We all know how time consuming and exhausting it is to read through hundreds of resumes and interview candidates day after day. After all of that hard work, finding a new employee who fits the company culture and has great work experience is so rewarding. That feeling of euphoria though can turn to panic when you newly-hired employee turns in their resignation just a few weeks later.
Keeping employees is one of the biggest challenges we hear about from the small business leaders we work with. Improving your onboarding experience by helping the new employee get up to speed quickly and making transition a positive experience will help you retain more of your new employees.
Here are a few tips to help you get started immediately:
Improve your onboarding experience
- Ask your current employees (especially those that started within the last year) how long it took for them to feel like they were a part of the team. This will give you an idea of how much your current onboarding system needs to be improved.
- Have employees who will be working closely with the new hire contact them before they start, just to introduce themselves and welcome them to the team.
- Connect with the new employee on LinkedIn and encourage their coworkers to do the same.
- Make sure the new employee has a reviewed a copy of their job description so they know what will be expected of them.
- If you have not already done so, introduce the employee to their direct supervisor and provide them with contact information such as phone and email.
Get the new employee up to speed quickly
- Provide the employee with an idea of what they can expect on their first day. Where should they come when they arrive? Who should they ask for? What should they wear? Will they be provided a lunch?
- If you have an employee newsletter or even some marketing materials that explain a little about your company, send those to new employee before their first day.
- Help the employee understand some of the jargon associated with your industry you’re your company. New employees may not be familiar with the way your company communicates. Providing them with some of these common terms helps them understand and communicate better early on.
- Make sure the employee has the tools they need to perform their job.
Extend the onboarding experience beyond the first day week or even month
- Remember there is no set time for how long an employee is fully assimilated in their new position. It could take up to a year if the employee is new to the company and has a challenging position. If an employee is taking on a new role, it may only take them six months.
- Check in with your new employee frequently to make sure they are not overloaded with work. This will also help you give and receive feedback in real-time.
Research shows that being more intentional and structured during the on-boarding process can help stave off early turnover. A case study by Corning Glass Works, for example, found that employees who attended a structured orientation program were 69 percent more likely to stay with the company for three years. That’s probably because good onboarding sets clear expectations for employees and equips them for success, which means they’re less likely to encounter surprises that cause stress and dissatisfaction in their work.
If you are looking for some additional resources improve your onboarding experience, check out our Onboarding Toolkit. Also check out our on-demand webinar, Why Are Your New Hires Leaving So Soon?: Improving Your Onboarding Experience.