Employee orientation centres around and exists to help the individual employee, but it is the company that ultimately reaps the benefits of this practice. Consider the following benefits of proper orientation:
- Reduces costs associated with learning on the job
- Saves co-workers and supervisors time training the new employee, thereby increasing production
- Increases morale and reduces turnover by showing the employee he/she is valued
According to IDC, U.S. and U.K. employees cost businesses an estimated $37 billion every year because they do not fully understand their jobs. Effective onboarding helps workers understand their roles and the company they work for, thereby significantly cutting these losses.
Here are 10 Onboarding tips we hope you would find useful
- Same title, different roles. Few things are more disappointing than the realization that the job you thought you were hired to do is sorely different than what you’re actually doing. As an employer, misrepresenting your employee’s new role destroys trust in you immediately, after which no amount of orientation efforts can undo the initial damage.
- Clear written plan of employee objectives and responsibilities. A written plan detailing objectives, strategy and expectations of future results helps diminish any confusion about a new employee’s job functions and instead opens up the floor to discuss concerns or new opportunities.
- Undivided attention. Letting email, phone calls or other employees distract you during orientation sessions sends the message, “I’m just not that into you” and kills morale. Prepare a checklist of subjects to review with your new employees, set aside the appropriate amount of time to do it, and let others know that you are not to be interrupted while you are orienting your new workers. This gives new employees the message that they are the most important item on your agenda.
- Have all paperwork ready. Make sure all administrative forms—such as employment, direct deposit, and benefits—are ready to be completed on day one so you don’t have to waste time dealing with it later, and so that your employee can start getting these important matters taken care of right away.
- Introducing to the neighbours. Provide staff members with the new employee’s résumé and job description and advise them to follow a meeting format that includes sharing a description of their own positions, ways in which their roles interact with that of the new hire, and how they might expect to work together in the future.
- Ready workstation. An empty workstation is to a new employee what an unkempt home is to a houseguest. Before the employee arrives on day one, stock his or her workstation with everything from paper and pens to keys and, if possible, business cards. Make sure the phone and computer, complete with voicemail and e-mail accounts, are set up. Leave a copy of an organizational chart, staff list, and phone directory on the new hire’s desk.
- Schedule one-on-one time to ensure you connect regularly with the new employee. If you can’t do this on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, schedule meetings to provide feedback at 30- and 90-day checkpoints, or before a semi-annual review.
- Strike a balance. The first day is always tough. Vary the first day’s schedule by including less formal gatherings between meetings. Arrange for a group of staff members to treat the new hire to lunch on the first day to provide a little non-meeting relief and levity.
- Clarify the company culture. Again, to avoid future confusion (or embarrassment), provide the employee with company information, policies – including dress code and late policies – and benefits. If your organization has a new employee handbook, leave that on the desk as well.
- Think beyond the first few days. After 90 days, request formal feedback on the new hire’s performance from his or her supervisor, and be sure to solicit feedback from the employee as well. Take this opportunity to address any issues of concern as well as note any accomplishments so that all parties are confident that the new hire is poised for success in his or her role.
Article contributed by Adrian Tan – Managing Director of RecruitPlus Consulting Pte Ltd.
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