Onboarding New Hires: 6 Ways for a Successful Transition
Onboarding new hires onto your team can be an intimidating task – especially when facing potential turnover. You want to make sure they feel welcome, have the materials they need to succeed, obtain a strong understanding of your business, and ensure they understand your expectations for them.
Doing all of this in a short time frame can feel overwhelming for both you and them, and you may be unsure what to prioritize. Below are six things to do to ensure your new hires’ transition goes smoothly, and they’re provided all the support they need to succeed.
1. Onboarding new hires: have a plan
Prior to their start date, have an onboarding plan ready to go for your new hire. They should walk into their first day with an idea of what they can expect to do over the next couple of weeks. A timeline with general goals along the way to give them some direction will make them feel more comfortable and confident starting their new position.
If there are any training materials they’ll need to succeed, make sure they’re ready. This includes any logins, testing materials, course permissions, etc. Don’t waste time scrambling to get it all together when they’re ready to go.
Your onboarding plan should include the following: general business strategy, your company’s history, a bit about your company’s culture, general system information they’ll need to know, as well as any policies they should be aware of. Overall, your onboarding plan should help them gain confidence in their role and insight into what your company offers.
2. Regular check-ins
Throughout the onboarding process and beyond, check-in regularly with them. Make a point to initiate conversations and set an open communication style early on, so they feel comfortable asking questions while they become familiar with their role. Some people in new environments may be cautious to ask ‘too many’ questions or bother their managers or other team members early on.
Initiating weekly conversations in one-on-one meetings to ask them how they’re doing and if they have any questions will make them feel seen and more comfortable to share their thoughts with you. This could lead to a good working relationship, but also prove beneficial in their training. The clearer things are for them, the smoother the onboarding will go.
3. Provide a mentor
In addition to an onboarding plan, assigning a mentor to help guide your new hire in their first few weeks or months of their job could be a huge help to them. This person should be either at the same level as them or in a position higher up. A mentor is someone your new hire could go to for the simpler, everyday questions that come up. Think of it like a buddy system.
Similar to the manager’s weekly check-ins, a mentor should check in with them each day or several times a week. They should ask if they have any questions, if they’re understanding the processes, etc. While you (their manager) will be there to answer the bigger questions, a mentor is there to answer the day-to-day, task-based questions that may pop up frequently in the beginning.
Providing a mentor is an easy way to ensure your new hire connects with someone on the team. Having that connection can make them feel more comfortable, and overall make work more enjoyable for them. It’s a win-win.
4. Early new hire onboarding
While drafting your onboarding plan, if you feel there are things that would be beneficial to know before their first official day, it’s alright to give them some information/tasks to read up on or complete prior to their start date. Typically, this can be things such as company/product research or system integration – so they can practice some processes with ease.
Providing some part-time work is fine, and they might be glad to get ahead of some things and prevent a chaotic first day. However, if you do this, make sure you’re offering them compensation for their time. You don’t want to start your working relationship by setting high expectations that are only possible to meet by working beyond what they’re being compensated for.
Give them the extra time to get ahead and become familiar with what they need to. In addition, they can make some extra money before they’re on a full-time schedule.
5. Extending onboarding new hires beyond orientation
When creating the timeline for their onboarding plan, make sure it expands beyond the first few weeks. Although it may look more general as time goes on, it’s better to create a long-term plan. Extending an onboarding plan can help them sort out some shorter-term goals to reach as they become more familiar with your company or product.
Additionally, make sure your check-ins with them extend longer than your onboarding plan. Even if they become less frequent as time passes, it’s best to check in and ensure they’re on the right track and not falling behind or getting caught up on anything they shouldn’t be.
With a long-term plan, their feelings and questions are likely to change, and you want to make sure it’s all being acknowledged.
6. Ask for feedback
As you near the end of their onboarding, set a meeting with them to ask for their feedback – especially if you don’t have much experience onboarding someone. Not only will showing interest in their opinion make them feel important, but it’s also vital information that will help you grow as a manager in the future.