When is the last time you reviewed your employee onboarding process?
Are you going to hire new employees in 2020? It might be time to re-think your employee onboarding. After all, a strong onboarding experience results in happier employees and prevent employee turnover. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Don’t rush employee onboarding
Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. While it may be tempting to try to get someone up to speed as quickly as possible, it can actually take several months before an employee is comfortable in their new position.
The first couple of months are all about learning how the company works, the ins and outs of their job, how to fit into the culture, and more. Of course, most jobs will require a couple of days of onboarding upfront, but to the extent that you can, it’s best to spread onboarding out throughout weeks or months.
As part of your HR process, have regular check-ins with your new hires to uncover the challenges they’re facing, any questions they might have, and what they need to succeed. It’s important that the company be proactive in this process — it can be hard for a new employee to ask for help or admit they don’t know something when they’re busy trying to prove themselves and their worth.
Consider adding buddies or mentors to the employee onboarding mix
While everyone has a manager that they can speak to, it can be hard to figure out who to turn to for genuine advice on things like expectations, company culture, and the quirks of various managers in the beginning.
This is where a buddy or coworker mentor system comes in handy. Ask someone who isn’t a manager or otherwise formally involved in a new hire’s work to be the new hire’s onboarding buddy. Functioning somewhat like a built-in friend from day one, a buddy can be a valuable source of information on company culture and can make new employees feel less alone.
Mentors, like buddies, should also be outside of a new hire’s department, but should ideally be in a more advanced position in the company so that they can provide new hires with guidance on how to perform and advance in their work.
If you’re a small business owner, it’s probably been a while since you’ve been on the other side of an employee onboarding process. Because you have such a wealth of knowledge on your company, it might seem like you’re in the best position to get someone ready to join the ranks.
However, the information you share might not always come across the way you think it does or there might be different, more effective ways of carrying out employee onboarding that your new hires have experienced at other companies.
Building a feedback system into your employee onboarding process is key to growing and improving it. Ask for feedback at various points during the process and take it seriously. Not only will it help you make your onboarding the best it can be, but it will show your new employees that you value their input from the very start.
Add preboarding to your employee onboarding
Employee onboarding doesn’t have to wait until your new hires step into the office. Are there certain books or videos that can help employees begin to understand your company before they start that you could send to them after they’ve accepted their offer?
Maybe you want to take a more logistical approach and task your hiring managers with ensuring that new hires have everything they need to be prepared for their first day. Make it their job to take care of any logistical concerns like commute time and housing advice if your new hire is moving for the job. The more connected an employee feels before day one, the more likely they are to come ready to hit the ground running on their start date.
Optimize your employee onboarding for different types of workers
If you employ seasonal or temporary workers, chances are they won’t need (or want) the same full-blown onboarding process that full-time hires do. In addition to tailoring your onboarding processes to the specific needs of each different type of worker, the more you can optimize, the more time and money you can save in the process.
This doesn’t mean skimp on quality, but it does mean that employee onboarding isn’t a one size fits all process, whether that’s across employee types or companies. As always, the most important thing is to update your employee onboarding process for 2020 in a way that makes the most sense for you and your small business.