If you’ve ever recruited a new talent to your team before you’ll know that the initial hiring is only the start of the journey. To fully integrate that promising new person into your company and get them delivering the value you hoped for requires intentional effort and the right processes so that they can perform at their best. Research from the Brandon Hall Group showed that a great onboarding process can improve employee retention by 82%.
In this article, we’ll explore the key responsibilities that you have as an organization to ensure that your new hires are able to start contributing effectively and so that you can retain them for the long term.
Orientation vs Onboarding
It’s worth starting by distinguishing between two key pillars of new hire responsibility – orientation and onboarding – as they both have a key role to play.
Orientation refers to helping a new hire become familiar with their working environment, to meet their colleagues, and to ease their transition into your company. Typically, this happens on the first day and the only objective here is to help the new person acclimatize to the new surroundings.
Onboarding is a longer process that involves bringing that employee up to speed with how things work and helping them to integrate more fully into the organization. This can typically take months and the more structured the onboarding is, the faster that new hire can start to contribute to the wider mission.
Why Is It Important to Have a Great Onboarding Process?
Onboarding is crucial because it sets the tone for new hires and it has an outsized impact on how that new person is going to perform in their role. The quality of your onboarding will determine not only the first impression of their employee experience, but it also helps new people to understand the working culture, the standard operating procedures, and how they can best utilize the resources at their disposal.
Great onboarding processes result in engaged, empowered, and excited new hires who can see the potential for what they can achieve and are emboldened to go and make it happen.
What Should You Go Over In New Hire Onboarding?
Here are some of the key components that should be a part of your onboarding process:
- Present the Organizational History. It’s helpful to understand the history of an organization because it provides valuable context and detail that sets a foundation for where the company is going.
- Introduction to Executive Leaders. It’s a great opportunity for new hires to meet with those in leadership to instill company culture, clarify reporting lines, and build team camaraderie.
- Share Policies and Procedures. It’s important to share all the important policies and procedures with new hires so that they know exactly what is expected of them. A well crafted and comprehensive employee manual can give a new employee confidence and cover points that otherwise may be missed.
- Answer Frequently Asked Questions. The more employees you hire, the more patterns you’ll discover about what questions are asked. Keep a bank of answers for these and share them preemptively.
- Explain Goals and Objectives. You can also use the onboarding process to clarify the goals and objectives for the role showing how they are strategically aligned with the larger picture for the company.
If you combine these pillars in a structured way, you’ll ensure that your onboarding process sets up new people for success and repays all the effort that you spent in hiring them.
6 Ways To Set Up a New Hire for Success
To finish, we thought we’d share our top 6 tips that can set up a new hire for success. We’ve seen it all at The Renaissance Network and these are the key pieces of the puzzle that can help you unlock the potential that you see in your new hires:
1. Be extremely clear in your expectations
Set your KPIs and expectations upfront so that you are both aligned in what you’re aiming for. This helps the new hire to understand the company objectives and it gives you the necessary foundation for which to measure performance.
2. Micromanage for the first 6 months
“Micromanagement” is not a bad word early on. You need to be hands-on in the beginning and that often requires detailed involvement by a manager. By dedicating the time to be involved in the first months, you save yourself a lot of headaches down the road – for both you and the employee.
3. Schedule a refresher
After this initial period of hands-on management, schedule a refresher on the onboarding process to tie up any loose ends and to answer any remaining questions that the employee might have. Some leaders call this “reminder management.”
4. Focus on feedback
Give your new hires feedback early and often so that they aren’t left wondering about how their performance is being perceived. Also, make sure that you’re looking for feedback from them in return about what they’re missing or struggling with. Don’t just assume everything is going great.
5. Help them get early wins
Early successes are important for building momentum and confidence so make sure that you can help them achieve early wins. This will be a significant boost for morale and makes a world of difference for long-term success.
6. Don’t spoon feed
While you do want to provide as much support as possible, you don’t want to spoon feed everything. You need to empower new hires to take responsibility for their own development so that they can be fully self-sufficient.
If you can get these right, you’ll have a new hire that is empowered to go out there and transform your business for the better. It takes time, effort, and resources – but that’s how you get the best out of people. Being intentional and thoughtful about this provides compounding returns that make the difference between good and great.
This has to become a crucial part of your hiring strategy. It’s that important.
Here at The Renaissance Network, we will guide you as you hire top talent, and we continue to support you in retaining them as they onboard at your organization. If you’re looking for a professional firm to assist you in building a world-class team, be sure to get in touch.