Unless your new hire is a current employee who transitioned into a new position or someone converting from a consultant role; they’re likely feeling uncertain about most aspects of their role and the organization.  Therefore, creating an effective onboarding is critical, especially now in the virtual world we live in. 

Onboarding should be the easiest time in your employees work experience.  Some say it’s the honeymoon period as everything is new, exciting and there seems to be so many possibilities. This is the main reason why new employees are typically more engaged than the rest of your workforce.

Your new team members’ first 90 days is key as are the subsequent months. It’ll take time for them to fully engage, acclimate, and be productive. 

Although the first three months are the typical focus for onboarding, the whole process can take up to two years, depending on the complexity of the role, the ecosystem, the industry or the company.  This is yet another reason every company should focus on creating and developing their onboarding program. 

When should all this begin? From the moment someone accepts your offer!!! The hiring manager should start the process of finalizing an onboarding document that welcomes the new employee to the company. This document should outline details of where to go, what it is like to come onboard with the new company and details of what that first week should look like, along with high level overview documents about the team, company, etc that are linked out. This doc should also have a link to the in depth training plan, who the personal trainer is that will look after them over the next 4-8 weeks and what is expected of them in the first 90 Days. Onboarding is all about learning and the founding tenet of their employee experience.  Understanding this experience early on is especially important as employees with lower levels of engagement have been shown to significantly increase the risk of attrition.

Let’s break this out into Actions

  • Offer is accepted and the background check cleared.  The company has one to four weeks, or longer, to prepare for the new hire to start.  Take action right away, even before the first day. What can this look like? Below are some things that you can actually do, in fact should do:
    • Congratulations phone call or email from the hiring manager. 
    • Leadership email thanking them for choosing their company.
    • Welcome emails from team members.
    • Onboarding document from hiring manager that includes organization charts – team member roles/responsibilities, company videos, mission statements, values, etc.
    • Assign a new hire buddy and clearly spell that out in the onboarding document.  This person checks-in weekly from offer acceptance date to 90 Days in the role.  Goals are to answer questions, offer insights and direct the new hire to those who can assist them when needed.
    • Make sure their computer, phone, monitor and related passwords are working and any subscriptions/license are up to date.
    • Make sure their desk has been organized
    • Organize a welcome swag bag!

Most people are excited to start a new job, but they will also have concerns about meeting the expectations of their manager, fitting in with other people, and figuring out how their job will contribute to the success of the wider organization.  Creating a warm welcome before they begin is impactful.

  • Day 1-30.  Focus on meeting peers, colleagues, and clarifying roles and expectations.  Employees want to understand the company values and culture quickly, as these make it easier to navigate the environment.  Flesh out the first weeks meetings & book them in the calendar, this includes all training sessions, all meet & greets & all potential 1/1s. Organize these and outline them in the onboarding doc. 
    • An employee’s initial development is about understanding their role, leveraging their functional and technical skills, building relationships and coming to terms with internal processes that affect how they do their job.
    • During this time, employee’s need to feel psychological safety.  The foundation of trust will play an important role in their engagement. Daily check in with their personal trainer are essential and weekly check ins with the manager are a must. Keep a running doc between the personal trainer, the new hire & the manager, with all the questions that a new hire has, so that questions can be answered in doc and this then becomes the basis of an FAQ for the team and future new hires.
  • Days 31 to 90.  Weekly check-ins with the new hire’s Manager.  It’s the role of the Hiring Manager to ensure their employee has all that they need.  This includes knowing who to contact to solve issues and how to go about these steps. Continue with the recurring personal trainer meetings and setup colleague check-ins, along with key stakeholder check-ins.  

How to check-in.  Be present.  Stop off distractions.  Ask open ended questions. Create a space where the employee feels safe to express. Acknowledge and validate the wants, needs or issues.  Lean in with a solutions mindset.  Always be sure to ask what they need, what’s missing, what they want for their role/career, and clarify expectations.

Onboarding is all about relationships and timing.  Take each moment to connect with  your new hire, collaborate and get to know them as a person.  To learn more, connect with us at www.transformativevisions.com