Tips for Onboarding New Employees


In the past, orienting a new hire was usually relegated to some lower-level worker in the human resources department, and after that brief introduction to the company, the new employee was on his or her own.

Now, however, things are different because businesses realize the importance of getting a new employee up to speed, making him or her feel welcome and at ease in the company. Businesses realize that doing a good job of orienting a new employee — now referred to as onboarding — can have great benefits when it comes to productivity.

All of this orientation will still include the more traditional first-day routine – filling out the requisite paperwork.  But at the end of the day, the new person should have more to look back on than just filling out forms. The new worker needs to feel that her or she made a good decision by coming to work for your company.

While human resources will handle the routine types of things, the important job of orientation will be a part of the manager’s job.

As part of introducing a new person to the company, don’t overlook the views of employees already at the company, which can be very helpful. You can find out what they would have liked to have known when they came onboard. Find out what plans other employees have to help the new person get up to speed. You don’t have to do everything yourself. You can delegate.

One person should take on the responsibility of taking the new person to lunch every day, and the entire team should take the new person to lunch on the first day.

There are routine checklists for orienting a new employee readily available, but there are also the little things that should not be overlooked. For example, notify everyone by e-mail about the new hire so everyone can welcome the new person. You should set up the new employee’s computer and get his or her e-mail account in working order, along with making sure he has all the background information he needs on the software he or she will be using. You should also get his or her phone system up and running, along with instructions on voicemail.  Fill the new employee in on how to use the fax, copier and any other electronics her or she will be using. Have business cards already made up, if appropriate. Have a nameplate ready and waiting.. You also should have an organizational chart ready for the new person, so he or she knows who is who and how they fit into the company’s and department’s structure.

Two final tips: 1) Have someone who can act as a sponsor or mentor to the new employee, someone who can be a role model. 2) Take the time to talk to the new hire about performance goals and expectations.

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