Stepping inside the corporate world and becoming a part of the corporate family has always been an excitement for new employees. That was the first day for my sister in her new job and all of her excitement went away when her whole day was totally tied up with filling up the paper work. The one person she knew in that new world was her hiring manager who she found to be too busy always and could barely get in touch with.
It’s been always an accepted fact that nothing can be expected out of a new employee on his first day, but each new employee comes in with a lot of anticipation and excitement which usually turn into nerve wracking experiences like finishing paper work, long hours of waiting and getting lost on the way to the rest room. Or maybe the stranger that they might have asked for help with the photo copying machine could turn out to be the CEO. Here comes the need for a structured onboarding process.
Onboarding – a few use it to refer to finishing the joining process and handing over the new hire to their immediate manager but others see it as a taking an employee from his first day and turning him into the longest serving employee of the company.
Onboarding is the process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly. This should always be a priority for the HR department to drive a proactive onboarding process that ensures smooth transition of a new employee into a new environment. Moreover how well employees are treated when they join your organization determines whether they become productive quickly, and how long they stay with the organization. It’s been proven that a hectic and confused onboarding process could be one of the reasons for attrition of a newly joined employee. Keep the employee informed about what his first day is going to be like in order to avoid a cloud of confusion.
How to make new employees feel welcome & comfortable and to avoid the complex and uncertain onboarding period of a new employee?
- Be ready to welcome – Inform reception desk of the new hire’s name, expected time and who to call. So that when the new employee comes in, the receptionist can greet him and route him to the right person. Inscribe the new employees name with golden letter on the welcome board in reception could be very exciting for the new employee.
- Make him occupied on Day I – What if the employee has shown up on the first day and nothing is ready. Keep his Work station ready, Computer with network access, Business Cards, Company ID, Email ID and Phone number on the first day itself. Provide a name plate on his desk & place all the required office stationeries in desk drawer. It not only helps in forming a better first impression about the company but also helps them become productive more quickly
- Automate the process – Time consuming paper work can be avoided on the first day up to a certain extent by sending those through emails before hand with a note on missing documents that can be submitted on joining day. Email welcome note can be sent out to all the employees to make them prepared to welcome the newcomer. Once the employees recognize the new employee he will be positively overwhelmed with greetings.
Rather than giving him the employee handbook and expecting him to find out solutions for his queries use intranet and send him a welcome mail which consists of all the important links. Include a chart that spells out who’s responsible for what with their contact numbers and email ID which will help him to create an personal relationship with them.
- Reasonable Gifts – Give away some reasonable gifts on the first day like office bags/Executive dairy or even food coupons so that he can treat a lunch to his team member and get along with them easily.
- Who is who – Introduce him to the employees who he is most likely to be in contact within the organization and let him know whom to contact for what purposes, like Admin help desk, HR support, and Security help desk which will help him figure out things for himself.
- Clarify the job profile – Ensure employee understands their new job, their roles and responsibilities and how it all fits into your organization. It’s all about making people feel valued as well as helping the organization in accomplishing its goals through its people. A close review of your company’s performance appraisal system is one of the most important but most neglected onboarding tasks. Explain how the performance appraisal system works and how much important his contribution is towards the business growth
- Assign a mentor – Onboarding is not meant to be first day process alone. Some treat it as a 30 days process but normally it takes around 90 days for a new employee to become fully productive. In this period give him a platform with a mentor/buddy which will help him to navigate through the organization’s culture easily as well as understand why things get done in the ways they do. The buddy system can accelerate the productivity of new hires than those who do not have a mentor. A successful buddy can always turn a new hire to a loyal employee.
- Compliance & Culture – Address the basics of all legal and company policies, related rules and regulations. Provide details on the dress code, office timings as well. Give him a clear picture about your company’s vision, mission, values & ethics. Immersing him into the company’s culture is an ongoing task that can be done through formal orientation programs.
Organize a lunch out along with the team members that will definitely make your new hire feel welcomed, valued and comfortable too.
To signify the new beginning let him receive the Appointment letter from the HR head on the first day. Introduce the new hire to everything that makes your company a great place to work and ensure that he made a right decision in joining your company.