In our recent post, Deliver an Onboarding Experience Fit for a Rockstar, we shared four ways HR and talent leaders can improve new hire onboarding to drive employee engagement, retention and productivity. While HR and talent leaders play an obviously critical role in leading and setting the tone of new hire onboarding, hiring managers play just as important a role. Managers are the ones on the front lines who have (or should have) the most one-on-one interaction with new hires, so their approach to onboarding can make or break a new hire’s experience with your organization. After all, half of us have quit a job because of a bad boss. So what can individual managers do to better onboard their new hires?
One study found that almost half of the new hires surveyed said their manager failed to send a welcome message to colleagues before their arrival. And nearly 20 percent didn’t have a workstation their first day on the job. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s probably not the best way to make a new employee feel welcomed. In this post we’ll highlight simple things managers can do throughout an employee’s first year to successfully onboard their new hire. We also asked a few managers for their advice on what they’ve found is most effective when it comes to onboarding a new employee.
Here is a checklist of things hiring managers can do that, although simple, go a long in way in providing new hires with a great onboarding experience:
1-2 Weeks Prior to Start Date:
"If possible, invite your new hire in for a coffee or out for an informal lunch to meet with some of the key team members prior to her/his start date. It will ease some of those first-day jitters and make day one that much smoother, while giving the rest of your team time to get to know their newest colleague." – Heather Mann, VP, Guardian Labs
"The first touch points with a new hire are very important and will help determine their success with the company. You can never underestimate the smallest of gestures to welcome them and make them feel comfortable." – Dalyn Wertz, Executive Director, Indirect Channel Management, Comcast Business
“I try to have at least 30 minutes of check-ins each day for the first two weeks. It's also really important to invite the new team member to as many of your meetings as possible. Shadowing is a great way to learn how the teams work together, who does what and how meetings are run.” – Randi Stock, Vice President, Consumer Engagement Marketing, Everything But the House
First 90 Days:
“A clear plan of what is expected from the new hire in the first 90 days is critical. Make sure to set up a weekly check-in to get feedback on how the employee is adjusting to their new position. Are they getting what they need from a resources standpoint in the organization? Are there any roadblocks keeping them from achieving their 90-day plans? Do they need any support from you? Keep the lines of communication open so you have a good pulse on how they are progressing. By doing this, you can also provide feedback on anything the new hire needs to do differently.” – Alex Vaccaro, Sr. Director of Marketing Programs, Saba Software
"The first year will set the tone and pace of the relationship between the employee and the employer. Encourage an open dialogue to establish the correct rapport and tone of trust and sharing. Establish a cadence for checking in and providing feedback; this will increase confidence, pride and drive the right behavior and results." – Dalyn Wertz, Executive Director, Indirect Channel Management, Comcast Business
A great onboarding experience really sets the stage for an employee’s tenure at your organization, but it’s not just the employee that benefits from improved onboarding. Manager satisfaction increases by 20 percent when their new hire has a structured onboarding program, and organizations report better onboarding results in higher retention, performance and productivity. By performing these simple “to-do’s” throughout a new hire’s first year, managers can help facilitate an effective onboarding strategy and set their new employee up for a successful career at your organization.