Onboarding – Tips for successfully integrating your new employees.

You’ve hired your employee and they start tomorrow.  That’s all you have to do, right?  Technically, you could.  Not considering all of the requirements surrounding payroll, taxes, State and Federal regulations etc., any business could follow this approach.  However, engaging your employees and following a procedure to ensure they get off to a great start will increase the probability of being able to retain your new employee.  This can result in better buy-in, production, employee satisfaction and reduced costs associated with turn-over.  First impressions aide in creating a welcoming and genuine feeling of acceptance for your new employee.  Here are a few tips for creating an effective Onboarding program for your company:

1. Have all forms and paperwork required prepared in advance and presented in a professional manner.  Appoint a trained employee with your company to review the documents with the new employee and answer any questions they may have.  An organized presentation of the materials from a knowledgeable source will help get the process off to a great start. 
2. Provide a complete tour of the building they will be working in.  Be sure to point out common areas they will need to know about such as conference rooms, supply rooms and break areas. 
3. Point out locations of equipment the new employee will use and provide an operational review.  Most new employees are often overwhelmed when they begin a job and will not ask questions.  For example, all copy machines produce the same results, however, each operates differently and can lead to confusion for new employees when tasked with their first duplexing job. 
4. Discuss policies and procedures fully with employees and ensure they understand the key reasons for these adoptions.  Simple safety procedures, as an example, can lead to lengthy workers’ compensation claims and prolonged employee issues if not reviewed and followed properly. 
5. Make sure that the new employee feels welcomed by ensuring their work area is set up in advance with the necessary supplies to do their job.  It may seem simple, but arriving to a fully stocked work area can make an employee feel welcomed compared to finding their new home lacking. 
6. Introduce the new recruit to the other staff members. Provide unique details about each person during the meet and greet sessions to help break the ice and allow the new employee to feel as if they are already a part of the team. 
7. Follow a checklist.  By doing so, you can ensure that each new employee is treated the same way and receives all the required information you have determined is necessary.

Getting off to a great start with your new employee can help reduce turnover.  Following these tips sets the foundation for your employment relationship but it can’t stop there. You must now build upon this great start and continue to encourage your employees, provide feedback and engage them as a contributing part of your team.