Employee onboarding… You’ve completed the interview process and bagged yourself a fantastic new hire, issued a start date – all good to go, right? Wrong! The onboarding process is an often overlook yet vital part of your new hires’ success!
Research has shown that a well thought out and comprehensive onboarding structure increases both productivity and retention! An effective onboarding process should acclimate, engage and retain!
Start your onboarding process before your new employee has even started! How often do we hear that we would love people to ‘hit the ground running’ and in reality the first few days are consumed with the start of the onboarding….so much of this can be covered off before your new recruit has even started.
Offer accepted… and the we all send the obligatory email and posted copies of offer letters and contracts – At this point why not alongside these, send your employee handbook, welcome pack and an outline of what your new recruit can expect from their first week – 2 days of ‘new joiner admin’ done! Not only that, your new joiner knows exactly what to expect in the first week and can come prepared and focussed. By covering this off before day one, your starter joins you on day one knowing all the important information about your company; what you offer, an intro to some of the team they will be working with, your values and mission, your USP(s) and even better – you have just made an incredible first impression and your new starter is fully engaged and already loving the new company they are joining!
New starter has joined…all up to speed on your culture, mission and all the generic info that everyone needs to know. Now to add the framework!
Throwing people in at the deep end and seeing how quick they learn to swim is not going to get you the best results in the long term. A formal, milestone-based process allows both you and the employee to have a structure that provides you both with everything you need to make this a success.
- Set time-based milestones that can be reviewed on a regular basis – these guide both you and them through the first few weeks. You know that when the milestones are hit, your starter is on track, and they feel a sense of achievement already, so early on!
- Establish your expectations for them – you are approachable, supportive, and there for any questions they have, but you are paying them to do a job – make sure they know what you expect of them
- Stick to it! Deviating from these milestones or not sticking to the timeframes allocated will just devalue the importance of the process and the engagement in the task will decrease.
Now I have to point out here, if you are going to set milestones/goals/objectives – please make sure you also provide the tools and knowledge to be able to complete them – no one likes being set up to fail!
Being there to support your new starter is critical, they need to know that if they have a question, they have someone to ask. If you know you will be unavailable at any point, introduce them to someone in your team that you trust to be their ‘go to’ if you are unavailable. Having a support network is really important in those first few weeks, and certainly one that makes you feel comfortable enough to approach with any question, however big or small!
This ties in nicely with ‘shadowing’. Allocating experienced team members to the newbie and getting them to shadow/side by side, builds that peer to peer trust as well as showing your new employee the processes and systems in action as they would be using them – hypothetical training is all well and good, but nothing can compare to real life situations. You can get all of your team involved in this process, meaning the new employee experiences everyone’s style as well as building those internal relationships. In addition, you are valuing your current team by showing them your trust and value in them being part of this process. Encourage your new hires to observe and save questions for their line managers so that you know the answers are uniform.
Of course, each company will have its own policies and procedures when onboarding new starters but ensuring that you place the correct level of importance on this process will make your business stronger in the long run. Effective onboarding means you are now past the probation period and your new employee is no longer ‘new’. They are motivated, aligned with the company’s vision and closing deals! Although, this means the ‘onboarding’ process is completed, be sure to remember that ongoing training and support of all team members is just as important. Invest in your team, give them as much as you can to help them succeed and watch them flourish!
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And of course, if we can help you grow your sales teams or support you to find your next step in your sales career – get in touch – we would love to help!