New Hire Checklist: Onboarding Toward Happiness and Retention

Onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee into a new role within an organization as efficiently as possible. The term “process” is used because onboarding a new hire shouldn’t solely take place within the first couple of weeks but rather it should be a long-term commitment. If onboarding is done properly, you will help your new hire achieve happiness while increasing employee retention within the company.

Create a Custom Onboarding Program

An effective onboarding program should be custom tailored to your business, your new hire and their position. By creating a custom onboarding plan, you’re letting the individual know right away that employees are very important assets to the organization, chosen from among many candidates and that their talent is recognized and appreciated.

A custom onboarding plan should consider the new hire’s personality, learning style and communication style. During the interview or after the hiring process, you can begin to ask questions to learn about your new employee. There are several ways you can do this whether it be written questions, a collaborative app or a personality test.

In addition to a custom onboarding plan, always consider the four C’s for a general approach to the process: compliance, clarification, connection and culture. Compliance refers to setting expectations for your new hire; clarification means that your new employee knows their job duties; connection means setting the foundation for your current employees to get familiarized with your new employees; culture refers to introducing your new hire to the company’s overall energy and organizational norms.

Prepare For the New Hire’s First Day

By having a polished onboarding process in place before a new hire comes, they can begin to work right away. This way, you not only have them producing work for you immediately, but they’ll also start the job feeling like they’re accomplished and making a contribution.

Take time to sit down with your new hire to discuss current projects and goals that the team is working on. You both can then decide where the new employee would fit best into the plan. This will get them excited and promote teamwork amongst employees. Although a lot of time will be spent with the new employee in the beginning, you’ll be saving time and money in the future due to employee retention.

It’s important to discuss company values with your new hire on their first day, even if they are already familiar with your company. This can be done by having your new hire read internal documentation, having them speak to other staff members or even sending them articles you’d like them to read.

If your new hire doesn’t have anything to do on their first day, they may begin to feel bored and unimportant. Be sure to keep them busy with short-term projects, and even longer-term projects for the week. After you get an understanding of their prefered workflow, you can begin to give more tasks.

Prepare For the New Hire’s First Month

While a new hire should begin working right away, an onboarding method that involves teaching and mentoring will take the employee to the next level during the first several weeks of their new job. By mentoring your new hire and showing that their growth and development are important to the company, you will create a positive impact and make them want to stay.

Keep in mind that starting a new job is always hard. Help your new hire in any way you can, including social situations. It may be difficult for new hires to integrate themselves into the culture. They may feel the need to stay quiet and understand how everyone interacts before joining in on conversations. Create a sense of camaraderie by leading fun social activities at, and outside of, the office.

To help put yourself in your new hire’s shoes, think about your previous experience with starting at a new company. What did they do that you liked? What could they have done better? In addition, ask your team about their onboarding experience with the company. Their insight can help to improve your onboarding plan.

New hires may leave anytime between their first week up to their third month. Onboarding shouldn’t be treated as a short term task, but an ongoing process. Continue to onboard the employee until you can see that they’ve gotten comfortable with the company and their role.

Continue With Your Onboarding Plan

On-boarding doesn’t end after the employee’s first week on the job. The process should continue over the span of several months, if even a full year, so it is essential to solicit feedback from all constituents. A good way to do that is to keep track of the new hire’s first few months on the job. Begin with questions about the recruiting process, how the first day met the employee’s expectations, and whether they are struggling with any issues thus far. Then, ask whether the employee has the necessary tools to complete his or her job. You want to learn how connected the new hire feels to the company.

Once you’ve done that, you can begin to establish a general onboarding plan for future hires. Even within that structured plan or process, make sure you leave room for those personal touches.

Like hiring, onboarding is a crucial aspect to your organization which can make a positive difference when it comes to business. By having a solid employee onboarding plan, you can reduce employee turnover and focus on growth.