Onboarding is one of the most important experiences an employee will have at your organisation as it sets the tone for their entire tenure with you. It’s worth taking the time to develop a streamlined process that offers a great employee experience! However, onboarding new employees, both in-person and remotely, can be time consuming and if done poorly can cause delays in new hires becoming productive and integrated within existing teams. It is estimated that it can take up to eight months for new employees to be fully productive in their roles.
So, how can you refine your onboarding process to set your new employees up for maximum success and get the greatest return on your recruitment investment?
6 tips for onboarding new employees to maximise success
Here are six tips to help you onboard new employees effectively, nurture their skills and improve success.
- Include weekly breakdowns in your onboarding plan
An effective 90-day onboarding plan should begin with detailed weekly breakdowns with clearly defined learning objectives for the first month. This allows new hires to build confidence whilst taking onboard key information before being given greater autonomy to work independently.
- Customise the process for each new hire
Whilst your onboarding process will have common elements it is important to tailor the overall experience to consider the different information and support needed for each role as well as individual learning styles and speed. This flexibility can be particularly helpful when onboarding remotely as it is important to remember that everyone’s circumstances are different.
- Assign a mentor or buddy
Assigning new hires an existing employee as a mentor or “buddy” can help promote a sense of collaboration and belonging. Seasoned buddies can provide new employees information on company policies, perks, benefits, and other unstructured information. Having a friend available can also allow remote employees to develop a sense of safety when navigating meetings and digital tools as well as promote a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture.
- Make sure all tools and resources are ready and easily accessible
Pre-boarding is critical to enabling a smooth first week for new employees and to reduce anxiety and first-day nerves. Employers should ensure they have the equipment they need, that accounts are set up and passwords are easily accessible and that their first few weeks’ onboarding plan has been provided to them.
- Build connections with current staff
Schedule welcome meetings with the team they will be working with as well as key staff from other departments. This will allow new hires to integrate quickly into established relationship structures without having to navigate more formal business meetings at the same time. It’s always helpful to be able to put names to faces, particularly if you are onboarding staff remotely where most communication is likely to be via email.
- Emphasise culture and their future at the company
Your onboarding plan should also include helping employees transition into the culture of the workplace and visualise their future with the company. Ensure you are sharing key facts and stories about the business’ mission, long-term goals, and values. By the end of the onboarding process employees should feel encouraged and enthusiastic about the next stage of their journey with you.
Onboarding remote employees
For remote employees the onboarding process should be much the same as for those working in-office, however, there are several additional factors to take into consideration. Including:
- Pre-boarding is even more essential
For remote onboarding, a robust pre-boarding procedure is even more important. Employees should have all the equipment and access they need prior to their first day. It may also be useful to schedule a call with IT before the start date to make sure everything is working as it should.
- Make checklists and task management software work for you
Most project management software offers the ability to provide checklists and reminders to keep new employees on track and engaged with their learning and onboarding tasks. Progress is, therefore, visible and can be checked by managers quickly and easily without a lot of emailing or messaging back and forth. Don’t be afraid to send reminders and gentle nudges to help new employees focus.
- Ask for feedback
It is important to allow new employees the opportunity to check in, express concerns and give feedback on the onboarding process. Remote working can be isolating and demotivating so providing a point of human contact, even via video, can be reassuring. Regular feedback can also allow you to improve the onboarding process for future hires.
Energize can help you with your onboarding process and get the most from your new hires.
At Energize our specialist consultants have extensive knowledge to help you build recruitment strategies and onboarding processes that get the most from your employees.
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