Onboarding the Right Way
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 own.
Now, however, things are different because businesses realize the importance of getting new employees up to speed, making them feel welcome and at ease in their new environment. Companies realize doing a good job of orienting a new employee – now referred to as onboarding – can have great benefits when it comes to productivity.
The 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. He needs to feel that he 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, but there are also the little things that should not be overlooked. For example, notify everyone by email about the new hire so everyone can welcome the new person. You should set up the new employee’s computer and get his email account in working order, along with making sure he has all the background information he needs on the software he will be using.
You should also get his phone system up and running, along with instructions on voicemail. Fill him in on how to use the fax, copier, and any other electronics he will be using. Have business cards for him and a nameplate ready and waiting at his desk. You should also have an organizational chart for the new person, so he knows who is who, and what their names are.
And two final things –one, have someone who can act as a sponsor or mentor to the new employee, someone who can be a role model; and, two, take the time to talk to the new hire about performance goals and expectations.
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