Onboarding is a crucial part of bringing a new hire into the fold. It’s the process by which the new employee is inducted into the workforce and acquires the knowledge and training necessary to perform their job.
Onboarding can be a stressful experience, and not just for the new employee: there’s a lot on the line when you’ve hired someone new, and making sure they get settled in smoothly is in everyone’s best interest. Additionally, onboarding is different for contract and permanent hires, so it’s important to understand the nuances between each type. When welcoming a new hire, here are five onboarding tips that we recommend.
1. Pre-Boarding Work
Communicating with the new hire over email before they begin work is a good way to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition into the workplace. First days are always stressful, but reaching out to new hires to answer any questions they have, or to respond to any concerns, will make them feel more comfortable. Doing so will also communicate to the new hire that you’re invested in them working at your company. If you take care of the paperwork beforehand, it also means you don’t have to take up valuable time on the new hire’s first day to have it completed, and can focus on getting them oriented more quickly.
2. Make Them Feel Welcome
Try to introduce the new hire to the entire team, or at least to all of the people they will be working with day to day. Additionally, your current employees will have a much better idea of how they can connect with the new hire if they have been given some information about them before being formally introduced. It makes the onboarding process easier for everyone!
3. Provide Full Support
Typically, the first 90 days of someone’s employment is the amount of time it takes him or her to fully adapt to the new workplace. It’s also the amount of time you’ll need to suss out whether the new hire will be a good fit. That also means that the first 90 days are critical for the new hire learning about their workplace, and needing assistance to get settled. It’s essential that you go beyond the basic introductory training that accompanies the first few weeks, and make yourself available for support or questions throughout the entire 90 days. If the new hire feels like they have support throughout the entire trial period, they are more likely to settle into the workforce easier.
4. Take Notice of the Little Things
We tend to think of training in terms of the big things: how to master the technology you’ll be using, how to properly fill out paperwork, etc. These are all important parts of the hiring process, but it’s important to look out for the small things as well. We often forget how essential simple parts of our jobs are, so we don’t always take the time to pass on that knowledge. This means making sure the new employee has a handle on the small things too, like being able to dial out or use the photocopying machine.
5. Teach Them the Ins and Outs
Each workplace operates like its own little ecosystem. The longer you work somewhere, the more familiar you become with its unique organizational system, like the jargon that is particular to your coworkers, the hierarchy of command, and the informal networks of people you rely on. This is one of the biggest learning curves for new employees because so much of this ecosystem is unspoken, even amongst employees already working at the company. One of the best things you can do to make the onboarding process easier is let the new hire in on the unique culture environment that is your company, so that they’re better able to be a part of it.