Effective employee onboarding is crucial for any company and is an essential way to ensure new hires have a great first impression of your organisation and feel an integral part of your business from day one. It’s of growing importance in an era of increasing counter-offers and last minute drop-outs as employers compete for the best applicants. So what’s the onboarding debate all about?

Onboarding is when a new hire is integrated into an organisation, socially, physically and professionally, in order to start a new position. It ensures that the new staff feel welcome and prepared in their new positions, they understand the basics of the job and what’s expected of them, and are aligned to your organisation’s culture and goals. It gives them the confidence and tools to make the desired impact within the organisation, ensuring they have  a great first encounter of their new role from the induction and beyond.

Good news! Effective onboarding has a number of tangible business benefits – from saving co-workers and supervisors time training the new employee, therefore increasing production, to strengthening morale and reducing turnover by showing employees they’re valued. But as you’ll probably know, onboarding starts well in advance of their first day…

Before the new employee starts
  • Send out the offer letter and new starter paperwork without delay. Make sure, as the employer, you communicate promptly and efficiently over email and telephone. Ensure they have received any important documents or information needed for the job – getting the basics right and showing your commitment to the employment contract.
  • Make sure they understand the job they’ll be doing to help diminish any confusion about their role and responsibilities, opening up the opportunity to discuss any concerns and identify potential training needs. Few things are more disappointing that realising the job you thought you were being hired to do is different to how you remember, and lengthy gaps between interview and start date can lead to misunderstandings before their role has even started.
  • Keep in touch and communicate the key points they should be looking forward to in starting their new job. Send them a welcome email, including extra details of upcoming events and information about their future colleagues. Include recent newsletters from your organisation, information about team nights out, fundraising or good news stories that gives them an insight into the working environment and organisational values, reassuring them that they’ve made the right decision about choosing you.
Preparing for your new hire’s arrival
  • Announce it to the office! Tell your current employees all about the new person joining the team. This will allow staff to greet him/her, introduce themselves and feel more prepared to communicate with them and know who they’ll be working alongside.
  • Make sure you’ve arranged a suitable working area for the new employee and set up the necessary IT and office equipment they need to complete the job. This will make the process easier for the employee to settle in at their work station and feel an instant welcome. Make sure their phone and computer, email account and voicemail are set up, together with an organisational chart and phone directory on the new hire’s desk. (The little things can make a big difference).
The First Day
  • Try not to make the first day all about form-filling and paperwork. When the new hire arrives, introduce them to the organisation and consider assigning a team mentor. Let them get to know the people, the environment, the ‘rules’ and how it all works. Cover the crucial company policies and complete any paperwork that needs filling out. There’s nothing worse than feeling embarrassed on your first day because you’ve been ill-informed of the basics!
  • Give your new starter the attention they deserve and make sure you’ve set aside enough time to spend with them on day one. Being too distracted to answer questions or show them how to use equipment sends the wrong message and can damage morale. Let new employees know they are the most important thing on your agenda.
  • Have a great induction. Spread your company’s message and include others in telling your business story. Don’t forget to cover the ‘small stuff’ – how the technology works such as computers, software, and telephones, where the toilets are located, their lunch time hours and so on. These may seem straight forward and simple to you, but to someone who is unfamiliar of their surroundings, these are the factors in which the employee is able to settle in quicker.
  • For everything else, post policies and procedures in writing somewhere accessible or use an online resource for information sharing. Certain details during marathon training sessions can sometimes go unheard, so be prepared to give verbal reminders as you go along.

Once the important factors are covered, the new employee should be well on their way to beginning an enjoyable journey with you, and should look forward to getting to know the workforce  and becoming part of the team. Keep in close contact, connect regularly and schedule meetings to provide feedback at key checkpoints. Take the opportunity to address any concerns, as well as noting accomplishments and successes.

If you would like to find out more about our services and how we could help you find the perfect candidate, contact us on 0161 464 9870 or email info@grassroots-recruitment.co.uk