How does your team describe their first day of work? Do they remember their onboarding with fondness — or is it a dark memory they wish to forget?
A poor onboarding process can increase employee turnover and reduce employee engagement, which can cost your business a lot of time and money.
Whether you are hiring new staff — or even bringing them back from furlough — now is the time to rethink your onboarding process. Here are a few tips to help you improve your employee onboarding process.
1. Formalize your employee onboarding process
When you onboard a new employee, you might want to do everything at once. Or maybe you forget what you said and did the last time a new hire started.
One of the best ways to improve your employee onboarding process is to actually formalize your process. Here are some tips to help you create an effective onboarding.
Create a welcome video. Record a welcome video to introduce new employees to your company. Have staff that are returning from furlough? Create a welcome back video to explain new work protocols.
Use a paperless onboarding system. Imagine having your employee onboarding checklist and crucial documents in one central place. No more hunting down scraps of paper or missing files. A workplace management tool with an employee onboarding feature will show you the completed and pending onboarding tasks for each new employee.
Enable read receipts. Make sure that read receipts are enabled in your workforce management tool to ensure that new employees are up to date.
2. Infuse company culture into the onboarding process
A key aspect of employee onboarding that is often forgotten is onboarding for company culture. Think values, norms, attitudes, goals, and behaviors that make up the identity of your business.
For your new staff to be engaged and interact well with other employees, they have to be culturally integrated.
Communicate your values, vision, and mission. When your new hire walks in for their first day, you want them to know what your business is all about. Use your welcome videos to give a bit more context. For example, if your clinic values excellent patient care, give real-life examples of how this value is applied in day to day activities.
Partner new employees with a buddy. Help your employee feel at ease when you assign them a buddy or mentor. That experienced coworkers can make their new teammate more comfortable — and get a better idea of what culture is really like at your business.
Introduce your new employee to the team. Invite your new employee to a team lunch so that they can know their workmates and see your culture in action. Need to do it virtually? No problem. Send a link to your team and ask them to join lunch online.
3. Confirm your employee’s schedule before the start date
Many places have compliance regulations that require employers to share a predicted schedule with new staff before their first day of work. Apart from complying with regulations, this schedule can help your new staff prepare for their first few weeks of work.
Here are a few other tips to improve your employee onboarding process when you share a new schedule.
Schedule your employee’s first task. If your massage therapist’s first task is giving deep tissue massages, let them know about this beforehand in their welcome packet.
Prepare a checklist. If you hired a new barista, use task management software to give the employee a checklist of tasks for the first week. This will let them know if they are doing their job well.
Review the schedule. During your employee's first day, make time to talk to the new hire about their schedule. That will give you a chance to clarify any outstanding questions.
4. Schedule training
Training is a critical part of the employee onboarding process. It equips new employees with the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out their tasks. And if you’re reopening your business after the pandemic, your existing team might need some training too.
Create a knowledge hub. This is a central database where employees can find all the information about their roles. If you run a call center, have a hub where employees can find all the information about your products and services quickly.
Be a coach and a mentor. Schedule regular 1:1 coaching sessions with new/returning employees to review their progress and discuss any challenges that they might be having.
Gamify the training. Training doesn't have to be boring. Offer incentives each time a new hire completes a level of the training.
5. Seek feedback
An effective onboarding process is one that you update constantly and adapts to the changing needs of the organization.
To ensure your employees have a great experience from the first time they clock in, you need to create a smooth, helpful onboarding process. And to make it successful, you’ll need to iterate on your process.
Send out a survey. After each onboarding session, send a survey to your new employees. What did they like about your onboarding process? What was missing? What could be improved?
Act on the feedback. Use the feedback to review and update your employee onboarding checklist.
Assign onboarding champions. Create a group dedicated to helping to improve your employee onboarding process. These are employees who are dedicated to your business, who care about helping new staff, and who believe in your mission.
A formalized employee onboarding process that prioritizes culture, transparency, training, and feedback is the key to retaining top talent and making your customers happy.
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