This article is based on research for our recent eGuide, Onboarding: A Practical Guide.
If you’re expecting to start the onboarding process when your new employee walks in the door on Monday morning, think again. An effective, well-thought-out onboarding program starts the moment your new hire accepts your offer (and some would argue it starts even before that). Onboarding makes it easier for new employees to adjust and get settled, in turn improving their productivity, sense of inclusion, and job satisfaction – all of which will do wonders for your turnover (and bottom line).
If you don’t know the first thing about onboarding, don’t panic! Here are eight things you need to do to prep for a new hire:
Get the paperwork out of the way
Signing contracts and other important documents can interfere with your employee’s chances to connect with his or her new team. If you can, set up a meeting before their start date to finalize the paperwork, so that no time is wasted on the first day.
Welcome them to the team
Send your new hire an email to formally welcome them to the team. Include details about their first day (parking, transit, know where to go, when, and who to look for) as well as relevant info about your company (the best routes to get there, parking, et cetera).
Make a welcome package
Put together some swag for your new hire’s first day. It might seem trivial, but things like logoed mugs, notepads, pens – or free samples, if you’re a product-focused business – can easily make new employees feel like part of the team. Need some inspiration? Check out these examples of amazing employee welcome kits.
Ask your new hire for a bio and a photo
No, you’re not being creepy. A bio with past experience and interests can be used in a company-wide announcement, which will help your team get to know their new colleague (and break the ice).
Put in the order with IT
An employee should be able to get to work as soon as they start, even if their first tasks are simply learning your web interface and responding to welcome emails. Find out where they’ll be sitting and request the required tech, including setting up an email account and phone extension, and getting any software they may need. Put the order in with IT as soon as they’re hired, so that you can cut through red tape and deal with tech questions before they arrive.
Share the news with your team
Employees are always eager to hear about new additions because it directly impacts them. Use this as a chance to get your staff excited – include the strengths that the new hire will be bringing to the table as well as other important and interesting details.
Explain who’s who
If you have a company directory or staff listing, share it with your new employee before they start. Let them know in advance who to look for when they arrive on their first day, what other staff members they will be working with, and how their role fits into the equation.
Find them a peer partner
It’s helpful for a new employee to have someone other than their manager to help them get the lay of the land as they acclimatize to the workplace. This encourages them to ask questions without fear of looking stupid or disrupting anyone. Ideally, you should connect the new hire with an employee in the same department.
By following these tips, you’ll get your new employees started on the right foot, and increase their odds of success.
Prepping for a new hire is only the first step in a great onboarding program. To find out more about creating an effective, comprehensive onboarding program, download our free eGuide. Get a sneak peek here: