When you’re responsible for onboarding new employees, you need to make this process as efficient as possible. A clunky and long onboarding process can make new employees feel like jumping ship. A good onboarding process, on the other hand, can create a loyal and quality workforce.
Fortunately, there are ways you can streamline onboarding as you try to equip your employees with the skills they need. Curious to learn more? Keep reading to find a guide to cutting the wait between hiring and work!
Stay in Contact Between Job Acceptance and the First Day
One of the best initial strategies to pare down onboarding is to create a schedule. Doing so creates preliminary deadlines starting from the moment a candidate accepts a job offer. By imposing checkpoints along the way, you’ll keep the process moving swiftly so your new employee feels wanted.
You can include communication as simple as the gesture of congratulating a new employee and welcoming them to your team. Scheduling this type of email ensures that you’ve made contact and will follow up with details soon. Your new hire will feel welcomed and looped into the process.
You may also want to touch base with your human resources department early. Check to see if your new employee is receiving information about the retirement plan and health coverage. And be sure that your new hire has a designated contact from that office.
Provide a detailed schedule via email, and send reminders before the first day. This will help prevent anyone from being confused about where to go and what to bring. Best of all, it will help keep onboarding running as planned!
Determine the Window of Time for Onboarding
While some companies do onboarding in a few days, others commit months to the process. What is your ideal time frame for this process? There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but there are some strategies to keep it concise.
You may want to go with a shorter one or two-week approach with a full slate of tasks and events. You can focus on company culture one day and then move into a company overview. From there, you can focus on specific training for the job.
This model consolidates the meat of the onboarding into a reasonable chunk of time. Plus it won’t be too disruptive to current employees involved. You’ll also keep your new employees from feeling overly bored or tired.
Just be sure to sprinkle in some free lunches, breaks, and fun icebreakers to keep your new hires engaged. And map some ongoing educational opportunities into their work calendars. Even if you keep the initial onboarding brief, you want to communicate that you value continued professional development.
Finally, be flexible within your window of time. You may find a need to investigate certain skills or topics more deeply and slow down as a result. And if a presenter gets sick and can’t cover their portion of onboarding, have a backup plan to fill the time!
Introduce New Employees to Other Team Members Right Away
Another way to streamline onboarding is to pack in introductions early. If the formal onboarding program lasts two weeks, for instance, make sure you’ve secured time from your organization’s key stakeholders. Your new employee will feel more connected when they can identify more faces in the company.
This should include everyone from the office CEO to clerical workers. The sooner a new employee can identify people with their roles, the faster they’ll work. For instance, they’ll be able to track down the necessary information to complete their tasks.
If an employee in the business office at a college knows who the deans are, they’ll be able to resolve budgetary issues more efficiently. Likewise, a new customer success manager needs to know who the software engineers and sales managers are. This will be critical when they need to answer questions about the company’s product.
A new hire doesn’t need to meet everyone on the first day, but it should happen in the first few weeks. You should handle the introductions, too, to offset any awkwardness for the new employees. Schedule these in advance so the current employee isn’t caught off guard.
Use Software to Conduct New Hire Onboarding
Invest in software to help with the onboarding process. Doing this communicates a level of professionalism that helps employees know the organization is run well. It also provides a centralized access point to speed up the process.
A software platform is where you can store critical documents and other information about your new employees. You can create checklists for them, post comments, and add links to videos. Ensure that you, your employees, and other relevant individuals have access to your chosen platform.
On that note, not all software systems are the same
Be sure to opt for software with a user-friendly platform that won’t cause headaches. Good visuals and a logical organizational structure are key!
With onboarding software from https://WorBbright.com/employee-onboarding-software/, you can streamline the onboarding process. You’ll get software that looks good on laptops and mobile devices alike, and one that can be integrated into other software platforms.
You can fill the void between signing a contract and the first day with the assistance of software. For example, you can ask your new employee to access the portal to fill out tax documents and sign up for the company health plan. If employees can complete these tasks remotely, you’ll be able to get down to business on the first day.
Additionally, the software can be an access point for online training modules. If your new employee needs to take safety training or learn how to use a forklift, for instance, a video can show them. At its conclusion, the new employee can take a test to confirm they know the skills.
Online modules also break up the new hire onboarding process. Too many hours of talking heads and PowerPoints can be tiring. Give your employees opportunities to learn the necessary skills at their own pace, too.
Figure Out What a New Hire Knows Already
If you’re hiring multiple employees for the same role, they may have wide-ranging abilities. Consequently, some individuals may feel like skills training is too easy. Others may feel overwhelmed.
There are ways to strike the right balance and tailor the onboarding to each person. You’ll need to invest a little more work on the front end. But the outcome will be better equipped new employees.
One popular strategy is to create workplace readiness tests. These can be used to assess a new employee’s existing understanding of terminology, processes, or budget information. They also can include writing or editing samples.
Just be sure to stress to your new hire that the test isn’t graded!
In other words, you’re not expecting them to know everything. You just want to see where you should spend more of your time with the training.
You can expedite the onboarding by administering tests. Do this before in-person onboarding or on the first day. You may just discover that you can gloss over some areas since new hires already have a firm foundation.
Less experienced new employees can be separated into sessions that cover the fundamentals. But if you have a more advanced new hire, you can move them along with more quickly. You may even be able to assign them to higher-level projects right off the bat.
Speaking of starter projects, you ought to select one for new employees. A jam-packed two-week onboarding session will wrap up eventually. And your employees will want to know what’s on the other side.
Think of that initial project as their opportunity to show you what they know. It can be the carrot you dangle throughout the new hire onboarding sessions. Allude to it every day to keep your employees engaged and eager!
Reducing Onboarding Time Can Involve a Mentor
Assigning a mentor to your new hire can be an effective way to build camaraderie and deflect some of the workloads. For instance, you could ask a mentor to provide weekly shadowing opportunities, particularly if they work in the same area. Watching a top member of the sales team conduct a meeting would be a great resource for a new hire.
Your mentor could provide one opportunity each week for the new hire’s first year. This would help keep the lines of communication open even after the initial onboarding sessions have ended.
When it comes to choosing a mentor, aim to find someone with at least one year of experience in the organization. They also should be a good communicator and seem happy in their role. The last thing you want is a disgruntled employee who trash talks the company or quits in two weeks!
Be sure to take steps to lighten your mentor’s load, too. Remember that being a good mentor requires taking time to check in and answer complex questions. You don’t want it to feel like a burden on top of their other projects.
Schedule Daily Meetings at First
If you confine onboarding to the first week or two, it’s important to maintain regular contact after that. You don’t want new hires to feel like a supervisor has abandoned them. And for people new to your industry, you need to offer more oversight anyway.
Commit to doing daily meetings at first, and communicate this to new hires so they know what to expect. If you’re supervising a large team of new hires, you could meet with the whole team at once. At the same time, however, block in office hours for individual meetings or brief check-ins each week.
After the first month, you may be able to stretch the time between meetings. These can be structured to check in on specific projects and answer new questions. Make a point of offering constructive feedback so your new hire gets affirmation and suggestions to improve!
As part of ongoing onboarding, ask your new employee to maintain a list of questions. In fact, you could ask them to bring one question related to the company’s operations to each daily meeting. Or, as time progresses, ask them to bring five questions to a weekly meeting.
And, of course, make your employee aware of when their first review will occur. You don’t want them to agonize over it, but you do want them to know the expectations. Ideally, you should give them a digital copy of what you’ll be assessing.
Provide Continuing Education Opportunities
Tightening up your onboarding process is one big part of establishing better efficiency. But just because a two-week window of daily programming wraps up doesn’t mean the learning has to. In fact, ongoing professional development will be key to your new hire’s success.
It may be possible for a new hire to upskill and become a project manager or superintendent. You can help with retention by providing internal opportunities for your employees to grow.
Use online modules or lunchtime seminars. Bring in guest speakers or key stakeholders from upper management to offer insight or broach new topics. Develop mini-courses for them to complete each quarter.
Offer certificates of completion, too, to validate an employee’s achievement. This will incentivize personal growth and build loyalty to the company. And that’s especially true if you provide a clear track for advancement in the organization.
Make Onboarding New Employees Better
Hiring new employees can invigorate your company, but it also can add a lot of work to your load. Map out a schedule and delegate responsibilities to speed up the process without sacrificing quality. When you use software, involve mentors, and make meetings a priority, you’ll get your new hire ready to go!
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