Recruitment Obstacles

"Organizations that practice effective employee onboarding understand that the process of integrating a new hire into a company and its culture requires more than just a nice welcome letter, a great first day at work, or a first-week orientation program," says Mike Gibbons.

"With an effective onboarding strategy in place, you can acclimate new hires into your company's culture and provide them with the knowledge and resources they need to succeed. It's essential if you'd like to retain employees, reduce turnover and maximize productivity," affirm Anna Baluch and Kelly Main.

According to these experts, here are the best practices for effective employee onboarding:

1. Preboard New Hires

Preboarding is the process of starting an employee's onboarding experience before their first day. It can get them excited about their new job and keep them engaged until their start date. This is the perfect time for you to send them some company swag and encourage them to ask any questions they might have. You can also email new hires the onboarding schedule so they know what to expect on day one, and answer any early questions before arriving at the office.

2. Get Paperwork Done ASAP

It's a good idea to give your new hires a head start on administrative tasks, such as creating a company email address or completing HR paperwork, so that their first day doesn't revolve around filling out documents. Some examples of paperwork you may want to encourage them to work on before they start include direct deposit forms, employee handbook acknowledgment forms, health benefit forms, etc.

3. Give Out a Welcome Package

While welcome packages aren't required, they can leave a positive first impression and convey your appreciation of all new hires. There are many corporate gifting options you can choose from. You can keep them basic with a company mug or get creative and send out cookies with your logo. Whatever you do, make sure your welcome packages reflect your unique corporate culture.

4. Assign a Buddy

When new hires are paired with a buddy who they regularly meet on a weekly or monthly basis, they'll have someone to turn to for questions and concerns. Choose buddies who are positive role models and are excited to show new employees the ropes. Ideally, they'd be colleagues rather than direct managers.

5. Make the First Day Exciting

A new employee’s first day should be fun and informative at the same time. You don’t want them to spend eight hours filling out paperwork, but you do want them to learn and be better prepared to start their job. Don’t hesitate to ask current employees what they did or didn’t like about their first day.

6. Share Your Definition of Success

Success varies widely from company to company. That’s why it’s your job to clarify what it means to do well at your organization. While doing so, use concrete examples from past employees and be specific with numbers or data as vague statements will only confuse new hires. By setting expectations right off the bat, your new team members will be more likely to achieve success.

7. Stay True to Your Culture

Most employees care about more than just their compensation. They’d like to work at a company with a great culture. A positive culture can keep them engaged, motivated and productive. That’s why it’s important to showcase your company’s culture throughout the onboarding process. Share your organization’s history and highlight what makes it unique and why some of your longest employees have been so loyal.

8. Check In Regularly

Onboarding doesn’t end once your new employees have filled out their paperwork, met the team and completed training. It’s an ongoing process that requires weekly, monthly or quarterly check-ins. These meetings serve as an opportunity to sit down with them to ensure they’re comfortable and happy. Regular check-ins can mean the difference between a long-term, productive employee and one who quits early on.

9. Be Flexible

While a structured, well-planned onboarding strategy is a good idea, it should allow for some flexibility. Let's say a new employee can’t visit your office for in-person onboarding at the last minute. In this case, you'll want to be prepared with a remote option. Also, if you notice new hires need time to relax after an intense training session, move the next training to the following day or week.

10. Revisit Your Onboarding Process

Your onboarding process is not set in stone. It's likely that you’ll need to change it from time to time. Actively seek feedback from your current employees through regular surveys or conversations to know what you're doing well and where you can improve. Continue to enhance the way you onboard, and don't be afraid to revamp your process as your company evolves.

What other step do you think is essential for effective employee onboarding? Help us complete this list by sharing your thoughts in the comments section. 

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