What is An Employee Onboarding Process?
An employee onboarding process is a way of introducing new hires to the organization’s culture and environment. The time taken to complete the employee onboarding process varies from organization to organization but typically extends for a period of 90 days. Post this time duration, the employee is considered to be up to speed with the company culture and values. For nearly all organizations, the employee onboarding procedure starts as soon as the offer letter is sent out.
Employee onboarding is crucial as it is the first impression an employee gets of the organization post the lengthy interview process. A successful employee onboarding process leaves a positive impression on the employee and serves as a motivation to join the company. It is also necessary to help new hires settle down in their jobs, get to know about the company, and socially connect with the team members.
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Tips for Successful Employee Onboarding
Employee onboarding covers a number of activities to make new hires feel that they are an integral part of the company. The activity list is provided to the new hire in the form of an onboarding checklist. Here is a list of top 10 tips for successfully onboarding new employees,
1. Don’t wait till their first day
The first day of work is always nerve-wracking. Employers must include new hires in the team's communication from the time the offer has been made instead of waiting for the first day. The process is commonly known as employee pre-boarding. During pre-boarding, employers send materials to clients to get them up to date with the team dynamics and job duties. You can take help from one of the best onboarding tools to stay organized.
Employees considering joining the organization usually have a lot of questions and answering them in advance would improve the chances of them actually joining. Pre-boarding communication ensures employees get to know their coworkers.
2. Prepare managers to welcome the new hires
As part of new hire orientation, it is important to prepare managers in advance in order to speed up the onboarding process. It helps to get employees fully productive 25% faster than usual. Onboarding checklists for managers should include welcome messages for new employees, assigning a mentor/buddy for the new hire, discussing roles and responsibilities, setting up on-boarding check-ins, helping them build a social network, etc.
Ultimately it is beneficial for managers if the new hire starts contributing as soon as possible. New hires should not be considered as an individual entity but an integral part of the team.
3. Teach team dynamics to new hires
New hires must get familiar with the inner workings of the company as well as their respective teams. The employee onboarding process includes helping new hires understand the team dynamics especially because acclimatization to this may take more time as compared to getting started with duties of the job. Ensure that the new hires get started on the right foot by educating them in the healthiest way possible.
The person mentoring the employee might pass on their own biases which is not an ideal situation. During employee, onboarding keeps things transparent and let employees build their own opinion.
4. Define robust expectations
Avoid ambiguity while setting expectations at the beginning of the new job. Do not completely rely on employee handbooks and job descriptions to convey your expectations to the employee. Employee onboarding must consist of managers preparing a robust set of guidelines including topics such as deadlines and how deliverables will contribute towards company growth.
This should be a living document that can be revised multiple times throughout the new hire orientation process. The document must cover company culture along with team-specific issues. This process helps in bringing the employee to full productive power in no time.
5. Schedule regular check-ins
Employee onboarding is an ongoing process. As discussed earlier, the employee onboarding process should start at the moment an offer letter is handed over to the employee, similarly, the employee onboarding process must go beyond the point when the employee is considered to be up to speed with everything.
The best way to implement this is to schedule regular check-ins between the new hire and their manager. This is the time when manager and employee can both sit together and revisit the expectations to set new ones. Onboarding best practices like this help new hires to stay on track.
6. Do not forget to assign a buddy/mentor
Mentors can be greatly helpful for the new hire orientation process. Several companies have adopted a mentor program or a buddy program where a high-performing employee assists the new hire in the initial days and greatly contributes to increasing their chances of success at the organization. During employee onboarding, the person assigned as mentor shall answer all the questions a new hire might have and take a more personal interest as the manager is not always available. Mentor/ Mentee relationship will help new hires form social connections and have a positive role model in the office.
7. Ensure that they get to know the team
Onboarding best practices include ensuring that the new hire gets to know their team and form connections. It may be an opportunity to form relationships with coworkers that will last for years to come, even beyond their employment at the current organization.
As soon as the new hire gets comfortable in their working environment, they will start being productive. It should be a priority to make them feel part of the team.
8. Encourage new hires to ask questions
During employee onboarding, New hires are full of questions regarding their work, their team, transport, cafeteria, compensation, benefits, health, insurance, etc. The new culture, new tasks, new coworkers, new jargon, might confuse them and they will seek guidance at some point. To proactively deal with this problem, create an FAQ addressing some common questions that may confuse the employees.
Create an environment of openness and comfort to encourage new hires to ask questions without worrying. Assigning a mentor is another great initiative to make sure all the questions of the employee are being answered promptly.
9. Announce the new hires arrival
Sending a welcome message for new employees can be part of the announcement that is aimed at letting the team members know about the new joiner. Schedule meet and greet events with collaborators and teams so that the new employee gets acquainted with the team. Scheduling meets and greet with the company leaders can help new hires learn from their experiences by hearing their stories. Meet and greet events can be organized in both remote and physical settings.
Ensure that the new hire feels comfortable with the team and doesn’t hesitate to ask for help from anyone.
10. Employee engagement and team building must be an ongoing process
Once the onboarding is successfully completed, there is still a lot that can be done in terms of employee engagement and team building. Provide new hires with ample opportunities to build key relationships by organizing team-building events. Pair the new hire randomly with different team members for virtual coffee meetings.
Recognizing the efforts and providing recognition can be useful in motivating the new hire to keep contributing positively. Ask new employees to fill up a candidate survey to know how your employee onboarding program is performing in reality.
About Author: This article is written by our marketing team at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee engagement, and intranet software. Our aim is to help your company improve employee engagement, employee productivity, and to save you valuable time!