For most organizations, human capital is their single most valuable asset. As a company grows, HR and management are working hard to find, recruit and hire the right talent. However, finding and hiring qualified employees is only the beginning. Proper employee onboarding is equally important, so new employees adjust quickly, become engaged and stay with your company for the long term.
Successful Onboarding Programs
Strategic new hire onboarding should cover four critical components:
- Rules and regulations
- Roles and responsibilities
- Culture and values of the organization
- Relationships with staff, supervisors and mentors.
Onboarding programs and processes that help new hires adjust more quickly to their role in the company have major advantages for employers, including higher job satisfaction, lower employee stress levels and higher retention rates. A large portion of new employees leave within the first year of employment and the first day of onboarding will set the tone to prevent this quick turnover.
Timeline for New Employee Onboarding
What does onboarding mean? It is a process that begins before the new employee starts work and can continues through the first several months up through the first year on the job. New employees will receive some type of onboarding through their experiences during the first few weeks of employment, whether or not you plan it. It is best to invest some time in outlining a consistent plan to ensure that new hires receive the right kind of onboarding, and to create a timeline to ensure that your onboarding plan is carried out in a timely manner and no step is omitted from the process.
Before the New Employee Starts Work
When you have a new hire coming, the time to prepare is before he or she arrives.
- Create an agenda for the new employee’s first week of work
- Reach out to employee before his/her start date to help them feel prepared for their first day, remind them of what to bring with them for their first day, and what time to come in
- Set up the new employee’s work station/area
- Make sure the new employee has all the tools they’ll need to do their job before they arrive
- Consider having a gift ready to welcome the new employee and make the first day more memorable.
- Send the new hire helpful information before the arrival date.
During the New Hire’s First Week
An employee’s first day and week will set the tone for the months or years to come.
- Make the first day an orientation day – not a work day. Welcome the new hire and make it clear that you are excited to have him or her on your team
- Perform employment verification tasks
- Conduct a brief tour of the workplace to help the new employee become familiar with the working environment, make sure to include break areas, and consider including places to eat
- Have brief team introductions to help the new hire start building relationships, and if applicable introduce them to their mentor or 'buddy'
- Keep the orientation schedule tightly structured.
- Cover important work processes with the new employee.
- Form an onboarding team to get the entire company involved to help with training and setting the tone
- Don’t overwhelm new employees with endless amounts of work on the first day.
- Communicate company culture early and often.
- Allow new hires to give feedback. Ask them if they feel prepared, if they are clear on expectations, etc.
- Do not expect a new hire to hit the ground running.
During the First 30 to 90 Days
The first 30 to 90 days of work should be viewed as a training period. This is a time when the company invests in training.
Job shadowing within the employee’s own department and across other departments of the company can create a much greater understanding of the entire organization and how the new hire’s role impacts the big picture. In setting up job shadows, it is important to ensure that more seasoned employees have the time, are willing to participate and convey the right message.
During the employee’s first one to three months on the job, create opportunities for feedback. Track the training and find out if the new employee is becoming more productive or having difficulties in a particular area. This is also the time to conduct the first job evaluation and review.
Employee Onboarding Software
Our human capital management software at EPAY Systems gives you one streamlined workflow on one unified platform – from recruiting and onboarding new hires, to benefits enrollment, payroll, time and labor management, and onward.
Our recruiting and applicant tracking solution allows you to create job posts on multiple sites and manage and communicate with candidates easily from the system. Integrated onboarding software helps ensure accuracy and cuts down on the paperwork to help get new employees up and running faster.
With complete integration in our human capital management system, data gathered during the hiring process automatically feeds into onboarding for payroll setup, benefits enrollment and other HR functions. This helps eliminate human error and makes onboarding quicker and easier, so you can focus less on the paperwork and more on the new member of your team.
Anna Pajor, SPHR, is an Account Manager and HR Consulting Partner at EPAY Systems, where she works with clients on a day to day basis. Before EPAY she directed and managed in-house human resources, set up HR processes for startup companies, and developed as well as streamlined processes for clients through consulting services. She brings over 10 years of HR experience with a unique perspective gained from her work in business development to the EPAY blog. She is excited about writing for the EPAY blog and sharing valuable information with EPAY friends and customers.