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Onboarding and Inducting New Staff

ONBOARDING AND INDUCTING NEW STAFF

Onboarding refers to the ways in which new employees acquire the knowledge, skills, and behaviours they need to become effective members of your organisation. Broader than induction, onboarding includes organisational socialisation and aims to increase the likelihood that new team members will successfully integrate into the workplace.

  • Onboarding starts with the ‘employer brand’ you created to attract candidates. Your onboarding and induction process needs to be consistent with that message.
  • Share ample information about your workplace culture in the attraction and recruitment process so the candidate will already know a lot about your organisation.
  • Send necessary legal forms with the letter of offer so they don’t have to sort all this out on their first day.
  • Have their tech sorted out (emails, access etc)
  • Examples of culture and work – videos etc
  • With an effective onboarding program, you should aim to present basic information in an easy-to-digest fashion, so that a rookie can turn to the more demanding aspects of his or her job.
  • The way to do that is to consider the small, logistical details that add up to a sense of comfort and familiarity one has in a workplace. This is good not just for a new hire’s peace of mind, but also for the overall health and well-being of your business. ‘If a person is new and doesn’t know how to use the phone system and accidentally hangs up on a potential client, that client is not going to care that they were new,’ says John Sullivan. ‘They’re just going to be angry.’
  • Here’s a list of things you should have ready by the time your new hires walk in the door: 
  • Send out an e-mail to everyone in the office so they’re prepared to welcome a new employee.
  • Get the new worker a security badge if he or she needs one.
  • Provide a name plate on his or her desk or office door as a tangible sign that you’ve prepared the space.
  • Set up the computer.
  • Configure the new employee’s e-mail accounts.
  • Provide guides for any necessary software he or she will be using.
  • Set up his or her phone system, and provide instructions for using voicemail.
  • Have a stack of business cards waiting.
  • And here’s a list of questions you should answer for the new employee voluntarily:
  • What should he or she bring? (Telling them to bring two forms of ID to verify paperwork is a good idea.)
  • Where should he or she park?
  • Who should he or she ask for in the lobby?
  • Where are the restrooms?
  • Where is the copy machine? (And how does it work?)
  • Where is the cafeteria?
  • Who should the employee talk to if he or she has additional questions? (It’s a good idea to assign a co-worker or a hiring manager as a mentor to check-in with the new hire throughout at least the first week.)
  • A new employee’s immediate supervisor should also be present on the first day. ‘The worst thing you can do is have new hires show up when their immediate supervisor isn’t there for three or four days,’ Sullivan says. ‘It’s like getting married and not having your spouse on your honeymoon.’
  • Individualise the process: ask the new employee how he or she wants to be managed. Ask what their personal goals are while in this role.
  • Make sure the new employee knows how he or she can and will individually contribute to the organisation. What are their key objectives?
  • Explain the performance appraisal system so they don’t waste time on things that don’t matter
  • Support the development of social relationships in the organisation – have lunch!
  • Continue over the span of a few months – get feedback from a range of people, including the new hire.

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