The Secret of Successfully Onboarding New Employees!

So, you have just invested in recruitment costs and time to find that great employee. It may have taken you three months from identifying a need in the business and getting that great person to join your organisation. They are excited, they can’t wait to add value to your business and make their mark! Your new employee arrives on the first day and no one is expecting them. They don’t have a pass to the building, there is no desk allocated or a computer. Their manager is not even in the country and no one has been given the responsibility to take them under their wing until the manager returns. This actually happened to someone I know and their initial impression of the business they joined was extremely negative. They were very tempted to walk out of the company on that first day.

If you want to maximise your success with new employees it is vital to have a clear onboarding plan. This plan should be the responsibility of the hiring manager and the successful implementation of the plan should be part of the manager’s annual appraisal. After all, if new employees that seemed great at the interview stage continually fail to meet expectations when they join there are questions to ask about what more the manager could be doing. Here are some tips around what makes for a good onboarding plan.

Define and document a process – If you haven’t defined and documented a process then frankly it does not exist. So, whatever your onboarding plan you must write it down. Each time a new employee is onboarded then the hiring manager should use this process and use the document as a checklist for each of the key activities.

Stay in contact with the employee ahead of their start date – The employee felt excited to accept the role…but now buyer’s remorse kicks in. “Did I make the right choice? Is this a good career move? Is the organisational culture a good fit?”. So stay in contact with the employee ahead of the start date. Let them know how excited you and the team are that they are joining. Ask them if they have any questions about joining. The day before they start giving them a call to explain what to expect on their first day and who they will meet.

Be ready on the first day – First impressions count so ensure you are ready for them to join on the first day. Ensure all equipment is ready for the employee including passes and IT equipment. Plan who will be looking after the new employee on the first day, arrange a tour of the office and introduce them to colleagues. You might want to assign a “buddy” which could be a peer that knows the organisation well and can act as a sounding board for the new employee.

30-60-90 day plan – Have a 30-60-90 day plan which you build with the employee. In the plan, you should have things that you would like the employee to complete (training, meeting customers, making calls etc) as well as the outcomes from these activities. Get the new employee to give input to the plan so they also include things they would like to do. Be sure to meet weekly with the new employee in the first month, and then every two weeks after that, to review progress and give feedback to the employee.

If you are a business based in the Thames Valley, Berkshire or London and looking for one-off or ongoing HR support then you can contact us through our website or alternatively you can call us on 0203 086 8387. We offer free 30-minute HR consultation on any HR topic.