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Tips for Successful Onboarding

Tips for Successful Onboarding
12 May 2020

Starting a new role can be a daunting time for anyone, irrespective of level. Your first day in a new role is a great opportunity for you to make a good first impression. It is perfectly normal to feel a mixture of excitement and nerves and sometimes even to question if you have made the right decision but try to think about all the reasons that you took the role and all of the things that attracted you to the business in the first place.

Below are some tips for new hires and employers to consider in relation to on boarding.

New Hires:

  • Back to basics - plan your route – bearing in mind morning traffic that may not have been there when you went to interviews – being late on your 1st day is not a good look! Ask about dress code – always err on the side of being smarter for your 1st day. Be organised – ask HR before you start what you need to take with you
  • Do some more extensive research on the business – social media pages, recent news articles, linked in profiles, company financials – so it is fresh in mind, this will help you to engage with colleagues on your 1st day and will give you a head start with company knowledge
  • Ask lots of questions – also take some time to reflect on what you have learnt at the end of each day and make a note of any questions you have
  • Be pro-active, friendly and positive – introduce yourself at every opportunity – get to know every department, this will help you to develop stronger working relationships
  • Get to know your team and engage with them – really take the time to get to know them and build up effective working relationships with them
  • Establish who your key stakeholders are in the business and make yourself known to them – ask to spend time understanding their roles in the business
  • If you are managing a team when the time is right take some time to talk them through your background and your short to medium term plans with the business, your goals and objectives for the team, both as a group and individually
  • Really get under the skin of the wider business and what they do – understand how your role fits into the wider business strategy
  • Understand what expectations your new employer / line manager has of you in the early weeks
  • Enjoy yourself – and don’t put too much pressure on yourself in week 1

Employers:

  • Wherever possible arrange for your new hires to come in, have a coffee and informally meet some of the team before they start – especially if the time between offer and the candidate starting is significant – this will also minimise the risk of the new hire accepting a counter-offer as they become more engaged with their new employer sooner
  • Ensure that IT systems and desk space is set up prior to new hires starting – when this doesn’t happen this can be a real turn off; also plan start dates carefully, make sure they do not coincide with other major events which would take people away from the on boarding process
  • On boarding is a great opportunity for you further promote your company and to introduce your new hire to your companies’ mission, culture and values, with the aim of engaging them so they remain excited to work for your business.
  • Turnover is significantly higher in the first few weeks of employment than at any other time – for you as an employer having to re-start a recruitment process is a big expense in terms of time, money and resource, as well as potentially damaging the employer brand
  • Effective on boarding will give new hires tools to do their jobs quicker which will mean they can add value to the business sooner
  • Especially for larger organisations where volumes of new hires are high the on boarding process needs to be easily repeatable, automated where appropriate and people should be trained on this process; ensure that Line Managers understand what good on boarding should look like, it also needs to be consistent across departments
  • There should be plenty of communication throughout the induction process – with your Line Manager, team members and other key stakeholders
  • Set expectations with your new hires for the 1st weeks / months

It is evident that done right good on boarding will pay dividends in terms of employee engagement and retention – both things that employers are keen to achieve.

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