Welcoming a New Hire: Onboarding & New Employee Engagement
After all the time and effort involved in the recruiting and hiring process, we love hearing when an applicant accepts a position. It’s very exciting to see a team grow! However, in the midst of the anticipation of growing your team, at Adaptiva HR we want to remind employers and managers about the importance of employee onboarding and employee orientation. Just like at the beginning of college, an orientation process helps new employees get a feel for the culture and people at their new company.
Onboarding is important because it makes the employee feel welcomed. In marketing terms, employee onboarding is the first “touchpoint” that the new employee will feel with their new organization. These early first-impression experiences will set the tone for the new hire. If they feel welcome and appreciated, chances are they will become more engaged with their work and will be excited to be a member of the team. If this process isn’t handled properly, the new employee will be starting off with a sour taste.
When a new employee is bombarded with paperwork and computer logins on their first day of work, they will feel overwhelmed and not as emotionally invested in the people around them. We recommend that employers space out paperwork with human time. Have a schedule set for them on their first day and if possible, take them out for lunch.
If you have a remote team, ensure that all new hires are set up with all necessary technology they need prior to starting work and consider sending them a welcome gift, such as a coffee mug with your logo on it or even a bouquet of flowers. Having a thorough orientation process also ensures that all necessary steps are taken for compliance purposes.
Below you will find the Adaptiva HR recommended timeline and check-list for new employee onboarding:
- Welcome your new employee to the team! A small gift is a generous touch. Host a welcome meal (breakfast or lunch, even on Zoom) or offer a signed card by the team welcoming them to the organization.
- Offer a tour of the facility and primary work area (omit for remote hires)
- Be sure to offer introductions to all staff, especially the ones that will work with the new hire. Help your new employee schedule time to meet with each staff member so they can learn more about their new colleagues.
- Share an organizational flow chart with the new employee to help them remember who does what at work.
- Share the mission of the organization again and explain its role with any necessary outside organizations, agencies, communities, etc.
- Complete all necessary paperwork: Employers need to sign any manual documents to hand to HR. The new employee needs to complete a W-4 form and an I-9 form with appropriate ID documentation. If your organization has any other forms that need to be filled out (such as benefit information or emergency contact information), complete them at this time so it’s not forgotten about.
- Create a personnel file for the new employee and place files in a secured location, such as a locked filing cabinet or a password-protected folder online. This file will hold all hiring information, including the employee’s resume, job application, W2, emergency contact information, and any medical information.
- Troubleshoot email platform and work-time recording software with the new employee and make sure they have access to all shared company drives online or Dropbox files.
- Review the job description and employee manual with the new employee.
- Review the orientation/onboarding process. Share with them the timeline of what will be covered when and what kind of support they can expect to have with their new position.
- Schedule a follow-up check-in with the employee at the end of the first week and month.
- Schedule your employee to attendee a Sexual Harassment Training.
- Other administrative/HR tasks to complete:
-File a new hire report with your state’s Department of Labor
-Report your new hire to your Workers’ Compensation carrier
-Enter your employee into the payroll system.
During this week, we recommend you continue with training and connection with the new employee. Let them navigate around various softwares and website platforms to empower them. Other ideas to promote connection during this week include:
- Assign them a mentor or buddy who can be their informal guide to help support the new employee. Just be sure to make sure the mentor is someone who enjoys working at your organization!
- Ensure that other staff members follow through with any of their onboarding responsibilities, such as making sure everyone met the new hire that was supposed to.
- Check-in with your new hire. Acknowledge that it can be overwhelming in the beginning of a new job, but don’t be afraid to assign work. Most new team members are excited to get working. Find out how your new employee is feeling about their work. You can ask questions including: What strikes you most about your new job? What aspect of your job excites you? And what aspect of your job worries you?
Keep your expectations low in terms of output for the new employee during the first week. The majority of their time will be spent adjusting and learning.
Schedule a meeting with your new employee and use it as a time to hear how the adjustment has been doing. We suggest that you be very intentional about this. Don’t just ask “How’s everything going?” Use this time to dig a little deeper & ask questions such as:
- What has been challenging as you adjust to your new job?”
- What has gone smoothly?”
- Is there anything about this position/organization that has surprised you?
- What kind of additional support or training do you need from me?
During the first month, expect modest deliverables from the new hire. They are learning a lot and it takes time for most new employees to get comfortable with new responsibilities and new management styles. Give them space to explore and grow confident in their new duties. By the end of the first three months, the new employee can be expected to be performing a normal workload.
After 90 days, have the supervisor provide formal feedback on the new hire’s performance, while also soliciting feedback from the employee. During this meeting, any issues should be addressed and all parties should be confident that the new hire is poised for success in their role.
Remember to build opportunities for feedback into the on-boarding process. Encourage the new hire to note any ideas that they have for improving the operations, strategy, or culture of the organization. Their fresh eyes can always give good feedback! The new hire may or may not feel comfortable sharing these immediately, but it is important that the organization is open to the impressions of someone new. Throughout the first three months, stay mindful of opportunities to integrate new hires into their work groups and into the organization as a whole.
While this process is an investment of time and resources, we believe that the cost/benefit is clear and worthwhile. When an organization doesn’t take the time to successfully and intentionally onboard a new employee, they run the risk of beginning the hiring process all over again with an estimated total expense three times the position’s annual salary.
By implementing a thoughtful new employee onboarding process, you will increase employee satisfaction, create a space for optimal performances, and ensure long-term retention in the role. Effective on-barding is a great way to show your entire team that you value their wellbeing and want them — and your organization — to thrive.