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6 stages to successful onboarding

We’ve probably all had new jobs where we turn up on our first day and don’t have a desk or a computer login – making us feel even more nervous and perhaps unwelcome.  Planned onboarding can ease a new member of staff into your workplace quickly and easily so that they can get on with their job.  So we’ve compiled 6 stages to successful onboarding to help you help your new employees.

Onboarding – the process of integrating a new employee into your organisation – is crucial for many reasons.  Your new recruit has potentially resigned from their previous position to change roles and this has been an anxious and stressful time for them.  They have started to form a psychological contract with your business and will be apprehensive and unsure as to what to expect on their first day.  It is, therefore, your role to minimize any additional stress for them and to integrate them as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

If you need to go back a step and prepare for interview success, please take a look at our previous blog.

It’s easy to overlook the small things which you do and use every working day but by taking the time in the days before they arrive with some preparation will save time and money in the long run.  Do they need a staff login, email or security pass? Have they got somewhere to sit which is clean, tidy and part of their team? Do they have all the equipment they need to do their role such as a PC or laptop? These may seem trivial but being provided with these basic things on their first day, shows new staff they are welcome and assist in their transition into the organisation quicker

Give some thought to the people who will be working with your new employee and ask if they are aware of the persons background and skills.  They may not be open to the new person if they have taken over from an incumbent and so ensuring that their attitude is welcoming and engaging is vital.  Do you have team software which everyone is on? Make sure that the new person is included in all of the necessary chats and email groups for full communication and transparency.

For their first day, prepare all documents if they haven’t already been issued.  Have they got their Contract of Employment and Handbook? Take the time to run through these and at the same time, explain the culture of the Company.  Where do they make drinks and have lunch? What time do people arrive and leave? Do the team meet regularly? Is there a social element to the Company?  These small things add up to making the employee feel part of the organisation much quicker and take up less ‘head space’ for them.

A tour of the premises is a great way for them to meet everyone – but acknowledge that you won’t expect them to remember everything and everyone! Allow them time to meet everyone during their first week and make notes and understand the organisation. Some businesses organize a buffet lunch for the starters first day so that everyone can take an hour out to chat and start to form relationships.  The new person can judge the dynamics of the team and gauge the level of ‘banter’ and humour which is acceptable.

Planned onboarding can ease a new starter into your workplace much quicker and another idea which would help, if possible, is to provide a mentor who will be there at times when they may need some guidance.  This will depend on their level of seniority but if they have someone who is there for them to find their feet and ask questions it will smooth the transition into the Company.

In the first few weeks and months, book in a regular evaluation to make sure they are settling in ok and there are no issues.  Even if they may seem to be doing fine, they may need to ask questions in a confidential setting.  It also allows you to review your onboarding process – they’ve just been through it, so they are best placed to suggest amendments to improve the way it’s done.

These 6 stages to successful onboarding have been brought together from 20 years of experience in recruitment.  By doing the basics well when onboarding, we know new employees feel welcomed and want to engage straight away with the Company, this has a positive impact on their long-term view of the organisation.  Retaining staff is key to businesses and this starts from Day One.

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