Do your new hires quit after a few months on the job? The problem may be your onboarding process. If you don’t make your new hires feel welcome, they may decide to work somewhere else. Since turnover is expensive, you can’t be replacing employees all the time. When you hire new employees, you need them to stay on the job for at least a couple of years.
To grow your small business efficiently, you need to improve your onboarding process. If you don’t have a formal onboarding process, you may not know where to start. Here are seven best practices for managing the onboarding process.
1. Follow a Consistent Onboarding Process
Consistency is key for success in many areas of your business, and onboarding is no exception. For best results, determine an ideal onboarding process for your company, and follow it for every new hire.
You don’t want to thoroughly onboard some employees while forgetting about others. Everyone should feel equally welcome, and consistent processes will help with that.
2. Automate the Onboarding Process
It’s easy to forget key onboarding steps. For example, you could forget to send one of your new hires HR paperwork on time. You could send the paperwork but forget to include some key documents. Automating the onboarding process can solve these problems. With your human resource information system, you can follow automated workflows for onboarding. This ensures your new hires get all the paperwork required.
3. Don’t Wait until Employees Start Work
Onboarding should begin before employees start work. If employees don’t receive their HR paperwork ahead of time, they could spend their first day filling out forms and studying the employee handbook. They could be confused about things like where to park their cars, what your dress code is, or where to eat lunch.
This type of information should be sent to employees before they show up for their first day.
4. Have Work Equipment Ready for Employees
When employees arrive for their first day at work, everything should be ready for them. Equipment like computers and phones should already be set up and ready to go. Employees shouldn’t have to wait around for you to find them an office or set up their computer logins.
If employees’ work equipment isn’t ready, they may assume your company is disorganized.
5. Introduce New Employees to Their Team
Your new employees can meet their coworkers on their own, but they shouldn’t have to. As the owner of the business, you should facilitate these introductions. Take your new employees on a tour of the office and introduce them to all the members of their immediate team.
If your company is larger, new employees’ immediate managers can handle the introductions.
6. Clearly Communicate Employees’ Responsibilities
Do you know what you’re supposed to do at work? Only half of employees say they do. When employees don’t understand what they’re supposed to do, it’s hard for them to meet their performance goals. Set clear expectations for your new employees during onboarding. Let them know what their responsibilities are and ensure they understand your expectations.
7. Make Onboarding a Long-Term Process
Onboarding isn’t something you can finish in one day. Even the best new hires won’t be up to speed after a single day of onboarding. In fact, according to TalentWise and TINYpulse research, it takes an average of eight months to fully onboard a new employee.
During the extended onboarding period, you could pair your new hires with mentors. If they have questions, they’ll know they can ask their mentors. You could also give your new hires small projects to help them get settled, and give them larger projects as they get more comfortable.