Onboarding Preparation

C:\Users\Darren\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\3YJGCFYP\MC910216358[1].png

Every successful program demands preparation, and onboarding is no exception. While it is important to make employees feel welcome, the environment needs to remain professional. Before implementing an employee onboarding program, make sure that each person involved understands what is expected of him or her.

Professionalism

C:\Users\Darren\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\EOAYJ771\MC900437547[1].wmf

Onboarding needs to be a professional program. Companies frequently ignore onboarding responsibilities and simply assign the task of orienting a new hire to the least busy employee. This can cause confusion, impede the onboarding process, and give the impression that the company is not well run. It is essential that everyone involved in the onboarding program remain friendly and professional. 

Professional activities:   

  • Make sure everyone knows that the new hire is coming.
  • Choose someone to greet the new hire, and make sure he or she is on time.
  • HR should have the paperwork prepared in advance.
  • Designate a mentor ahead of time.

Clarity

C:\Users\Darren\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\EOAYJ771\MC900442125[1].png

Be clear about expectations with new hires and with everyone involved in the onboarding process. The new hire’s expectations need to be communicated. There should also be clarity about who is responsible for the acclimation and training of the new hire. Each company and each position will have its own needs and responsibilities, which will determine the onboarding and training process. Determine everything you need to clarify before hiring a new employee.

Clarify:

  • Goals: Clarify both company and personal goals.
  • Expectations: Communicate expectations to the new hire, HR, and mentor.
  • Culture: Describe the company culture. 

Designating a Mentor

C:\Users\Darren\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\EOAYJ771\MC900071116[1].wmf

Mentoring is important to onboarding success. Designating the correct mentor can mean the difference between success and failure. The mentoring relationship will help determine how easily new hires transition into their roles at the company. Consider carefully who you choose to mentor new employees; do not just choose people at random. There are certain qualifications that all mentors need to have in order to be effective. 

Qualifications:

  • Time: Employees who are already overworked cannot effectively mentor another.
  • Training: Is the employee qualified to teach someone else? Experience does not equal the ability to teach.
  • Role model: Make sure that you choose a mentor who has qualities you would like to see in other employees.

After designating a mentor, monitor the relationship closely. If they do not work together well, you may need to designate another mentor.

Training

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\MEDIA\CAGCAT10\j0301252.wmf

Onboarding should improve the training process. The people responsible for the training, however, must take the training seriously. Feedback is essential to the training process. Supervisors need to meet with new hires weekly to check on their performance and provide feedback. Those directly involved in the training process need to teach new hires and give them helpful feedback to improve performance. 

Training Tips:

  • Train Tasks: Teach employees the tasks associated with their positions.
  • Train Communication: Train employees to recognize resources and to communicate their needs.
  • Provide Feedback: Give consistent and encouraging feedback when training new hires.

Case Study

C:\Users\Darren\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\1JXY5E11\MC900431586[1].png

The Time Clock Corporation attempted a new mentoring program to reduce a 75 percent turnover rate. The goal was to increase productivity and decrease turnover by 50 percent. The first review of the program showed a 15 percent reduction in turnover. While an improvement, the numbers show a need for improvement. A survey revealed that many mentors have little time to spend with new hires due to the demands of their own jobs.