The tie between onboarding and employee engagement is tight, increasing an employee’s confidence, commitment, satisfaction, and sense of belonging to the workplace. The more strategic and meaningful your onboarding action plan, the better it will be for your collaborators and the organization.
Here are 8 onboarding actions to engage your new hires:
1. Onboarding begins with recruitment. Your organization’s vision, mission, brand, and story are essential pieces of onboarding. A potential hire for Google probably doesn’t have the same profile as a candidate looking for work at Morgan Stanley. The way your recruit, how you recruit (everything from the wording in your ads to images) tell a story about your organization and the people you want working there.
2. Your website tells your story. Your website is a portal to your culture. In the careers section of your website, provide as much information as possible about your workplace.
3. Get a head start on paperwork when you send out an offer of employment. Include an employee handbook and access to fill out all the necessary forms before your new hire walks through the front doors. This gives them time to read, research, and come in with questions regarding policies.
4. Prepare your workplace. Notify the team the new hire is arriving. Assign them a mentor. Ensure their immediate supervisor is present. Set up a meet-and-greet coffee break for the new hire’s first day. Within the first few days, provide early career support to get a picture of your new hire’s personal and professional goals.
5. Prepare the new hire’s workspace. Set up their computer, phone system. Configure the email accounts. Provide informational handouts for software and other programs. If they have a desk, give them a placard. If they have an office, make sure their name is on the door. Welcome the new hire with the way you’ve prepared their space. This is where they belong.
6. Get, and provide, candid feedback. Survey your new hire at the end of the first week, and every month for a period of three months. Ask meaningful questions, depending on the stage of the onboarding process: How did your first week of work meet with your expectations? What skills and/or tools do you need to make work more effective?
7. Set short, medium, and long-term goals right away. Creating a culture of accomplishment begins before hiring – it should be an expectation of all workers, including new hires. The sooner an employee gets up to speed, the better they will feel and more productive they will be. We’ve all had that experience with the “new employee” who continues to be new after eight months. Hold supervisors accountable to getting their new hires producing, and if things are stalled, you need to figure out what’s going wrong.
8. Follow through on commitments. By establishing clear performance expectations with metrics, everyone is held accountable for the work they do. As a manager, you’ve got to top that list. Review your written agreements and follow up on action items. Set reminders to follow up with skills assessments, disciplinary actions and more. By following through, from the get-go, your new employees will have a baseline for their actions and work.
Through an onboarding action plan, new hires are more likely to feel part of the team right away, giving them the tools they need to connect and engage with the organization. Increase your organization’s stick value. Decrease turnover. And help your organization, and its collaborators, grow and prosper.