What an ideal onboarding process should look like? The COVID-19 pandemic made this question even more urgent than it used to be. During the pandemic, many teams switched to remote work. Then, they began to experiment with the hybrid work model. In this article, we’ll share a guide on the effective onboarding process that will help you efficiently integrate yourself into any organization whose office you’ll need to visit physically at least from time to time.
Most Common Mistakes of the New Employee Onboarding Process
Here is the anti-checklist of mistakes that employers tend to make when welcoming a new employee:
- Lack onboarding culture;
- Believe that onboarding boils down to paperwork;
- Don’t provide the newcomer with printed papers or links to digital documents that explain the specifics of the corporate culture;
- Fail to give them enough time to complete the tasks because they think an experienced professional should be able to work fast from the onset;
- Don’t find time to answer the questions of the newly hired specialist;
- Fail to introduce the newcomer to their colleagues;
- Don’t assign a dedicated person to the newly hired team member who would accompany and consult them;
- Leave the newcomer unaware of the fact that they have their own table, locker, notebook and branded mug.
If this happens to you, gently inform the supervisor and ask them to correct the situation.
Tips on Conducting Proper Onboarding
Below, we’ll share the best onboarding practices from the companies that report the highest employee satisfaction. These recommendations were composed with managers and company owners in mind — but employees should know them too.
Prepare the Workplace for the Newcomer
This is the most important onboarding step. The person understands that the managers take care of them. It would be great to place a nicely packed welcome gift on their table: a notebook, a pen, a greeting card where their email corporate address is written and so on. If the newcomer has to buy something, inform them about it in advance. If you stick to the hybrid model, it would be smart to let the new staffer work for a couple of weeks in the office first.
Reach Out to the New Team Member Before Their First Day at Work
Sometimes, months might pass before the hired individual will be able to leave their previous workplace and join the new one. Send them a reminder a week before they cross the threshold of your office.
Depending on your organization’s culture, it may be a short formal letter or a funny reminder with a GIF. Drive down the stress level of the recipient by telling them that their new workplace is waiting for them and their new colleagues are looking forward to shaking their hand. It would be wise to briefly outline the schedule of this person’s first day at work.
Assign a Workplace Buddy to the Newcomer
The buddy will show the newcomer around, stay in touch with them and answer their questions. It doesn’t matter whether the buddy is an IT person, an accountant or a top manager’s assistant. The main requirement is that this individual should be friendly, sociable and positive-minded.
It’s a good practice to personally introduce the new employer to everyone whom they come across when walking around the office with the buddy. Let them shake hands with their colleagues and briefly introduce themselves. Another great idea is to accompany the newcomer for lunch and use this time to answer their questions.
If the new staff member has nothing to do on their first day at work, they might get the illusion that the company doesn’t need them. It would be wise to give them the simplest tasks to get started. This professional should feel confident and realize that they’re helpful to this organization. It would be great if this person could take place in an internal meeting on their first day. At the end of the day, let them provide feedback about the completed tasks and report their overall impressions.
It’s not enough to provide the necessary knowledge to the new employee. It’s crucial to make sure that they understand and remember everything. Feel free to choose from multiple onboarding solutions to run tests and quizzes.
Opportunity to Provide Feedback
Now that you understand how top companies should welcome their new staffers, it’s time to learn how to provide high-quality feedback to them.
Some employers send out sets of questions to their new team members. Others allow them to express themselves freely. Here are the topics that it makes sense to touch upon:
- Did the questions that you had to answer during the interview seem relevant to you?
- How did the job description correspond to what you were offered in fact?
- Did you feel welcomed on the first day at your new workplace?
- Were you given all the necessary tools and software to complete the tasks and boost your productivity?
- Did you receive sufficient training?
- Was your workload reasonable?
- Did managers explain to you how they will evaluate your work?
- Do you unambiguously understand all the KPIs and objectives?
- What are your impressions of your buddy?
- Did you manage to establish the initial rapport with the other team members? Or is it necessary to put a bit more effort into breaking the ice?
- Do you realize well your role within the organization and your significance for the team?
- Are the strategic goals, core values and general mission of the organization clear to you?
If you dislike something, you shouldn’t be as explicit as a customer who describes their negative experience with the company. But you have the full right to politely indicate the weak points of the organization. Managers appreciate that because you’ll show them a path for improvement.
Hopefully, the information provided in this article will ensure your onboarding process will be a success!