Onboarding new employees is a busy time. Everything from the interview and hiring to the first week of work takes planning and effort. However, when you prioritise your onboarding process, you ensure the success of your company by retaining employees for longer.
Did you know that 43% of UK millennials plan to leave their jobs within two years and only 28% expect to stay in their current position beyond five years? Hiring new employees isn’t just about getting new people through the door and to sign a contract of employment, it’s about welcoming them into your company culture and supporting them in the furthering of their career development. If you can do that, your employees will stay with your company longer and commit themselves to help your organisation grow.
So, let’s take a look at how you can support new employees during the onboarding process.
What Does the Onboarding Process Include?
Before we jump into the advice section of this article, it’s firstly important you understand what onboarding really means and what it includes.
The onboarding process is about welcoming new employees into your company and daily routine. During this process you will outline everything from their role in the company and your mission statement to sick leave protocols and the office dress code. The onboarding process can also include:
Introducing yourself and members of your team
Explaining company policies
Sharing your company mission statement, vision and goals
Outlining the duties and responsibilities of their role
Discussing contracts and the terms and conditions of their employment
Where the office is located
Who their main point of contact is
And anything else you feel is necessary. The whole point of the onboarding process is to help new employees understand your company and their role in it as quickly as possible. The sooner you can do that, the sooner your new hire will feel comfortable and integrated within the team.
How to Support New Employees During Onboarding
Now that you have a better understanding of the onboarding process and what it involves, let’s take a look at how you can support new employees during onboarding.
1. Provide an Onboarding Buddy
For many people, the first day at a new job can feel like the first day of school all over again. It can be lonely and isolating. So, to avoid mounting anxiety in your new hires, it can help to provide an onboarding buddy to support them through the first few weeks of employment.
According to ChartHop, “a sense of social connectedness - the quality and number of connections one has with family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and even strangers - was significantly more important in determining a person’s happiness than any other factor.”
Simply providing the support of an onboarding buddy who can answer any questions, offer a point of contact, and help explain the ins and outs of your company can go a long way towards supporting new hires to feel happy, confident, and comfortable in their new role.
2. Supply all Required Technology and Office Equipment
If you’re going to go to the trouble of hiring new employees, you should supply them with the required equipment needed to do their job well. While it can be expensive to invest in new laptops and computer software, it will pay off significantly.
According to Counterpoint, “Achieving maximum uptime, keeping all data secure and backed up, as well as staying abreast of the latest security trends and updates can take its toll on any managers’ schedule.” Ensuring your teams are provided with the required technology, software, and office equipment will make sure everyone can do their job effectively while your company data stays secure.
By supplying your employees with the technology and office equipment they need to do their jobs, you help increase employee productivity and satisfaction. What’s more, you will ensure:
Everyone is working off the same system
Your organisation is protected from unsecured devices, viruses, hackers, and data leaks
Your employees are able to work from reliable devices
You can choose systems and software based on the individual needs of each team.
3. Maintain Clear and Regular Communication
When you welcome a new hire onto your team, it can be easy to communicate plenty during the first day and then leave them to it. This results in many new employees feeling abandoned and overwhelmed. To avoid this, it’s vital you maintain clear and regular communication with new hires throughout the onboarding process and in the weeks and years to come.
Take the time to properly welcome new employees with a team lunch so they can get to know their colleagues in a relaxed environment. Be sure to check in on a daily basis until they feel comfortable and settled within their new role. Maintaining clear and regular communication is one of the best ways to welcome new employees and help them feel connected with your company sooner than they otherwise would.
4. Offer Personal Time
Starting a new job and taking in all the information that comes with that can feel overwhelming at times. That’s why it can serve your new employees to have some personal time carved out in the day. This lets them familiarise themselves with everything from their contract and computer to the details of their role and the members of their team.
By giving new hires some personal time to collect their thoughts and organise themselves, you’ll find they feel more comfortable and relaxed by the end of the day. Sometimes, we all need a little time to ourselves to think and this is especially true for that first week in a new job!
As you can see, offering support to new employees during the onboarding process is essential to ensure they feel part of the team. We hope this article helps you improve your onboarding process, for both your existing and new employees, so you can maintain a happy company culture and boost productivity.
This blog was kindly written for us by Gemma Williams. Gemma works remotely from as many coffee shops as she can find. She has gained experience in a number of HR roles but now turns her focus toward growing her personal brand and connecting with leading experts in the industry. Connect with her on Twitter: @GemmaWilliamsHR.