5 strategies to retain top talent during employee onboarding
As a human resources recruiter, you spend months finding and hiring the right candidate for your company. Want a great way to get the most from your investment? Prepare managers to effectively onboard new hires.
Managers may not realize that while they’re evaluating the new hire, the new hire is evaluating them, too. Don’t let your recent hire doubt the decision to join your company. Instead, equip managers with an onboarding process that engages new talent and inspires success.
1. Begin the onboarding process before the employee’s first day
Advise managers to prepare before a new hire arrives. To ensure a smooth adjustment, here are some things managers can do:
· Take time to prepare the new hire’s workstation and register him or her into internal systems. Few things are more awkward than starting your first day without a computer monitor or access the company’s intranet and other systems.
· Send a welcome email to reduce any new job anxiety. Include a schedule of the first day, names of team members and high-level information about ongoing projects. This will help the new hire feel prepared.
2. Make the first day memorable
Managers need to capitalize on the power of first impressions to reassure a new hire about his or her decision to work for the company.
· Managers should take their new employee to lunch for a chance to get further acquainted. Show him or her the surrounding area and popular places to grab lunch. And depending on team dynamics, managers can decide whether to invite other team members to tag along.
Here are some other creative ways to engage new employees on day one:
· Have a co-worker greet the new hire at the door to give him or her VIP treatment
· Provide some company swag. New hires will feel like part of the team by having the company mug or T-shirt.
· Arrange welcome messages from co-workers. Whether they send a signed photo, a poster or a short video, your new hire will feel important and appreciated.
3. Orient the new hire to the team
Managers should provide access to helpful team information in addition to the company’s traditional orientation process. An employee’s first few days can be confusing; so be sure managers are ready to provide answers.
Assemble a package with key information:
· Team overview — What does your team do? How does your team support company objectives? How does your team fit into the company structure?
· Seating chart/office map — Where does everyone sit? Where is the closest bathroom?
· 14-day checklist — What specific trainings need to be completed? What else needs to be accomplished in the first two weeks?
· Who-to-call list — Who should be contacted with questions about technical issues or office supplies?
· Reference information — How do you place a call or use the copier?
· Assign an onboarding buddy to explain key information and team dynamics. A buddy can serve as a friendly guide to getting started at the company and joining the team.
4. Give new hires purpose and make them feel useful right away
Getting up to speed takes time. Throughout the onboarding process, advise managers on how to keep a new employee engaged.
Here are a few ideas:
· Share information about job responsibilities. Show new employees a clear picture of what they need to do in their current roles and options for various career paths within the company. Keep new hires motivated by clearly laying out present and future expectations.
· Provide a schedule of how the first few weeks will look. With so much to learn, having a visual can help ease the transition. Carve out time for new hires to meet with co-workers, get acquainted and ask questions in smaller settings.
· Assign a few small tasks to keep new employees busy. Often, the first days and weeks move slowly. Assigning work helps new hires feel useful as they get up to speed.
5. Check in regularly and measure the employee onboarding process
Each new hire presents an opportunity for managers to evaluate the process. Instead of wondering if a new hire feels comfortable and prepared, the manager should just ask.
Advise managers to:
· Establish a routine to check progress. For the first six to 12 weeks, managers should schedule weekly meetings with new employees to discuss onboarding and adjustment. Having a predetermined time to discuss progress creates a safe space to ask questions.
Here are two simple questions a manager can ask a new hire:
1. What’s going well?
2. How can I help?
· Gather feedback from team members on how the employee is adjusting. Managers will get a more comprehensive picture and actionable information from co-workers. Advise managers to include this feedback in their weekly meetings with new hires to reinforce good habits and address red flags.
Employee onboarding goes well beyond a new hire’s first week. Ensuring managers take time to properly onboard lowers new employee turnover rates while making the most of your efforts and resources. Nurturing new hires while saving time and money? Win-win.