On-boarding programmes are like toddlers’ birthday parties. You send out invitations (job offers), some sparkly-eyed kids show up (new hires) and you send them off with a party pack (stacks of paperwork).
But for new hires, it’s not as simple as throwing sweets at the problem when an unhappy toddler wants to leave the party before the clown arrives. Bottom line? You need to prevent them from being sad in the first place.
Time.com suggests that one in six employees quits a new job within six monthsand that, most often, this is the result of poor on-boarding.To keep thenew kids smiling, consider these 4baby steps for successful on-boarding:
1. Clarify culture and company strategy Unmanaged expectations can lead to new employees being swallowed by the bureaucracy of a new company, only to find them digging themselves outlater because they can’t find their feet.
To prevent this, it’s important to give new hires agood foundation of the basics at the orientation stage.For example, include an employee handbook that covers: dress code, late-coming,communication, policies, benefits, culture and company strategy.
2. Explain the contributions of the role Imagine starting in a position where you expected you’d be doing one thing, only to end up doing something different. Annoying, right? It’s frustrating for new hires too.
This is why it’s important to be clear, from the beginning, aboutwhat the role entails.Explain (verbally and in writing) the role’s objectives, strategy, expectations, position in the organisation and opportunities for growth.
3. Facilitate social network-building Some new kids have no problem making friends, while others need a little hand-holding atfirst. With new hires, you need a system that accommodates both of these types of people, by including:
•A buddy system
•Team-building events •Team lunches / breakfasts
•An email to the team introducing the new hire and the role he/she will be filling
•A meeting formula where colleagues are encouraged to introduce themselves and their positions to the new hire.
4. Recurring feedback opportunities Provide support for your new hire by schedulingweekly or monthly one-on-one time for feedback and counselling.Prepare a standard checklist for these sessions to ensure that you discuss allof the important aspects of their on-boarding.
At 90 days, use thismeeting as an opportunity to discuss formal feedback from the new employees’ supervisors. This offers the chance to address any successes or performance concerns that come up. Your on-boarding programme is what makes or breaks a new hire’s first experiences at your company. Make them great experiences – because, after all, nobody likes a cry-baby.