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How to Successfully Onboard New Employees

Any company will be proud to onboard new employees because it means that the business is growing.

The same dedication put into hiring new employees should be put into helping them gel with the existing team.

Research by Glassdoor shows that a company with a good onboarding process will experience new employee retention by 82% and productivity by 70% on average.

There are a number of ways to successfully onboard new employees.

Have an Orientation Period

Orientation is when the company will take the time to train and integrate a new employee into the business. It can take anything from a few days to a few weeks. This is the time when a company will conduct training, induction sessions and the necessary procedures to ensure the new employee is ready to join the team. New staff should make sure they leave the HR office satisfied with all the information and tools provided to hit the ground running.

Allow New Employees to Shadow Team Members

A way that new employees can effectively enter into a new team is through shadowing. This means that the new employee will follow and interact closely with a team member or an immediate supervisor. Shadowing makes sure that the new employee has a grasp of their daily expectations and tasks.

Issue the Right Tools and Equipment

When a new employee joins a company, he or she will be issued with tools for the job. The first thing is to get access or credentials, which includes biometric details, staff ID and so on. Another thing that a new employee may be issued is a company uniform. Companies can make use of Managed Uniform Rental Services. Alsco New Zealand has such services where they will collect any dirty uniforms and replace them promptly with fresh, clean ones. Contact Alsco for a free quote and you can learn more about the services.

Communicate the Company Policies in Detail

Companies have different policies in place and it is important that these are clearly communicated to all new staff. To begin with, create a detailed employee handbook that highlights all that is required of staff members while at work. The handbook also needs to highlight issues such as working hours, vacation time, rules and also the health and wellness policy.

A health and wellness policy can differ for various companies but it mostly highlights how the company will take care of the wellness of employees. This can include meals, a gym or free time to exercise, offering counselling to staff and also the hygiene systems in place in areas such as the bathrooms. There must be a system in place to effectively take care of washroom hygiene. Companies such as Alsco will offer washroom hygiene, odour control, hand washing & drying as well as deep cleaning. Contact the New Zealand office for an obligation-free quote. Visit the Alsco NZ site for more details.

Engage New Employees in Regular One-On-One Sessions

For the first few months after a new employee joins a company, it is important to stay in close communication with him or her. Set aside a few minutes a day or week to connect with new employees and find out their experience so far. Ensure that the session is as open as possible so they can share suggestions and feedback.

These sessions are also important because they will allow team leaders to share any challenges or errors noticed while on duty. It should not be treated as a dress-down session but more like a mentoring meeting. This will give new employees the confidence to perform their designated duties and become a part of the team.

Make Sure New Staff Meet the Company Owner or CEO

A new employee should not be made to feel like the company owner or boss is out of reach. It is important for a company to ensure that the person in charge meets all new employees as they join. This can be done either through a staff meeting or during a more relaxed session like lunch. The employee will be able to ask questions and also hear from the horse’s mouth what the company expects from its staff members. This is also the time new staff can find out about the company’s strategy and goals in order to see where they fit in.

Celebrate the New Staff

This can be through a special breakfast, cake, dinner or party. This is a more relaxed environment for new staff to network and introduce themselves to the other employees. They can be gifted with an introductory goodie bag containing a branded coffee mug or stationery. It’s almost guaranteed that the new staff will report to work the next day ready to gel with the rest of the team.

What to Remember When Onboarding New Employees

When onboarding new employees, it is important to remember a few things.

  • Remember to assign a ‘work buddy’ to the new employee. This is someone, especially from the same department or role, who can show the new employee around. This takes the pressure off of learning office rules and regulations.
  • Introduce new employees to the office culture. This means showing them how the office works, aside from the HR policies. Things like lunch breaks, welcome coffee or drinks, respect for team members’ space and general rules that are adhered to are part of what makes up office culture.
  • Remember to run the new staff through the set safety rules. It’s not just earthquakes and fires that pose a danger to employees. In recent years, there have been several terrorist attacks around the world, even in New Zealand. Now more than ever, show new employees the safety guidelines. One way to train them is to run a drill shortly after joining the company.
  • Refrain from office gossip. Existing staff in some companies may be tempted to whisper in new employees’ ears about that difficult colleague or strict manager. This can give way to a new employee being biased against the discussed team member. Ensure that new staff are given a chance to study the rest of the team for themselves.
  • Help new team members to set up. This can be from office email, registration to work portals, organisation of their workspace and so on. This is a subtle way of making new team members feel welcome in the office.
  • Onboarding new staff is not an overnight affair. Team leaders and other employees must be accommodating to the new member and remember that it takes time to fully grasp a new environment. Give new staff a chance to ask questions and offer feedback as they go along.

Photo courtesy of Freepik by @yanalya

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