Onboarding

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Onboarding is a term used in the business world to define the process of welcoming a new employee and helping them to become productive in the company. Now that you have made your selection and brought a new employee into the company, it is time for them to begin the onboarding process by being trained, mentored and learn how doing well in their position can benefit the company as a whole.

Training and Orientation

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The company orientation is a process that is used to welcome and introduce the new employee to the company and what they are all about. It often reviews company policies, procedures, outlines the role of the employee. Here the employee can ask questions and learn what tools they will need on the job (name badge, dress code, employee handbook), as well as making introductions and touring the facility. Training usually involves the exact position the employee was hired for and focuses more on the job itself rather than the entire company. This is normally done with a trainer or a coworker, who will help the employee know what they are supposed to do. At some point during training, it is advised that the new employee have a meeting with their new manager as a ‘welcome aboard’ meeting. During this time, the manager and employee can go over any forms needed, define the employee’s schedule and shifts, and cover any information missed in orientation. The more prepared the employee feels in the beginning, the more likely they are to succeed later.

Mentoring

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It should always be remembered that no candidate is perfect and will always need some time to adjust to a new work setting. In addition, this new employee will need guidance from management and coworkers to help them understand their role in the company and how the team works together. One form of mentoring is assigning a coworker to work with the employee for a certain amount of time, monitoring their progress and teaching them as they work. At the end of the mentoring period, the coworker can work with management to review the employee and see if they are ready to go out on their own. Other options include a mentorship program with several mentors or creating a peer group to help assist each other at all times. Whichever method, or methods, work(s) best for the employee, never underestimate the benefit of mentoring new employees in the company before “letting them loose”.

30-60-90 Day Reviews

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When an employee is hired, a probationary period is often assigned to see how they perform in the first few months on the job. This is the time to assess an employee on the job and how they do on their own. Standard probation periods include 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days. At these check points, it is important to sit down with the employee, provide feedback, review with them what they are doing right or wrong and where you can offer some tips for improvement. Before each period begins, ensure that the employee knows what is expected of them, such as performance markers and completed training. Help them make goals for each review and determine how they can work toward them and achieve them.

Tips for review markers:

  • 30 days – review introductory information and gauge how they are adjusting.
  • 60 days – touch back on what was reviewed in the last meeting, review current progress, and make goals for the next meeting.
  • 90 days – Review the past 90 days and how the employee is working with the rest of the team, determine if they have met their goals – why or why not?; Make goals for the future and determine if further scheduled reviews will be needed.

Make Them Feel Welcome

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Being the new hire at work can be just as terrifying as being the new kid at school. But having some sort of ‘welcome wagon’ can help the transition go smoothly and make the employee feel more at home. Employee retention is the goal and can be hard to do if the employee wants to leave as soon as they arrive.  Remind current employees that the new employee is a person too and to not treat them as just another set of job functions. Take the employee around and ask everyone to introduce themselves and become acquainted with one another. As the new employee begins their job responsibilities, let them know that you are available for any questions or problems that they have and ensure them that your door is always open. Remember that hiring new employees can be very expensive when you factor in the cost of interviews, training and new supplies for them, so it is important to focus on retaining the employee and trying to prevent them from leaving by making them feel more welcome.

Tips for welcoming employees:

  • Organize necessary paperwork, such as handbooks and policies 
  • Make introductions between employees
  • Ease the employee into duties and responsibilities
  • Be available for questions and assistance

Case Study

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Samuel welcomed his new employee, Melody, to the business office department on her first day. He wanted her to feel like part of the team, so one of the first things he did was give her a tour of the facility and should her around. He sat down with her and reviewed the company policies and procedures and told her about some of the things they do in the office. Samuel thought a great way to get started was to tell her about the 30, 60, and 90 day reviews and what they mean for her. Together, they made goals for her to reach and determined what she needed to learn in the upcoming weeks. When Melody was ready to go out on the floor to work, Samuel assigned one of the other employees to act as a mentor and help Melody out with as she learned. But Samuel reminded her that she could always come to him as well if she had any problems or concerns. He hoped she felt right at home and would enjoy working with his team.