Anna Morris, administrative manager
When a new staff member joins your team, it can be a challenge to find a balance between providing a welcoming environment while bringing them up to speed as quickly as possible. Here are a few tips to ensure a seamless onboarding process for new hires.
1) Have a designated Welcome Committee
While your first thought might be “How am I going to teach this person all this information?” keep in mind the way your new employee may be feeling. The first few days or weeks can be overwhelming for new staff members. They are trying to learn new names, processes, procedures, new everything! Through it all, you want new employees to feel welcome and valued by their new team. One way to ensure your employee feels welcome is to have a designated “Welcome Committee” or even just a “Welcome Person” that is accessible to answer any random questions the new person has. Other simple gestures like personally introducing the new hire to other staff members and making sure they have plans for lunch the first few days can go a long way to determining the tone of an employee’s time with an organization.
2) Provide an itinerary for the first few days or weeks
A detailed schedule broken down by day and time can help keep everyone on the same page by letting both the new employee and other staff members know where to be and when. If the employee will have important deadlines to meet right off the bat, providing a detailed “What is Due When and to Whom” document can help everyone keep their heads on straight. If you have a complicated building structure or specific parking instructions, make sure to help navigate those areas within the first few days as well.
3) Present new information in multiple forms of representation
Any new job comes with an overabundance of new information. Keep in mind that people process information in different ways, so being able to verbally explain a task in addition to having a written explanation of a policy can be a great way to help your new employee retain everything being thrown their way. Additionally, make sure to allow some down time for things like “office set-up” so they can process everything they have learned so far and see if they have any outstanding questions.
4) Provide documented processes and procedures for complex tasks
Depending on the type of tasks your new employee will be working on, providing step-by-step instructions or videos can be helpful in ensuring your employee has an ongoing resource to refer to. With membership entry into a database, for example, there are often many different buttons or items that may or may not need to be used for a certain task. While an experienced staff member may train the new employee on a task initially, if that person has questions the next time they do the same task, they can refer back to the written instructions or the video before going to the staff person. This type of documented procedure can help everyone save time in the long run.
5) Solicit feedback
In addition to implementing these tips, the best way to improve your onboarding process is to get feedback from someone who just went through it! Make sure to ask the employee if they have any thoughts on how their experience went that you can incorporate to improve the process for the next new hire. This is also a great way to continue building a relationship so the new employee knows their voice is valued by the organization.
What other tips and tricks do you have for a great onboarding process? Let us know in the comments below!