As the old saying goes, "you never get a second chance to make a good first impression". For new employees, it's pretty simple: Show up on time, dress for success, bring your boss a coffee - wait, what? But, what about a new employee's first impression of their new employer? If you think about it, like any relationship, it's a two-way street. In fact, employee onboarding is a lot like a first date.
One of the most effective ways for employers to impress new employees is by providing a great onboarding experience. The purpose of any onboarding program is to welcome new employees to your organization and help them become high performing in their new roles as quickly as possible.
Five tips for a brilliant onboarding experience
Here are some key things your organization can do to ensure your new employees and your organization are getting they most possible out of the onboarding experience.
1) Extend onboarding
activities beyond the initial three months.
Research has found that if you extend onboarding activities from six months to a year, your process can be far more effective in familiarizing new employees with your culture and supporting their high performance. This will require some planning, so create a checklist to make sure everyone knows what to do (and by everyone I mean HR, the hiring manager, and the new employee). Remember, you're not just welcoming new employees, you're laying the foundation for a great working relationship that will last.
2) Communicate role expectations up-front.
Don't just assume your new employee remembers what was outlined for the role in the job posting and what was discussed during the interview process. The details may be fuzzy by the time they arrive on the first day, which makes it really important to clearly communicate role expectations to new employees. Checking in frequently will help ensure new employees understand what's expected of them.
3) Invite the employee to communicate his or her value and to contribute early on.
When organizations give new employees opportunities to showcase their skills as part of their onboarding process, they see increased job attitudes, performance and retention. Think about it: You hired the new employee for a specific reason. You saw something in them in the interview process that made them stand out from the rest. Why not make the most of this?
4) Integrate learning into the onboarding process.
Research has shown that exposing new employees to selected learning activities during the onboarding process helps them to adjust to their new role, positively impacting job satisfaction and retention and accelerating productivity. This also helps build an attitude of learning into your culture.
5) Set the employee up for success with reviews.
Good habits start early! Start an ongoing, two-way dialogue about expectations, performance and development by conducting performance reviews 30, 60 and 90 days after the new employee's start date. By doing this, you ensure the employee gets the early direction, feedback, coaching and development they need to succeed and to become high performing in their new role.
How great employees welcome new employees
Did you find these tips helpful? Our new eBook, How Great Organizations Welcome New Employees, explores these tips and other best practices every organization should follow to build strong and lasting working relationships with new employees.