Why Effective Onboarding Is So Important

Onboarding helps new employees adjust to the social and performance parts of their jobs so they can quickly become productive members of the company. Effective onboarding is critical, yet so many organizations get it wrong. The first few days or weeks will leave a lasting impression on new hires and if done inadequately, you risk losing them. These tips will help ensure successful onboarding:

  1. Start the onboarding process before the employee even starts. Send all required paperwork to them to complete and have ready on their first day. No one wants to spend half a day filling out forms.
  2. Send a welcome gift to the employee’s home. Ideas could be a gift basket filled with company swag, a fruit basket, chocolate, etc. This small gesture shows the employee that the team is excited for them to join.
  3. Send an announcement to everyone at the location, division, or whoever appropriate to make sure everyone is aware there is a new team member joining.
  4. Make sure the employee’s work station is set up on their start date. Have their name plate ordered and hung. Their computer should be ready to use and common office supplies should be on their desk.
  5. Give the employee a tour (bathrooms, break room, coffee, office supply closet, etc.)
  6. Walk the new hire around the office and introduce him or her to co-workers and other key people.
  7. Take the employee to lunch on their first day.
  8. Create a detailed training plan for the first few weeks and the first three to six months. Who will be doing the training? What are the topics? Will travel to other sites be required? Who is their mentor/buddy?
  9. Make sure the manager sets clear objectives and expectations and meets regularly with the new employee during the first few weeks and months. The new hire shouldn’t feel isolated and unsupported.
  10. HR is advised to conduct a 90-day check in to gather feedback on the onboarding process, ask what can be improved, and determine what additional support the new hire may need.

An employee’s performance at the end of the first year proves if they are fully productive. You will be able to tell by then if he or she has been successfully integrated into the organization. After the first year, career development should be the focus. There should now be a shift from on-the-job training to continuous development.