Attracting and hiring the right people to join your team is challenging, but finding that star candidate is such a relief! The hard work is over now, right?
Unfortunately not. Proper training and support during a new employee’s transition into your organization is critical to their success – and it takes work. Despite our best efforts, if an onboarding program lacks structure and consistency the ball can be dropped without us even knowing it.
So, how can your organization create a memorable experience that increases productivity and engagement for new hires? Start by avoiding these 5 statements that represent common onboarding pitfalls.
1. Just give me five minutes and your email will be set up…
When an employee starts, they should have access to all systems and resources. If nothing is prepared, they won’t feel like a priority on their first day. Waiting around to obtain the right documents and login information wastes time and does not create a positive experience.
Make it a priority to prepare BEFORE the employee’s first day. A checklist helps ensure nothing is forgotten.
Try these preboarding ideas:
- Welcome email in their inbox
- Note from the CEO on their desk
- List of best restaurants around
- Links to resources, FAQ’s, “Meet the Team” guide, etc.
2. Google is your best friend – use it.
We all want resourceful employees who find the information they need, but this approach isn’t always effective. Often there are reasons behind the way things are done at your organization and Google won’t be able to share this with new team members.
With so many changes in a new role, feeling like you have to figure things out on your own can be overwhelming. As a Hiring Manager, make yourself available for questions and spend time explaining the “why”. Google is a great supplementary resource, but should not be considered part of your onboarding program.
3. This role is going to be great! You will love everything!
Every role has its challenges. We educate our clients on being honest through the entire hiring process when it comes to these challenges. This way, people know what to expect and don’t lose confidence when hitting roadblocks.
At our office, we created a live document where new employees write down challenges that we run into along with a collaborative solution. We share the document as part of onboarding so that team members can effectively manage time, workload, missing information and all of the other fun stuff that comes with starting a new job!
4. Documents are in our web portal, please go through them by Tuesday.
Building engagement and excitement is essential to retaining top talent past the 3-month mark.
Nobody wants to scroll through hours of documents alone to learn about their new role.
Storytelling and selling the organizational values and norms are way more effective when done in-person. Additional documents can be reviewed after the in-person onboarding, but a laundry list of responsibilities right out of the gate will not motivate your new hire to contribute their best work.
5. So how were the last 3 months? Do you feel confident?
In our world, a 3-month probationary check-in is table stakes. To make your onboarding more effective, you should be checking in with new hires far more often. Weekly informal check-ins are a great way to understand progress and to gather feedback on your onboarding process.
Managers shouldn’t be the only ones accountable for checking in with new employees. When team members reach out to support and share their own experiences with new employees, it increases their confidence to handle new tasks and their sense of belonging.
Onboarding is a hot topic for a reason – it is one of the key pieces of employee retention and sets the tone for the employee’s entire tenure with your company. Looking at your own process critically and inviting feedback from your team is a great way to identify opportunities for improvement in your process.