Do your new employees have a great first day and first week?
After all of the time and money you spend figuring out who to hire, it is very important to make sure you onboard new employees well. A positive experience can set a new employee on a trajectory to be very effective and grow into a longtime contributor.
Following are some great ideas from a Harvard Business Review article on how to do onboarding well. While the article emphasizes these ideas for younger workers, they really apply to anyone.
- Create Career Jobs. Design jobs that can lead to a progression within your organization, or – if that is not possible – to progression within the industry. Share what the future path can look like.
- Build Positive Relations Prior to Hiring. Your relationship with new employees starts during the recruiting and interviewing process. Make sure that your hiring process is applicant friendly. Once someone is hired, communicate regularly leading up to the first day.
- Ensure a Positive First Day Reception. Getting someone integrated into the organization and up to speed on their new responsibilities should be designed specifically for each person, depending on the role. Some people will need detailed orientation and training, while more experienced employees will need less of this. Communicate your plans well ahead of time so people know what to expect.
- Communicate and Explain Expectations Clearly. Formal expectations regarding job responsibilities and performance need to be communicated clearly. But the informal expectations can be even more important. Having a written culture statement can be helpful.
- Create a Culture Where New Employees Can Ask Questions. New employees have “fresh eyes” and don’t know “how it has always been done.” Often their “new person questions” can seem naïve, but other times they may identify opportunities for improvement. Be open to their questions.
- Create a Racially Equitable, Respectful Workplace. If you have not already done this, then you can expect that you will lose new employees – especially high performers. This has become the new minimum standard for excellent organizations.
You are excited about your new hire! You spent a lot of time and money on the process. Now is not the time to coast! Make sure to put the time and effort into welcoming them. Your new hire could be a longtime, high performer for your organization. Treat them that way.
*Ideas for this blog taken from: Tomaskovic, D & Orellana, R. “The Key to Retaining Young Workers? Better Onboarding,” Harvard Business Review online, May 12, 2022.