The onboarding process shouldn’t begin on your new hire’s first day, but rather several days in advance. By providing them with an employee handbook and necessary paperwork ahead of time, you’ll allow them the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the information. It’s also a good idea to prepare a “new hire” kit for their first day. This could include a;
- map of the office
- schedule for the first week (so they know if there are meetings or special events)
- checklist of the steps to take in choosing insurance and benefits
- cheat sheet of who does what, where, and when
- important phone numbers (IT, who to call when out sick, etc.)
It’s also useful to have someone that is willing to volunteer to mentor the new hire. You want to be careful when making this selection so that the person chosen is experienced within the team and positively engaged within the company. There’s nothing worse than having someone a few months overdue for retirement as your mentor.
It’s important to have realistic expectations for a new hire. Unless you’ve laid the groundwork, you can’t expect them to be successful. It takes time to learn routines and procedures, and new hires need to feel comfortable asking for help and admitting when they don’t know something. As much as possible, it’s important to provide information that’s written down. If you verbally tell someone a million different things (which is what it can feel like when you’re new to something), there’s no way they’re going to remember it all effectively. You should also try to check in frequently at the beginning, and then slowly taper off.
When you check in, don’t just ask “How are things going?”, because most people will tell you that it’s going fine even if they feel completely lost and overwhelmed. It’s just human nature. Try to have specific questions or actionable suggestions in order to spark a conversation with more substance. A good plan is to check in at the end of the first day and find out how things went and if there’s anything you can do to help make their second day better. Check in again on day three and at the end of the first week to make sure things are going well, and then taper off from there to once a week, then once a month. By continuing the “check-in” process beyond the first few days it tells the new hire that you don’t expect them to magically be proficient within a week and that it’s still okay to have questions or struggles.
Starting a new job can be overwhelming, so it’s important to be as supportive as possible during this process. Summerlin-Roberts provides new hire onboarding processes that can make it easier to wade through the choices they’ll have to make for insurance and benefits. Meaning it’s one less thing they have to worry about.