Onboarding is an important step in making new employees feel welcomed and comfortable in the new space. The first few days are always a learning period for new hires, and it is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that the process goes smoothly to shorten the adjustment period. If you want your new employees to hit the ground running, then your onboarding procedure will have to be highly efficient and accommodating. You need to make the new team members feel welcomed and create an environment for them where they feel comfortable asking questions and are motivated to learn.
The onboarding process is often less about technical guidance because the person you hire is likely to have most of the skills that they’ll need to fulfill the responsibilities of their role. So, what should be the focus of the onboarding process? And how can you achieve those goals effectively?
Keep reading below for a few practical employee onboarding tips for managers!
Clarify Expectations and Communicate Openly
The first thing that you need to make sure of after a candidate accepts your job offer is to open the channel of communication. The easier you make it for the new hire to reach out and communicate, the quicker they’ll be able to jump the gun and settle into their new role.
To build an effective relationship, you need to be direct and open about your communication. Talk about all the expectations of their role and be transparent about their responsibilities. This will help reduce the anxiety of the new employee about their place in the team and will give them the clarity they need to put their best foot forward to begin their new journey.
Moreover, open communication helps build trust between new team members. The sooner you speak to them about your expectations and listen to their expectations, the better. It is also really important that you communicate any company rules and policies, such as attendance, dress codes, payroll requirements, etc. Make sure you respond to all their queries and questions immediately, so there is little room for confusion and error.
Familiarize them with Company and Team Values
A key element of the onboarding process is to familiarize the new hires with the company culture and the culture of the team they’ll operate in. Understanding the office culture will help the new employee blend in appropriately. This doesn’t only mean you just tell them where they sit and where everything they need will be.
Although sharing how the physical space works are important, you also need to give equal importance to communicating team values, company mission, and work culture. Recent trends have shown that a lack of company culture is a growing reason why employees leave a workplace. The key values of your company are a huge factor in determining whether a new hire will stay for the long run or make an early escape.
Therefore, it is essential to communicate the values of your company entirely for them to be accepted and practiced by the new employees. Encourage managers, supervisors, and team members to help the new hires with understanding the culture. Ideally, you should have a designated onboarding session from the higher management for the new employees to emphasize the core values and reflect their importance to the company.
Create Standard Operating Procedures
The easiest way to ensure that the onboarding process goes smoothly is to have standard operating procedures in place. Instead of dealing with each onboarding cycle as it comes, when you put systems in place, it helps streamline it all. A standard operating procedure can include anything that helps new hires integrate into the company, such as informational documents, training sessions, instructional videos, checklists, how-to guides, etc.
Having a standard operating procedure will streamline and reduce the onboarding time significantly. The new employees can get up to speed quickly and the onboarding procedures become much more streamlined and easy to manage.
Introduce a Go-to Work Buddy Approach
One of the ways that you can make new hires adapt to the work environment quickly is to assign a go-to buddy for them. This can be any person in the team who has a similar role as the new hire and can provide candid and instant support to the newbie.
Supervisors and managers often have a lot going on and it is not a practical expectation of them to answer all the small and instant queries of the new hires. To make it easier on everyone involved, introducing a go-to work buddy approach to your onboarding procedure can be a great step.
When you induct a new hire, assign them a 60-day go-to buddy for the first two months of their time in the company. This “buddy” can become the person they go to for quick questions, clarifications, or a pick-me-up at any time to make sure they don’t get overwhelmed when they are being integrated.
This will provide the older employee to welcome the new ones and also for professional bonds and help with team building. It would be ideal if the buddy is not someone who is a direct part of the new hire’s team, so they feel comfortable asking and sharing work-related questions with them without feeling insecure or embarrassed.
Customize Onboarding for Each New Hire
Ideally, you should customize the onboarding procedure based on the experience level and role of each new hire. One size doesn’t fit all, and different people would require different kinds of support to integrate into the organization easily. Consider giving them options they can choose from. For instance, one-on-one catch-ups, manuals, instructional videos, etc.
The onboarding procedure can make or break the experience of a new hire at your organization. Make sure that you’re as thorough and considerate with it as possible. At YMCA, we offer FREE employment assistance services in Greater Toronto. Reach out to us today for more advice and guidance for employers.