Few things are more rattling than feeling like you've been tossed into the deep end with no guidance when starting a new job. To ensure long-term success for new employees, it is imperative that your company has the right onboarding processes in place. This is true not only for large corporations, but also for small and midsize businesses as well.
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Effective and efficient onboarding benefits the employee, of course, but it also benefits the employer. When given the tools they need to succeed right off the bat, new employees can make more meaningful impacts sooner than they would if they had to figure it all out for themselves. Onboarding processes provide your new hires with the lay of the land and help them integrate into the team more quickly.
Here are five tips to help you create smooth onboarding experiences for your new hires:
1. Plan Ahead
You should begin preparing the onboarding process as soon as you have a new position to fill. This gives you time to take into consideration everything your new employee will need to know. By planning ahead, you also take some of the pressure off of your supervisors by giving them an idea of how onboarding will be implemented alongside their existing workloads.
2. Think Outside of Your Department
It's easy to conceptualize what your new employee's immediate needs might be within the department, but you also need to take into account how the new hire's position will relate to departments outside their own. Once your new hire has joined your team, it is wise to introduce them to people in other departments. Be sure to train them on processes that will include people outside of their own teams!
3. Call on Recent Hires
One best practice for creating comprehensive onboarding plans is to learn from your mistakes. Ask recent hires what they were missing when they started. This will help you identify any gaps in your existing onboarding process – especially things that seem like common knowledge but actually need to be communicated explicitly. You might be surprised by how much stress you take off a new hire's plate when you inform them of simple things like dress codes or weekly luncheons.
4. Do Not Overwhelm a New Employee on Their First Day
There is a lot your new employees need to know, but you do not have to pack it all into their first 8 hours on the job. It's important to identify what new hires absolutely need to know for their first day – e.g., administrative processes, passwords, who their teammates are, where to eat lunch, etc. – and then fill in the gaps as the next few days play out.
Be sure to build some downtime into the first day as well. Give new employees space to digest all of the information they've just been handed.
5. Give New Hires Necessary Info Before They Start
Before your new employee's first day, you will need to spell out things like where to park, how to get into the building, where their workspace will be located, where to check in, etc. These are all easy barriers to remove, and doing so will help ensure a positive onboarding experience for your new employee.
Meghann Isgan is the team success manager at Readers.com.