Hiring new employees is one of those necessary processes that happen all throughout the lifecycle of a company. If it happens very frequently, it could either be a symptom of something really great, like a company expanding, or something pretty bad, like high employee turnover. Either way, a must-have part of taking on additional staff is the onboarding process.
This is when you, as a business owner or an HR, are supposed to tell your new employees everything from the big things such as what their job will be and what you expect from them, all the way to small details like whether your company has a dress code or uses time tracker work software.
Onboarding is ultimately the first impression that a new hire will have of your company. That’s why it’s so important to do it right.
With this in mind, we’ll be discussing why proper onboarding is crucial and what you need to do in order to achieve it.
The Importance of Onboarding
Since onboarding is, as we’ve mentioned, the first impression of your company, it could be a critical point that decides whether you’ll retain all those new employees in the future. And in fact, studies have shown that 86% of employees decide whether or not to stay with the company long-term within the first six months of working for that company. On top of that, the most common reasons for leaving early are the lack of clear guidance and ineffective training, both of which fall under the scope of onboarding.
Apart from making employees more likely to stay, successful onboarding also enables the smooth integration of new hires into your company culture and into their designated projects. This means that the better the training, the sooner your new employees will start contributing to the business goals and company’s growth.
Finally, detailed onboarding might be necessary for legal compliance. For instance, in some cases, you’re required by law to tell your employees about the use of time tracker work system, so this will need to be a part of the process. Similarly, you might need to brief them on how to handle sensitive information or client data, so that you can prevent any accidental leaks that could hurt your company or clients.
Tips for Successful Onboarding
Here are a couple of tips on how to plan and conduct appropriate onboarding in order to ensure higher employee retention and speedy integration into the team:
1. Start Before the First Day and Continue After It
The most common mistake when it comes to onboarding new employees is believing that it’s a one-day procedure. You welcome them into the company, show them their desk, briefly explain the assignment and that’s it.
Employees actually need much more detail than that. They also need more training, extended supervision and additional support beyond that one day.
So you should begin the onboarding before their first day by giving them instructions on how to prepare. And you should continue the process well into the first month, if not even after that (at least periodically).
2. Explain the Logistics in Detail
Basically, you can’t take anything for granted. Even if this isn’t the employee’s first job, procedures and requirements differ from company to company, even for the same position.
The logistical details that new recruits might need include: when they should come to work, when they’re allowed to leave, where their desk is, how to log into the relevant accounts, how to use the tools and collaboration platforms your company works with (including how to handle time tracker work software, if necessary), when they should expect their salary, how many vacation days they have, etc. You might even want to include some not so technical details, like what the appropriate dress code is or where they could go out for lunch.
3. Connect New Hires to Relevant People
Possibly the worst thing you can do during the first couple of weeks is to leave the new employees to their own devices. The most likely scenario is that they’ll end up frustrated because they don’t know who to turn to for specific task questions. You might be able to answer all their general questions, but if they don’t know how to perform a task or where to find certain information about the project, you won’t be of much use to them.
That’s why you need to direct them to the people within your organization that could help them with different kinds of issues. For example, their team lead, senior colleagues in similar roles or any members of other teams who they might have to work with.
4. Set Clear Guidelines and Expectations
What new workers are supposed to be doing should be stated as clearly as possible. Get the person who they’ll be working with the most to explain every procedure in detail - what to do, when, which tools to use, where to get the data, what the result should be, etc.
Also, try to set clear expectations of which direction you would like their progress to go. For instance, if you’re using time tracker work solution to measure productivity, you could tell them that you expect their performance to steadily improve over the first couple of months. You could even give them access to their time tracking data so that they could see their reports.
5. Keep Your Door Open
In other words, let the new hires contact you or come to you if they have any questions or concerns. For instance, they might have a ton of questions about your tracking software and the only way to ensure they feel comfortable with the time tracking work set-up is to answer them.
The same goes for any other issues they may have. You need to make yourself available to support them during this integration process and try to help them every step of the way.
By now, we’ve seen why the onboarding process is important to get right and how you can go about approaching it. The most important thing is to make new employees feel welcome, and let them know that they have support within the company.
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