Human Resources / What To Know About Onboarding New Employees

What To Know About Onboarding New Employees

Do you want to help your new employees have a positive experience, setting them up for long-term success? Onboarding is a comprehensive process that can last up to 12 months. How it’s handled is crucial to ensuring high retention.

In addition to sharing the job requirements and describing team dynamics, you can help new hires succeed by giving them the necessary tools and information:

  • Prepare a detailed job description. Be sure that it includes any specific tasks, responsibilities and expectations you have for the first three months. The more precise the job description, the better it will serve as a reference point for future performance evaluations.
  • Establish performance metrics. These should be measurable, relevant and achievable so that they provide a clear path to success.
  • Plan a progressive training schedule. Include a mix of on-the-job training, workshops and mentorship programs to ensure you’re gradually introducing the new hire to the role, reducing the risk of overwhelming and instead instilling confidence and competence. A good learning pace is not only customizable but will naturally transition into professional development.
  • Provide opportunities for follow-up and support. Assess progress by checking in and addressing any challenges. You may need weekly feedback sessions to enhance learning and job satisfaction. You should gauge the effectiveness of your training approach, making changes to both it and the original job description, if needed.

Providing support

When meeting with your new employee, you can ask such questions as:

  • Are you settling into your role? Are there aspects you find challenging?
  • Do you have a clear understanding of your responsibilities and our expectations?
  • Are there any areas of your job where you feel you need more training or support?
  • How comfortable do you feel with the team dynamics and the company culture?
  • Do you feel you have the resources and tools you need to perform your job effectively?
  • Do you have any suggestions for improving the onboarding process based on your experience?

Actively listen if the new employee conveys that the process isn’t going well. Take the complaints seriously. Your new employee should feel heard and understood. Express your commitment to address any concerns. Demonstrate that you value input and are committed to success. Feedback ensures your onboarding remains effective and relevant, leading to higher satisfaction.

If you pair new hires with seasoned employees, the more experienced colleagues have a chance to offer insider tips for navigating your company culture. A go-to mentor can provide guidance, answer questions and offer support, fostering a feeling that it’s safe to share views. You can also add in-person or virtual team-building activities aimed at promoting interaction among team members.

The support outlined above is critical to integration and the employee’s feeling engaged and productive. This sense of belonging will increase retention because your new hire will feel part of the community. Community building is also supported by informal coffee breaks or lunches where workers can connect on a personal level, sharing experiences and breaking down barriers. Informal get-togethers also allow remote and hybrid workers to feel more connected to their colleagues.

Even with time and effort, you won’t always get it right. In that case, you can consider re-onboarding. In re-onboarding, you skip the administrative tasks but repeat role-specific training with the goal of improving performance. You should also review the job description together, defining new goals and success metrics.

As part of the re-onboarding process, create an open forum for questions and plan gatherings to boost camaraderie and morale. Reset team norms to make sure there are no toxic dynamics at play. Research shows that re-onboarding works: It focuses and energizes your new employees, helping them be more productive and efficient while increasing retention by 43%.

How BlueStone Services Can Help
Strategic onboarding keeps employees keen and motivated. We can provide onboarding and retention solutions to support employee engagement strategies, so you can focus on what you do best. Contact us today to get started. 

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