First days at work are stressful to say the least. You have to memorize all your coworkers names, navigate a new office, pretend like you actually enjoy Soylent, figure out your boss’s pet-peeves, and learn how to use multiple software programs! According to the 2017 Gallup survey on “The State of the American Workplace,” only 12% of workers think that their company does a “great job” of onboarding new employees. An employee’s feelings towards their company is generally fluid and can change over time. However, Gallup argues that like in all relationships, an employee’s first impressions are incredibly important. The spine-chilling report states, “The seeds of animosity or advocacy are sown from an individual’s very first interaction with a company.” If your company is dropping the ball with onboarding new employees, this could manifest itself in lower retention rates, bad worker moral, and a general sense of chaos. How can your company make this intimidating process easier for new employees? Read our comprehensive, five step guideline to successful onboarding to find out!
Before your new employee gets started on anything, it’s absolutely essential for them to know the people they’ll be interacting with on a daily basis. Ideally, a supervisor can take them on a tour of the office in which they’ll be introduced to all of their colleagues. Since they will probably be overwhelmed by all the new faces, we recommend that you send them a digital look book of their coworkers and their roles within the company. Moreover, you should have HR send a company-wide email introducing your new employee to break the ice.
2. History Lesson
What does your company stand for? When was it founded? Even though you can probably recite your company’s mission statement by heart, you shouldn’t assume your new employee has done all of their homework. A short, enticing presentation of your company’s history, core values, and general rules can be incredibly helpful. Your new employee will start off with a better understanding of why your company is so great, making them thrilled and excited to work for you.
3. Written Outline of Benefits and Payments
Chances are that your new employee doesn’t want to work for free. If you’re not explicitly clear about benefits and how and when your employee will get paid, this could make them anxious and distrustful. Nobody likes to ask the question. “So, when will I get paid?” To avoid this awkward conversation, before their first day, you should send your new employee a written outline about their benefits, payment process, and who they should reach out to if they need further guidance. This will not only make your new employee more comfortable but will also insure potential conflicts in the future.
4. Overview Of Tools
We live in a time where our lives are rapidly becoming digital. In the typical 21st century workplace, everything from expense reports to communication are handled online. While this might make your business more efficient, it can also lead to a seemingly endless list of tools for your new employee to learn and adapt to. Instead of having your new employee “learn as they go,” devote a significant portion of their first day to giving them an overview of these various softwares and platforms. Make sure to encourage them to ask questions and reassure them that you don’t expect them to immediately understand everything. After you’ve given them a mini-lesson on important tools, email them a Google Doc with written instructions detailing their assignments on a daily basis.
5. Fun Activity and Gift
Underneath it all, your new employee is probably a ball of nervous energy. Many companies forget that an employee who genuinely enjoys going to work is a more happier, productive employee. To start your relationship with your employee start on a good foot, you could have an arranged lunch for your new employee, a welcome gift on their desk, or some fun team-bonding exercise planned. Whatever you choose, it’s important to make sure that your new worker feels welcomed on their first day. All aboard!