Employee Onboarding For Small Businesses
An often overlooked yet essential element to employee productivity and retention is proper employee onboarding. As a new hire enters your organization, the initial period involving immersion into job duties, the organizational culture, and interpersonal dynamics represent the employee onboarding process. When your new employees entrench themselves into the team during this process, they feel motivated to come to work, create a positive environment that helps drive performance and adapt to their new organizational culture quicker. The key to setting up your employees for success and maximizing productivity is to create an onboarding process that integrates new hires quickly. Use these tips to implement a system to cultivate and retain top talent.
Prepare Before the New Hire’s First Day
Be Tech Ready
In order to make sure your new employee is ready to start working right away, have the IT services setup the computer for the new hire in advance. Install databases, ensure access to the server, setup an email account, and add the new hire to any office-wide messaging systems. IT can provide a temporary password for email and messaging that your new employee can change on arrival. It helps your new employee feel a part of the team to already have access to company messaging and tech.
Prepare Current Employees
Ensure your staff is ready for a new team member by notifying them in advance. Interpersonal dynamics and shifts in team membership or leadership can cause disruption in projects. Give your current employees a warning of the impending change so that they have time to adjust. Encourage employees, especially seasoned ones, to meet the new employee. Invite employees to email welcoming messages to the new email account.
Automate HR Hiring Paperwork
The employee onboarding process slows when a mountain of paperwork needs filling in human resources. Instead of wasting time filling out forms in person, make the process easier by using an automated system. New employees can fill out their new hire paperwork comfortably at their own computer when they have downtime after arrival, or you can require employees to fill out the paperwork online in advance of their first day. Automated systems also make it easy to make corrections, as these systems store the information either online or on a server. Implementing automated hr solutions cuts down on wasted time and helps integrate a new employee quickly into the working environment.
Employee Onboarding on the First Day
Welcome Strategy for New Employees
Have a welcome strategy for new employees ready to ensure they get off to the right start. Welcome strategies involve meeting new employees and introducing them to their new team. Have new employees sit down one-on-one with new managers, arrange an informal social around morning coffee, or arrange an after-work social. Create a game, such as a new employee scavenger hunt, to help recruits learn the layout of the office and interact with fellow employees in a fun way.
Give a Tour
Appoint a manager, human resources employee or fellow co-worker to give each new employee a tour of the office. Make sure your new employees know the location of each department, manager, and resources. Integrate new employees into the day-to-day office environment by showing employees the office kitchen and explaining any rules. Point them to the bathrooms, and make sure they understand the parking system. Introduce the new hire to current employees and managers, even in other departments, as you go.
Provide an Orientation for New Hires
Hold an orientation for every new hire. For smaller offices or for offices only hiring one new person, this could be in the form of a selection of required videos and documents instead of a formal group training. Include information about the company, how it works, appropriate channels for hr solutions, policies on discrimination, and details of the company that are even outside of the new employee’s immediate department. If employees did not submit HR paperwork prior to the first day, have them fill out any paperwork or documents during the orientation period.
Use the Buddy System
On the first day of work, assign one employee as the point of contact for a new hire. Use the buddy system to provide one-on-one training from a colleague to help introduce the new employee to the organization by assisting with procedural questions typical of new hires, giving insider information on the informal rules of the office, and being a consistent line of contact to provide support to the new employee. A buddy is a seasoned employee, not a manager, who provides contacts and information in a positive and welcoming manner.
Extending the Employee Onboarding Process
Create Regular Check-ins
Do not let top talent get lost in the shuffle of their first few weeks. Instead, schedule regular meetings between new employees and supervisors to keep the lines of communication open and watch for any signs of complications. View these meetings as opportunities for casual training. New hires can report successes and problems so that supervisors can offer support, encouragement, and offer solutions to improve performance.
Set New Employee Goals
Create both short and long-term goals for the new employees that contribute to success in their new position and leverage them for progression in long-term career goals. For example, set targets for sales, but break them down into milestones. Include goals for career progression and training, including the cultivation of leadership skills. Make sure some of the goals can be achieved rather quickly. Quick wins are an effective and easy way to excite and motivate new employees. Achieving short-term goals helps employees feel successful in their new job, instead of nervous about their ability to perform.
Successful employee onboarding requires planning and preparation, but the implementation of onboarding techniques help retain the best talent. Use automated processes through HR services to cut down on the amount of preparation you need to do for new hires. Investing in your employees more up front sets them up for long-term success as they stay motivated and productive.
ERG Payroll & HR provides HR solutions for small and mid-size businesses that includes employee onboarding software as well as our professional HR solutions to help with every aspect of your employee onboarding process.