A sigh of relief: the new human assets arrived safely this morning and thankfully zero non-starter issues to deal with today. The reception foyer is crowded with bright-eyed, bushy-tailed newbies ready to commence with Day 1 (and with some expecting to contribute by Day 2!)
The first week of the onboarding experience sets the tone for the rest of the employee’s tenure with your organisation and supplements your retention strategy in the long run. Candidates will probably forget the intricate details of their onboarding process after a few months. However, they will always remember their first week.
Newcomers are generally anxious, nervous and unsure during the first few days on the job. Your onboarding activities should aim to provide them with adequate information, assurance and support to navigate themselves through the unchartered territories of a new job at a new organisation with new people and new systems.
DAY 1 – Introduction to People and Processes
KYC – Know your co-workers
An informal introduction to the “who’s who” in your corporate zoo is a great starting point to establish familiarity and ease those nervous butterflies a little.
Remember to give the relevant individuals a heads-up the day before to expect a quick meet and greet with the new hire. There is nothing more embarrassing than trying to introduce a new person to key staff members getting caught by surprise or who are unavailable.
KYP – Know your processes
Clarifying boundaries regarding dress code, office hours, company policies and procedures, general employee conduct, parking arrangements and building access serves as a solid, informative framework to ensure a smooth induction process.
The golden rule is never to assume. A simple issue like dress code may seem trivial to you, but just imagine the consequences for poor Nico Newbie rocking up suited and booted on casual Friday because he was not properly informed. Furthermore, you don’t want a new employee to upset the boxcart in their first week by occupying the office manager’s unofficial parking spot she has held since the beginning of time.
A few key meetings to schedule for the first day may include:
- An HR appointment, to finalise any outstanding paperwork related to onboarding documentation and remuneration.
- A discussion with the Onboarding Facilitator, to provide details regarding the onboarding programme timeline and activities.
- Time with the Hiring Manager, to clarify expectations early on regarding job duties, short-term goals and to address questions or concerns the employee may have.
DAY 2 Orientation – The lay of the Land
The purpose of orientation is to acclimatise your new hire to the office environment to enable a quick transition from feeling like a fish out of water to swimming with the rest of the dolphins.
Workstation Wow Factors
Have a well-stocked workstation ready for your newbie with sufficient office supplies, a working phone, headset, computer, coffee mug, chair and a small welcome gift.
Believe it or not, employee buy-in can be activated with welcome kit simplicities like notebooks, highlighters and funky stationery!
Technology On Point
IT support should be on standby to assist the new employee with logins, passwords, email setups and to provide user training regarding the company’s intranet platform and phone system.
Put on your tour guide hat and have a walkthrough of the facility to show your employee where the front office, HR offices, stairways and elevators, copy centres, restrooms, cafeteria and break areas are located.
Entry to the Company Kingdom
Hand out their access cards, allocate parking spots, provide a company contact list and assist them with an initial calendar set-up to diarise upcoming meetings, company events and training sessions.
These are the proverbial keys to newcomer independence and goes a long way to boost wobbly confidence levels.
DAY 3 to 7: Inclusion Resolution
Facilitating quality time engagements with their key stakeholders, will secure new employee participation right from the get-go.
Buddies and Mentors
These individuals are assigned to provide guidance and support during the first few months of employment and are often instrumental to new employees achieving their personal development goals.
Getting Socially Connected
An informal gathering preferably held off the work premises provides newbies with the opportunity to socialise with their immediate team members in a more personal capacity and are excellent for creating team cohesion and collaboration.
Down to Plans and Goals
Time to meet with the direct manager to discuss specific performance goals for the next three to six months and also to set a date for the first performance review.
While hovering over new staff like a helicopter is not necessary, be careful to not leave them entirely to their own devices either.
A quick check-in session at the end of every day should suffice to identify any problematic issues and answer questions they may have.
In our next article, we will discuss Stage 3 of the onboarding process which will include the deliverables for the first three months of employment: Inspect what you expect for the first 30, 60 and 90 days.
eSTUDY is an accredited digital training company that specialises in upskilling your employees with accredited eLearning solutions to help your business grow.