Congratulations! You have recently hired someone for a vacant position in your company and are all set to welcome the new employee into your team. Though you are excited about having them integrated into the working style, engagement and expectations of the organisation, research has shown a well-curated business onboarding experience ensures an amazing first-day experience. Most companies do not see a connection between an organised orientation and long-term engagement, which is the fundamental intention when hiring an employee.
New hires take around a year or more to be as proficient as their tenured colleagues, so why not make the business onboarding process easy for them? In a world where companies lose about 25% new hires each year, standard onboarding procedure spikes up productivity by 50%. The reason is simple: companies can enhance engagement, performance and retention simply by promoting a well-organised, welcoming and experiential first day.
Why is business onboarding important?
In simple words, business onboarding is the procedure of welcoming new candidates into a company. It is a process in place that takes over months or years after they are hired, which helps them become loyal employees in the long-term. Onboarding decreases the chances of employee turnovers as it engages them with the company culture, and lets them be productive.
New candidates are constantly trained to become seasoned professionals while appreciating what they contribute to the company. The business onboarding process also promises better communication among team members and healthier working relationships.
Here’s what you can do to plan a perfect business onboarding for the new team member in your organisation:
1. Create a great first impression
Prepare for the employee’s first day, and inform the related departments about them. Establish a timeline and procedure, and stick to it. New candidates would not like a disorganised and uninformed workplace, and they may form poor impressions about the organisation. Instead, plan a templated document that is in place for new employees regardless of which department they belong to.
2. Introduce new employees to team leaders and teammates
One of the motives of the business onboarding process is to get to know each other before working on a project together. Now, it can be easy to miss out on introducing new employees to their department leaders and teammates. Having a thorough process in place does not only make them feel valued but makes you an organisation that cares.
3. Paperwork can wait
The new employee is probably nervous about making a good first impression themselves, but submerging them into a pile of paperwork can wait for the next couple of days. Instead, let them spend the first day getting comfortable in their new environment. As part of business onboarding, you can send in HR and employment-related paperwork on mail ahead of joining, so that they can be completed before the first big day.
4. Ensure that the office resources are in place
A new hire must be briefed about their work on the first day itself, so make sure that IT-related equipment is ready for use. Discrepancies in this regard can be a negative experience for the candidate, and speak poorly of your company’s organisational skills.
5. Show them around
Ideally, the Human Resources team should take the employee around the office as part of the business onboarding process. Acquaint them on not just the workstations, but the cafeteria, breakout zones and conference rooms as well. This prepares the employee for where to go for further assignments and meetings.
6. Provide a company background, business strategy and expectations
Demonstrate a brief, detailed and informative slideshow or video about the organisation on the first day itself. This will help the new employee understand company goals and work towards achieving his or her targets through well-informed decisions, which is part of good business onboarding.
You must reinforce the new employee’s belief that they have chosen the right workplace through facts and figures, and by talking to them about its history, work culture and how they can contribute to the same. Doing so will help the employee feel that they belong to the company.
7. Use welcoming language
Put the new employee at ease using simple and friendly language, and not confusing them with technical jargons on day 1. Avoid company-related lingo for the time being, but you can always familiarise them with key phrases as part of the business onboarding process. Smile occasionally and ask if they have understood what is to be done. As the candidate gets comfortable at work, they can start learning about important terminology that will help them in the course of their career.
8. Have definite job expectations in place
As part of business onboarding, make sure that job expectations are clear on both sides. Ensure that the infrastructure and information are in place for the candidate and divide goals into bite-sized tasks so that they can accomplish easily. Also, you should encourage questions and clarify them as soon as possible.
9. Provide them with additional resources
Though new employees are excited to learn about the company’s history, culture and work, it’s better to do one thing at a time. Assemble important resources and company-based links to help them learn about their workplace, which will automatically result in less time wastage during the onboarding process.
10. Stay in touch with the new employee
Though you are the team leader and have lots of tasks to finish, the new hire is a priority as well. Instead of leaving them in the lurch, help them out with knowledge and tools to perform their tasks to the best of their abilities. Work is done faster when team members are happy and the constant employer-employee interaction gives way to a fruitful working relationship. Also, encourage the tenured employees to look out for new hires as well to foster healthy friendships and competition.
11. A token of appreciation
Though often deemed unnecessary, gifting company merchandise as part of the welcome kit is a good idea. The new hire will know that they are welcomed, acknowledged, and most importantly, cherished.
As team leaders, we must understand that a new working environment can be unnerving even for a senior employee. Patience, resources and an approachable personality can build an interactive working relationship that will benefit the organisation in the long run.