Hickock Boardman Benefits

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Get Off to a Good Start with Your New Hires

Successful onboarding of your new employees is a best practice as a part of an overall talent management strategy for the organization. With a tight labor market, recruiting is challenging and turnover is costly.  Effectively welcoming and integrating your new employees into the organization goes a long way to ensure their success.  Unfortunately, many transitions are not successful.  After spending a good amount of time and effort during the recruiting process to build a relationship with a candidate, an organization can falter if it does not continue to nurture that relationship once the person shows up to start their new job. 

A formal onboarding program is a coordinated policy and procedures designed to provide new employees an introduction to the organization and key information, through a fixed sequence of activities.  The goal is to assist a newly hired employee in adjusting to both performance and cultural expectations so they can quickly become productive and effective in their new role. Helping new hires to understand the norms of their new workplace and contribute to the overall success of the organization is an important engagement and retention strategy. Employees left to figure it out on their own are more likely to feel disappointed and discouraged with their new employer.

Onboarding programs vary widely across organizations in both formality and how much is covered.  The most basic onboarding experience provides employees with awareness of rules and regulations to ensure compliance with legal and policy requirements.  Ensuring that employees understand their new job expectations and begin to learn their new manager’s style and preferences is also key to any new hire onboarding experience. 

Some examples of tools used as part of a new employee onboarding program include:

  • Training and roundtable discussions
  • Meetings with key leaders
  • On-the-job learning supported by peers and supervisors
  • Individual mentoring or buddy programs
  • HR presentations and support
  • Site visits in the field and shadowing programs

Leading up to Day One–

New employee onboarding does not have to wait until the employee’s start date.  In instances where there is a lengthy lead time between acceptance of the employment offer and the new hire start date, it is critical to engage with your new employee in the interim.  These touch points are reassuring and offer the organization a head start on sending required new hire forms and benefits enrollment information.  The first day on the job is overwhelming for the best of us.  Sharing organizational and seating charts, any blogs or recent newsletters, and welcome notes from key leaders and peers are all useful opportunities for connection with the new hire.  You want to make sure they feel confident about their decision and excited to start work.   

A new employee’s start date is an important opportunity and should be scheduled and coordinated to ensure the new employee is warmly welcomed and introduced to their new colleagues.  Make sure they have a functioning work station and access to systems and resources and take them to lunch.  Onboarding doesn’t end on the new hire’s start date.  Onboarding can take weeks and months and should include