you still need to ensure that they’re set up for success. Set clear short-term goals for new hires that you know they can easily achieve. That way, they’ll feel like they’re contributing right away (and they are!), which will motivate them to work harder and be more productive.

Many new joiners make the mistake of attempting to take on too much, too soon, and thus spread themselves too thin. Give them tasks that are appropriate in size and step-by-step guides, and make sure they get some early wins. Offer ongoing support and resources. As a result, they will feel competent and comfortable in their new role, and they will be eager to stay.

Track the new employee’s progress with milestones and check in on a regular basis to review performance, provide feedback, identify any challenges and let them know you care about their progress.

Make recruits understand the impact their daily work has. Because they are a member of your team, understanding how their work affects others on their team can alter their entire perspective. 

To conclude

Starting a new job is a nerve-racking experience. Onboarding that is well-planned and executed significantly reduces new job jitters and makes new hires feel comfortable and welcome. A quality onboarding process doesn’t start and finish with the new recruit’s first day. It might take a few weeks to transform new hires into happy, confident and productive members of the team. And that’s perfectly fine. A thoughtful onboarding process will get the working relationship off to a good start and keep new talent on board for the long haul. Ask for feedback about your onboarding process later on and make continuous improvements.