What is Onboarding and Why is it so Important?
Onboarding is a vital process within an organisation that ensures that your new employees can hit the ground running and are able to familiarise themselves with the written and unwritten rules of the organisation.
We have probably all been there! Excited about starting a new job and the moment has finally arrived. Your first working day for your new employer. You have butterflies in your stomach and you are not totally sure what to expect the moment you walk into the door. What time should I get there? What should I wear? Who should I ask for when I get there?
With so many questions running around in your head, it is easy to get distracted and for things to go wrong. Luckily there are a number of things you and your new employer can do to ease your mind and make you feel welcomed and valued within the new organisation.
In this blog post, I will outline a number of practical elements everyone should be aware of when starting a new job. I will also outline the key components of an onboarding programme for organisations that are looking to implement / improve their own programme.
For those of you who are more visible and / or audible in terms of attention and retention span, feel free to watch the video we have recorded on this subject as part of our 30-Day Video Challenge. You can access it free of charge by clicking here.
1. Write a Welcome Email
Even before the new employee joins your organisation, it is always a good idea to send them a welcoming email, outlining how happy you are that this person is joining the company.
Ideally, it should be the Hiring Manager, i.e. the person who will have managerial responsibility over the new employee, who is sending this email.
As part of the email, you should provide key details about the job and what the new employee can expect from the first moment they walk through the door. Let them know about the dress code, when you would be expecting them to start, what you are planning to cover during the first day, etc.
Taking this opportunity to welcome the new employee will give people the feeling that they are being valued by you as their new manager and that they have made the right choice in joining your company.
If you are the new employee, wait for this email to arrive. If it has not arrived at least 7 days before you are supposed to start your new job, reach out to your new employer and request this information yourself.
2. Personal Welcome
If you are the Hiring Manager, ensure that you block out a sufficient amount of time to personally welcome them into your organisation. Block this out in your calendar to avoid that other people will schedule meetings with you during this time.
As you have already sent the welcoming email, the new employee knows what to expect and who to ask for upon arrival. You are able to show up on time and personally welcome them to the organisation. Show them around and introduce them to a number of key personnel around the office.
3. Hitting the Ground Running
Once you have shown the new employee where everything is and introduced them to some of your colleagues, it is important to have a conversation with them about their role and the way in which you would expect to be working together. Have an open mind and listen to the ideas and desires of your new employee as well, so that you can start working together in the best possible manner.
To ensure that the new hire can hit the ground running, introduce them to some of the people who know the ins and outs of the role the new hire will be performing. Who these people are depends on whether or not the individual is meant to replace someone who has already left the organisation or to add more fire power to a department.
It is up to the Hiring Manager to select the right individuals who can go over the role in detail.
4. Understanding the Policies & Procedures
This is one of the most boring but essential parts of starting a new job as they provide vital information to the new employee on a number of different fronts. You have to understand that any new start can be overwhelming for people and you do not want to overload them with too much critical information on the first day.
A good way of ensuring that people understand the Policies & Procedures is by drip feeding these over a number of days. Give people a deadline by when they should have read and agreed to each of the Policies & Procedures but leave it up to them to go through this at their own pace.
Be realistic in terms of what you can demand from your latest team addition so that you do not burn them out in the first week!
5. Other Important Elements to Consider
In addition to the points outlined above, there are a number of other elements you should consider as part of the Onboarding process. If you want to understand what these are, please subscribe to this Blog and you will receive the extended video coverage on this topic totally free. Sign up here to subscribe to our Blog.
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