If you could increase employee engagement, enhance company culture, improve current employee morale, prevent unnecessary spending on recruiting and training, reduce turnover and time-to-productivity, would you?
If owning a business was easy, everyone would do it. For those brave and bold business owners, we have heard your cries (sometimes literally) and developed a service we call “onboarding” as a way to get a new hire plugged into their new firm and accelerate their transition.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, Onboarding is the process by which new hires get adjusted to the social and performance aspects of their jobs quickly and smoothly, and learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to function effectively within an organization.
Onboarding is not a single event. We don’t mean the completion of paperwork on day one. It is an ongoing cultural and performance strategy. Most new employees are not fully invested in their new jobs from day one. Typically, they are reaching the end of a process that may have involved interviewing with other firms, viewing competitor and various websites, and taking a look at the work-life balance other firms offer. Though they chose your firm, it doesn’t change the fact that they have been active in the job market; and while the other firms may be slow to move on hiring, it doesn’t mean they won’t eventually reach out. So how do you get your new hire fully engaged?
Step 1: Create an onboarding process customized to your firm. It’s a balance of practical and tactical job training, with getting to know co-workers, culture and the firm at its core. Training for the job should cover policies, procedures, technology, clients, strategic, and individual goals. Cultural training should be about meeting with co-workers, hearing client success stories, mentoring, and continual and intentional communication.
Step 2: Identify and train those involved in the onboarding. Specify the goals for each trainer for each step. Ensure that each trainer follows-up for questions, provides quick reference guides, and is responsive to the employee. As for connecting the co-workers, allow time for a lunch or coffee away from the office. Time to get to know each other without it being at the water cooler shows you value the interpersonal relationships within your firm.
Step 3: Entrance interview. About 30 days in, it’s a good idea to ask for the employees’ feedback. The blur of the first week is behind them and they have hopefully experienced some successes and probably had some frustrations. Identifying each allows you to design the next training areas. Sharing performance feedback is also needed because at this point, the employee can understand areas to focus on and ways to improve.
Step 4: Continue to communicate. Communicating with your new employee will give them confidence in themselves and belief that you value their contributions. When you have a common bond, you begin to create a community. Creating community takes the new employee from the front door into the center of the firm.
Emily Possidento is the HR Consulting Manager at MCM. She has more than 16 years of experience in hiring assistance, assessments, and organizational development. Prior to joining MCM, she worked for a Fortune 100 company, as well as a privately-held executive search firm.
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