How was your first day at work? Were you excited or nervous? Were you warmly welcomed or did you have to find your way around? For most of us, it was somewhat frightening;not knowing what to do, who to talk to or where everything is located. Everyone experiences a frightening first day, including the teams you will be working with.
On-boarding an employee is the process by which new hires are adjusted to all social and performance aspects of their jobs quickly and smoothly. They learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills and behaviors required to function effectively within that organization.
The market place waits for nobody; it does not care whether you just lost all your employees and need time to recruit new ones. The clock keeps ticking and the competition keeps growing.
Proper on-boarding of new hires is vitally important because your success is dependent on their success. Whose duty will it be to see that the orientation goes well? Should it be the immediate supervisor, a colleague, or human resources? The human resource department is likely best suited for this as their key role is talent management. Here are some key practices to keep in mind as you take your new employee through the orientation.
- Be personal Corporate life can be busy and often the daily amount of paperwork can be over-whelming. However, it is important that this not take priority over integrating a new employee. Take the time to introduce them to the people they will be working with. Perhaps even assign a mentor who can help with the transition. Take advantage of technology to ease the load when possible.
- Familiarize the people with the corporate structure The new hire might have done their due diligence online and know the organization structure and who the key leaders are, but it’s good to familiarize them with the corporate tree. Show them who is in charge of which department; their name, photo, title and the way information flows. This can help them better navigate in the weeks ahead as they learn with whom they will be interacting. Familiarizing them with the corporate structure, as much as possible, will help them avoid confusion.
- Keep it interesting and simple Both parties have expectations of the new working relationship. The new employee, while perhaps a bit nervous, is eager to deliver on his promises, while the employer is eager to get the best out of the employee. You can ease the tension by informing the employee ahead of time about the on-boarding schedule, frequently asked questions and other relevant information. This will make them feel welcomed, wanted and excited, enabling them to start strong.
- Walk with the employee for a longer period While a one-day orientation is great, keep in mind that it takes time for a new employee to grasp everything. Your company has its own culture, benefits, processes and unwritten rules that can only be learned over time. That is why many companies implement a 3-6 month probation period to determine if the new employee will be the right fit for the long haul.
These are just a few tips that I have learned along the way. Being personal, familiarizing the employee with everyone, keep a simple interesting model and walking with the employee. A well-received employee will own their roles and responsibilities faster than one who learns things the hard way.