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How to effectively onboard a new employee

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

Starting a new job can be exciting, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming for new employees. For Employers, however, minimising this time means that any new hire can start performing effectively as soon as possible. This is why an effective onboarding process is vital in any hiring activity… but it’s easier said than done.

So, how can an Employer effectively onboard a new Employee – helping to reduce any anxious feelings so the new starter enjoys and settles into their new job?

An employee should feel welcomed on their first day and someone should be responsible for looking after them. Before the employee starts, you may want to send out a new employee pack which contains their contract of employment and any information, employee handbook and policies they need to read before they start. Once they’ve arrived, let them get settled and offer them something to drink. They should be given a tour of the office fairly soon, so they know where they will be sitting, where the kitchen and toilet facilities are, and can be introduced to their new co-workers.

It is also good practice that the manager of the new employee sends out an internal communication letting colleagues know that there is a new starter (although in smaller companies this will likely be more evident). One of the most effective onboarding processes is to implement a ‘buddying up’ system - whoever is looking after the new employee could simply offer to go to lunch with them after showing them the ropes. It helps extend the onboarding process beyond senior management and helps immediately forge bonds between new starter and colleagues.

A more formal company induction may be carried out in the first few days of the employee starting. A formal induction will give the employee an overview of all the departments within the business and provide training for any systems or software that the employee may need to use as part of their day-to-day activity.

The key themes of an effective onboarding process don’t just link with effective working – it’s about integrating the new employee with the current staff members. In the first week of employment, the employee should meet all key managers within the business – the seniority of who the new employee meets is, naturally, dependent on their position. Whilst a senior manager would undoubtedly need to meet senior stakeholders, the impetus for an entry level hire is decidedly less so. They should meet with the managers of key departments they will be working with to understand the overall business objectives, the individual department objectives, and any KPIs.

The employee should have a one-to-one meeting with their manager and be given a set of goals and objectives to cover in their first 12 weeks. It’s important to not overwhelm the employee, give them too much too soon or expect them to know everything as soon as they start. The most important thing for them to do initially is to understand the company and start to build relationships with those relevant to their role.

Once this process has been completed, meet with the new employee regularly to provide feedback - answering any questions or smoothing out any concerns that they may have. Effectively onboarding a new employee will not only increase their engagement and productivity but will also help to reduce staff turnover in the long term.

At Allen Associates, we’re experts in finding the right person for the right role – it’s in no small part due to our face to face interviews with all of our  candidates. If you’re looking to find the perfect person for your organisation, get in touch. You’ll be thrilled you did.

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