According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it costs an average of $13,996 to replace an employee. That means hiring managers need to take the time to turn their new hires into top performers. Otherwise, they'll be wasting a lot of money when those underperforming employees either jump ship or get fired.
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The following eight tips for onboarding new employees can help you ensure that your new hire becomes a top-tier performer rather than a monetary drain:
1. Prepare for the First Day
On their first day, the new employee will likely be both excited and nervous. Match your new hire's enthusiasm to show that you are equally excited that they are joining your team! Make sure that everything your new employee needs is prepared for the first day. This includes a fully set up workstation, passwords, paperwork, and anything else they may need for a smooth and organized first day.
2. Plan a Well-Paced Ramp Up
Starting a new job means a lot of new information, tasks, and projects. Too much responsibility too early on will likely overwhelm and discourage your new hires, so ensure that you ease them into their new roles. Create a training plan that provides employees with information in small batches, and set milestones based on the training. These small accomplishments will keep new employees engaged and ensure that they are on the right track!
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3. Explain Your Mission
Research from Gallup found that employees who feel a sense of purpose at work are more likely to stay. This fact shows the importance of communicating your organization's goals to new employees and explaining how each hire's particular role contributes to these goals. This will motivate employees and give them a sense of pride and accountability in the success of the organization.
Sixty-six percent of new hires consider leaving a company when they feel as though their managers do not listen to their ideas or suggestions. New employees want to feel like they are valuable parts of the team. Therefore, it is vital that managers encourage, listen to, and consider new employees' ideas. If they do, new employees will feel comfortable contributing ideas and making decisions. Bonus: This will also increase employee engagement!
5. Reward Early
It is difficult being the new employee and trying to fit into a new work environment. We all know that feeling. Keep your new employees motivated by rewarding them when they accomplish their goals. Set reasonable targets and support your new employees on the way. This, of course, is also a great strategy for current employees. Remember: motivation = retention!
6. Assign an Initial Project
Provide new employees with relevant projects right away so that they can become comfortable with their jobs and what their roles will entail. Match their training directly to their work. Make sure to communicate how their projects contribute to company goals and provide feedback when they have completed their tasks. Ensure that new employees fully understand what is expected of them.
7. Assign a Buddy
To reduce new-work-environment anxiety, set each new employee up with a buddy who can show them the ropes. A buddy is someone who is not the new employee's direct supervisor but is ideally in a similar role (maybe a level or two above) and has been with the company for a sufficient amount of time. Have new employees shadow their buddies and ask them any questions they may have. The buddy will serve as a support system as the new hire gets acclimated and, potentially, a mentor who can help the new employee along their career path. Be sure to provide buddies with the necessary resources to help the new hire – for example, a coffee or lunch allowance.
8. Be Present
Maintain a strong and supportive presence in the new employee's work life. Schedule regular meetings to review your new employee's performance. Discuss what is going well and possible areas for improvement. Encourage employees to give feedback on their roles and the company. This is all valuable information to gather, as it will give you greater insight into the workings of your team.
These management strategies will ensure a smooth transition from new employees to top performers and encourage new hires to stay and thrive in the organization. Extra investment in the beginning provides long-term value!
Greg Ford, is the CEO and cofounder of TalentClick.