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Aaron Leggett

Apr 22, 2016

7 Steps for Effective Employee Onboarding

New employees are most likely to leave a company within 18 months of tenure, and 90% of new hires decide within the first 6 months on the job whether or not they are going to stay with the organisation, according to a recent article by the AICPA. Not only that, but the 500 largest companies are currently facing a talent crisis, likely losing 50% of their senior level managers in the next 5 years.

Companies that make structured onboarding programs a priority see an increased length of service from their employees. With the average length of tenure in the United States being only 3 years, it's important to start off on the right foot, especially since replacing a management-level position can exceed 150% of the annual salary.

Effective employee onboarding involves more than just orientation and training. Rather, it is the entire process of how a company welcomes new employees, orients them to the culture, and trains them for success within the organisation. Onboarding gives employees a sense of value, using corporate resources, in a consistent way for all new hires.

Make a commitment to help new employees feel welcome and part of the team. Here are some tips for successful employee onboarding.

  1. Send a welcome letter. Before the first day, send the new employee a welcome letter, outlining their first day and tips such as parking where to report, and so on. Help the new hire know what to expect with schedules and other important information.
  2. Pre-orient current staff members. Provide existing employees with information about the new hire prior to their start. Include information like the job description and the new employee's resume. This gives the current staff some knowledge of how they will be working together once the new team member starts.
  3. The first day: help the employee relax. Put the new employee at ease by introducing them to existing staff. Give the employee a "buddy" to assist with questions and to help them feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Give them a quick tour so that they can easily locate where to store belongings, where the break room is, and where to find the restroom. Remember to give the new employee your undivided attention. Letting other employees, emails, and phone calls distract you from the new hire may give the impression that they are not worth your time. Providing a welcome kit for new employees, whether it's a hand written letter, a selection of branded SWAG or more, is a great way to make your new team member feel valued and welcome.
  4. Provide an organisational chart. It's helpful for the new employee to understand the "who's who" or "family tree." Offer visual resources so that the employee can understand how their position relates to those around them, and within the organisation as a whole.
  5. Share the values and goals. New employees must understand the objectives and expectations of their team and their position. Use one of the highest performing employees as a mentor.
  6. Share policies, procedures and role specific training. Cover the fundamental questions before they need to be asked. Make sure to address items like work day hours, sick time, pay days, dress code, breaks, training, performance expectations and so on. Provide an employee handbook to help familiarise the new hire with the current policies in place, and allow them the opportunity to review it and the ability to refer back to it. Also address behavior and safety expectations, including the acceptable treatment of company property, other employees, and customers. Your handbook, policies, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and role specific training can all be created, shared and tracked online from your learning management system.
  7. Create a checklist. Have a checklist of all onboarding items on hand to ensure that the entire process is covered as it may take several days. Further onboarding steps can be added later to ensure additional success. Remember to approach the process from the point of view of the new hire to keep it as interesting, quick, and painless as possible.

You only have one opportunity to make a first impression - so make it a good one. Intuto helps businesses make their own custom onboarding compliance training to suit their individual needs. You can use any of your existing content, or use one of our pre-made template to help get you started. To learn more about how we can help your business get up and going, contact us.


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