In pursuit of efficiency and energy preservation, managers are often in search of ways to do more with less. Working smarter, not harder is a universal goal, but the execution of that goal often involves cutting corners. While there’s a very necessary time and place for saying “no” to requests, there’s one activity that should never become a low priority.
Onboarding new employees can be exhausting. From the complex tasks such as explaining layered strategies to time-consuming needs like giving access to key resources, it can be tempting to cut corners or delegate responsibility. However, the investment in time spent onboarding new talent will always pay off. Accepting a new job creates feelings of excitement and anxiety. New employees spend their first day trying to show that they will be a valuable addition to the team, while also looking for reassurance that they made the right decision. The first impression created on day one either cements a new employee’s commitment to the organization or plants seeds of doubt to be explored in the coming weeks. When cracks form in the foundation of their excitement, they grow deeper with each negative experience.
Strong onboarding has been shown to reduce turnover and increase retention. Remember that most new hires interviewed with several companies before accepting your offer. Commonly, just after starting a new position, late offers come in from other companies and recruiters continue reaching out with new openings. If your new hire begins to doubt if they’ve made the right decision, they’ll feel less guilty about resigning after a few days than they will after a few months. Getting the first week right will reduce early turnover.
Effective onboarding also increases engagement. Employees who feel welcomed, valued, and are given the appropriate resources/knowledge to be successful are more committed to an organization than those who had to fend for themselves.
Finally, successful onboarding improves performance. The better the onboarding, the faster the new hire will ramp up and begin operating at peak performance. Both the immediate results of effective on-boarding and the long-term implications for retention and engagement are undeniable.
Before the new hire’s first day, ensure you have a plan in place for an impactful onboarding experience.
- Test all of their equipment to make sure everything is set up properly. Spending a half-day trouble-shooting access and log-in issues wastes valuable time and creates an impression that onboarding was a low priority.
- Provide a handy list of where they can find all of the tools they need to be successful.
- Set up meetings with key contacts to greet the new hire
- Spend time sharing what makes your company unique- culture, vision, strategy, etc.
- Set expectations and milestones so the new hire will never wonder if they’re on track or not
- Set weekly check-ins for the first few months
- Connect the new hire with a buddy or mentor that they can go to for advice or help