how to successfully onboard new employees

Summer is just around the corner!  For many small business owners, it is a time when they add staff to fill a seasonal need. Recruiting, hiring, and onboarding is critical for new staff to be productive as quickly as possible.

Onboarding refers to the way new employee acquire the knowledge, training, and behavior they need to become effective contributors to your business. Onboarding properly is the best way to see the return on your investment in any employee faster.

Here are some tips to help you effectively onboard your next new hire:

Familiarize them with the facility

You would be surprised how much time new hires spend wandering to find their way around. A simple tour will do but it’s more effective if you also introduce them to key contacts and ask them to spend a bit of time with the new hire explaining what they do and how they will interact.

Set clear expectations

Number one on the list of elements needed for employee satisfaction is knowing what is expected of them. Give them a job description and review it together. List for them, in writing, exactly what you expect of them. Tell them when you expect them to have mastered tasks and functions.

Provide resources

As a part of setting expectations, be clear on where they go for information, feedback, and training. Always let them know you are open to questions. Provide them with a resource to turn to in your absence.

Policies, procedures, employee handbook

This should be a collection of reference material on not only how they are expected to perform their duties, but how they are to behave while doing them. It will also give them valuable information on best practices on everything from a dress code to scheduling vacation.

Ask them to share their goals

Employment should be a dual purpose arrangement. Each employee should have goals for their career and life. Working in your business should contribute to those goals in some way. This is a great way to learn more about what motivates your employee and a first step to retaining them and preparing them for a role in the future.

Let them know how they will be measured

Tell them how your performance management process works. If you do not have one, develop one. This is where I specialize in working with business owners.

Set dates with them for reviews

Let them know when they will be reviewed and how you determine compensation increases. Be sure to stick to it, and be punctual with your reward system.

Yes, this process takes time and attention but it is certainly worth it. It can save you time and money in the future and reward you with a fully functioning team member weeks, or even months sooner than you might expect.