So, you have hired a new employee. Now what? Having a solid onboarding process in place is an important part of your hiring process. The real question is how do you design and develop a successful onboarding process?
There are a lot of answers to that question, but here are the basics to get you started.
Who doesn’t love working their way through a pile of paperwork? It may be boring and time-consuming, but this is a step you cannot miss when onboarding a new employee. There is information you will have to gather and documents you will need to have signed. That said, there are ways that you can make this process easier.
Using an application like Gusto can help streamline your process. This will both reduce your workload and make things less daunting for your new hire. Another benefit of using a service like this is it makes it easier to keep the important information organized and secure.
This is also where you will introduce the employee handbook. If you don’t have one already, you will want to make one. Using other company’s handbooks can be helpful, but make sure that your handbook accurately reflects your company. Highlight your mission and your core values. Make it clear what the rules and expectations are for everyone in the company. Outline any and all company-wide policies and procedures. By having a single document with this information clearly laid out, you can be assured that everyone will be on the same page. And don’t be afraid to update it regularly.
The more clear and straightforward things are, the quicker your new hires will be able to settle into their jobs.
Onboarding to the team
When someone starts a new job, there is always a learning curve. Different companies use different technologies and have different methodologies. It can feel overwhelming at times, but it comes with the territory.
While you know your systems like the back of your hand, your new employee may take some time adjusting. It helps when you take time during the onboarding process to make sure they get set up correctly. Give them time to familiarize themselves with the tools and how they work. Show them how they will be using these programs in their day-to-day work.
This is also a good time to introduce them to the people they will be working with. They may already know some of them from the interview process, but that is not the same as having the time to really get to know them.
In a way, this part of the onboarding process takes longer than you might think. The setup can possibly be done in a day, but the settling in can take longer. It helps to provide resources for new employees as they are learning their new roles. Make sure they know which employees they can talk to if they have questions, as well as who to go to if they encounter a problem.
Give them the time and tools they need and your new employees will flourish!
Onboarding to protect your business
As we mentioned earlier, onboarding is where you ensure your new hires have the training needed to do their job. It is good to do this with their supervisor or another experienced employee there to make sure they are understanding your processes. Knowledge is power, so give them the space to ask clarifying questions. They may even end up teaching you a new way to approach things.
On top of company-wide policies and procedures, you should also have specific ones for different departments. Having well-documented practices/expectations for important business functions eliminates the chance for error or confusion. It also makes it easier for new employees to get the hang of things.
Adding in some compliance training can help people understand the ‘why’ behind some of those practices. You can put that next to your company’s code of conduct and code of ethics. When everyone has a very clear picture of the rules and expectations, they are more likely to follow them.
Don’t let important details slip through the cracks. Make the policies and procedures clear and accessible. Empower your employees with the knowledge to make the right decisions.
Evolving your process
As with all systems, there is always room for improvement. Your company is growing and evolving, so your onboarding process should as well. Get feedback from people who have recently gone through it about how you can improve it. They can help you find weak spots or areas where things could be handled better.
Different departments may need different approaches to onboarding, and that is okay. In fact, it is perfectly normal. While the key paperwork is the same, the training and policies may differ. Be on the lookout for ways to optimize these processes so they best fit the departments. You never know what new thing will impact how you run your business. There is always something new to learn.