Wednesday, May 18, 2016

3 Steps for Ensuring the Success of New Employees

Each year, 25% of the American workforce makes a career transition. That means the average turnover in American businesses is 4 years. That's a lot of employees to onboard every year! Think about it: many companies have dedicated recruiters or even onboarding specialists to transition new employees. One trick of the trade, though, is to bring in new employees in the most effective way so you can increase their rate of retention.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Through the employee interview process, potential job candidates are evaluating your company just as much as your company is evaluating them. After you make an offer and a new employee starts, you don't want to give them any reason to believe they've made a mistake in accepting the position. Additionally, the first three months of an employee's tenure at your company are crucial to establishing strong relationships, good work habits, and healthy expectations. Here are 3 tips for getting your employees off on the right foot.

1. Schedule the first day - and week

You should have a point person for the employee's first day. Have this person tour the office with your new hire, making sure they are introduced to other employees and know where the kitchen, bathrooms, and relevant office equipment is located. This may also be a good time to deal with security issues, like after-hours access or parking passes - if not now, then at least in the employee's first week.

If the employee is in a supervisory role they should be introduced to their direct reports. An informal meeting or lunch with their team is a great idea, as it can break up the more formal training and orientation schedule. In addition to meeting the team, the new employee should meet with their supervisor to confirm the job duties and what the first 1 to 3 months in the position will look like.

2. Incorporate technology into the onboarding plan

There's nothing more awkward than showing up for a first day and finding out the company isn't ready for you. Starting a new job gives you new-kid-in-school jitters. Imagine how much smoother the employee transition will be if the company actually has a work station set up! Getting a computer, mobile devices, and phone lines in place prior to the employee's first day means your new hire can start being productive almost immediately, rather than waiting for IT to do its work. Have a system for letting your technology department know what needs to be accomplished and when you have a new employee starting. You should also prepare a list of IT-related items and tasks for your new employee, such as setting up their email, voicemail, remote access, and passwords.

Another way to involve technology is to set up a portal, allowing employees to fill out their new hire paperwork more efficiently. If tax and direct deposit documents, or even health insurance registration forms, are handled at home, you will avoid spending a precious hour or two of the employee's orientation simply pushing paper--not to mention making sure employees remember to bring their identification documents!

3. Elicit feedback and follow up

Maximizing your employee's success doesn't only occur on the first day. The first ninety days or so of a new hire's tenure is what can make or break their time at your company. The seeds of employee retention are sown early. Going back to first impressions, you will never again have a better time to impress your employee with what your company is capable of and how your business functions than in those first three months.

Individualizing your employee's experience can show the company cares about their success. Institute goal planning and meet with your new hire on and off to discuss a long term career trajectory. Find out how they are doing, both formally and informally. Get anonymous or confidential feedback from their coworkers and direct reports to get a better sense of their performance and strengths. Above all, maintain a good balance between allowing your employee independence and giving them instruction and direction.

Employee retention is the goal!

By employing proper onboarding techniques, your new hires can learn proper skills, fit in with the team, and start contributing from almost their very first day. Not only is onboarding a factor in productivity, it's an effective talent management strategy that can help your overall hiring process and corporate health in the long term.

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