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Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
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Tips for Leading Effective Employee Onboarding in 2018

Hiring a new employee at your company is an exciting experience, both for you and the employee. The hiring process includes recruiting, interviewing, and a lot of time invested, by both the organization and the new employee.

Leaders can increase employee success by ensuring a strong onboarding program.

A great onboarding not only helps a new employee learn the ins and outs of the workplace, but it can also ensure that the employee is able to start to work and contribute right away. An employee’s first few days set the stage for how they move forward. Studies show that employees who go through a well-structured onboarding or orientation process are 69 percent more likely to remain at a company for more than three years.

Assign Sponsors

When a new hire is identified, assign them a sponsor from within the company. The sponsor serves as a consistent, dependable resource that the new employee can turn to for answers, administrative support, and advice. In addition to being helpful for new hires, sponsorships help foster friendships and positive relationships within the office.

If the new employee is moving to the area for the job, the sponsor should also be willing to help with relocation details, and be familiar with relocation challenges. Workers who are worried about finding a place to live and getting children registered for school are not going to be fully focused on the job, so easing the transition logistics results in less stress and greater productivity.

Start Right Away

Don’t wait to start the onboarding process on the hire’s first day of work. Start the moment that the person is hired. Have an employee handbook that you can give the new employee so they can start learning the ropes before they arrive. In the employee information package, consider including information about company policies, any introductory documents that lend insight into the workplace, benefits, a list of helpful resources and phone numbers, and welcoming notes from current employees.

Include Interesting Company Information

Company information and organizational stories are essential tools for company onboarding. When you hire a new employee, make sure they understand the behind the scenes story of the company’s mission and vision, as well as any significant updates.

There is a TV show on the making of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. These ladies work hard to be physically fit, strong, flexible, and dance beautifully. They are also expected to know about the history of the Cowboys, the leadership, and the players. The interview portion of the tryouts is grueling.

How many Fortune 500 companies have such a rigorous interviewing process? Not many. The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders have a corporate culture that demands that they know details about the organization and that they are able to represent the entire Cowboys organization. Your corporate culture may not be as demanding, but new employees still need to know enough about the company to represent you and your team well.

Create a Company Glossary

Every company has its own jargon, acronyms, and buzzwords. Create a company glossary that contains these words so that a new hire can reference the glossary when they see a word that they don’t recognize. Consider including abbreviations and shorthand regularly used.

Don’t Forget the Nuts and Bolts

Of course, it’s important to teach a new hire about how they should do their job. But during the onboarding process, you should also help acclimate them with helpful information about the office, including where the coffee is, how to access their computer, and more. Being comfortable in the workplace fosters productivity and ensures a more enjoyable working experience.

Onboarding is a fundamental process that prevents new employees from feeling lost in their new workplace. Putting in a little bit of extra effort to make them feel wanted make it easier for them to succeed.


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