How Your Onboarding Process Should Shift This Year

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How Your Onboarding Process Should Shift This Year

Welcome to 2022! It’s a brand new year and an opportunity to learn from the past and do things differently, especially when it comes to new employees. 

The world has changed a lot in the past two years: Has your onboarding process? If you have any remote employees at all, or if you’re all back under one roof but have new people coming in while others are returning, it’s time to shake things up and adopt some new practices. 

Here are some ways to improve and shift your onboarding process to start the new year on solid footing. 

Onboarding begins before the first day.

There’s usually a little time between when a job offer is accepted and the person’s first day. At that time, keep in touch! Let the new team member feel welcomed and share how excited you are to have them join. Offer an email introduction to some new colleagues they’ll be working closely with, so that they know some names on day one. You might want to get some paperwork out of the way as well, including sending along with the employee handbook, tax, and benefit forms, anything that would typically take up time on the first day. Understanding they might still have obligations to their current job, pass things along with a note saying it would be great to address these things before starting to give them a little breathing room to meet their team. 

Be open about the process.

Whether on the first day or before the new employee comes in, provide a timeline and explanation of your onboarding process. This can allow a person to start formulating questions in advance, even if those questions might be answered as you go through the steps. Detail how long the onboarding process will take; how many steps are involved; what kinds of training and demonstrations will be provided, etc. Giving your new hire this information is also a way to set expectations: They’ll know how you expect them to progress, you’ll have a deadline to meet, and they’ll have an understanding of how they’ll start to fit into the company. Provide a survey or questionnaire to see how familiar the new employee is with the tools and technology they’ll be using to ensure they’re not wasting time introducing things they already know while missing out on essential training of something brand new. 

Introduce a mentor or buddy.

If you have a large company or a busy office, pair the new person with a colleague or two to show them the ropes. Encourage some time off-site, like coffee or lunch, for some more relaxed conversation and for the new person to get a “real” sense of how things go. If your new employee is remote, this is an excellent way for them to feel welcomed and part of the team — honest, frank, and open conversation is key to understanding the lay of the land when you’re not working in the same space. A mentor can be someone who’s long-established in the company or someone who’s newer and has fresh memories of what it was like to be the new kid. It will help the new employee feel supported and give them someone to ask questions. 

Check-in often.

Managers should stop for temperature checks, so to speak, every few hours, especially if they’re not handling the onboarding and first-week training sessions directly. Just a little moment to make sure things are moving at a good pace, that the person isn’t feeling overwhelmed or bored, it’s a nice gesture to keep the lines of communication open. This gives the new employee a chance to catch their breath, maybe ask some follow-up questions and possibly provide, or receive, feedback. It’s also a smart way to show the employee that yours is a welcoming and supportive office that wants people to succeed and have the tools they need to do so. 

Ask for, and listen to, feedback.

At the end of a month, and six months, set up a one-on-one meeting with new hires to see how things are going. Make it a feedback session and ask, sincerely and without repercussion, how they’re feeling about the position, whether they’ve had the tools they need to learn their job and be successful in it; whether there’s something they learned on the job that should’ve been introduced earlier, etc. Take what they say to heart — the onboarding process is meant to educate the employee, but managers can learn from employees what works and what doesn’t to make changes and improvements for the next new hire. 

Onboarding should be personalized and speak to the new hire to ensure they’re getting what they need to do their job well and acclimate to their new environment. It should be welcoming and informative, setting expectations and guidelines while engaging the new employee and making them excited to be with you. 

Find Success This Year

If you’re looking for additional advice or need to find new team members, call LeadingEdge Personnel. We have excellent candidates ready to join a company like yours, and they’re ready to start! Call LeadingEdge today, and let’s get started! 

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