Finding the right person for a position is a major win, but before you start celebrating, take pause because you’re not in the clear just yet. The onboarding process is arguably one of the most critical pieces of the retention puzzle. The first few days and weeks on the job will shape the way a new hire feels about you and the organization throughout their tenure. If your onboarding process is lax, you are laying the foundation for losing that employee down the line. Here are strategies you can use to send the right message to new hires through your onboarding process.
Be Prepared To Take your Time
A “sink or swim” mentality can be disastrous for new hires. It takes time for a new employee to learn procedures, processes and where they fit into the “big picture.” The more time you take in the beginning to acclimate a new hire to their position, the better. Onboarding should include both formal training sessions and shadowing established employees. They should be given small tasks to start with on their own, so that they can feel like they are mastering processes.
Provide a Mentor
A mentor or “buddy” program is an effective way to make a new hire comfortable. Choose mentors with the same or very similar job responsibilities, who can set the right example for the new hire to follow. Make the mentor the new hire’s “go-to” person for questions throughout the onboarding process. You may even consider providing the buddy a stipend to take the new hire out to lunch the first day or even the first week, just to help facilitate the relationship and make the new hire comfortable.
Set clearly defined goals and milestones for each week of the new hire’s first month, and then monthly for their first year. This gives the employee focus and helps them track their progress. This also ensures they understand exactly what is expected of them through the onboarding process and beyond.
Check In Often
Managers should set aside a few minutes every day at the start of the workday or at the close of the workday to check in with the new employee. This ensures the new hire is developing good habits, allows managers to keep track of how the employee is progressing through milestones and sends the message that the company cares about their success. After the first week, dial it back to every other day, and keep dialing it back until you’re meeting once a week.
Managers should also check in with the mentor to get their perspective on how the new hire is progressing. Supervisors miss a lot of what happens out on the floor and the mentor’s perspective can be valuable if you’ve chosen the right person.
What Does Your Onboarding Process Say To New Hires?
A thorough onboarding process requires lots of time, attention and resources, but the right process can pay dividends in terms of ramp-up time, productivity and long-term retention. If your company is looking to improve hiring, onboarding and retention strategies to help build productive and lasting teams, contact the experts at Bonney Staffing Center today.