Many HRs use orientation and onboarding interchangeably. But the two terms in the context of assimilating a new hire are different. Orientation for a new employee is simply an event in an employee onboarding journey. On the other hand, onboarding is a process companies use to assimilate new personnel into the company.
Onboarding for new employees is crucial and should follow specific steps to be effective and yield great benefit for the company.
With that said, below is a quick overview of the importance of onboarding and the various steps to take to make it efficient.
The first couple of months are essential for any company with new hires. How companies conduct employee onboarding in the first couple of months will determine the employee retention they will enjoy.
If done right, an employee onboarding process will help the new hires feel valued. Moreover, it will help them understand their role better which leads to increased performance, productivity and engagement.
Employers will start ticking off steps on the employee onboarding checklist once the employee accepts the offer and lasts for a minimum of twelve months. And given that onboarding for new employees is like a strategic plan, you need to map it out in advance.
At the very least, your employee onboarding checklist should have the following elements;
For the new employees to feel part of the team, you need to welcome them. Come up with opportunities and situations where the new employees will socialize and interact with team members and any other persons they will work hand-in-hand with.
For instance, you can set up a group lunch for new employees on their first day so that they get to interact. You can bring managers from different departments to lunch to make even more comprehensive.
Assigning a mentor to every new employee helps with the transition. The mentor’s role is not to handle the new employee’s task but to help them understand the big picture, internalize and sequence different events. From time to time mentors might help new hires to prioritize tasks for efficiency and productivity.
The supervisors should plan for individual meetings with the new employees to give them feedback on their performance so far as well as receive feedback from them. The regular meetings and friendly exchange will help in building trust and strong relationships between them. The meetings can be held bi-weekly or weekly depending on the workload and availability of parties involved.
Believe it or not, it’s never too early to hold discussions on career growth with new employees. These conversations are intended to narrow the gap between the reality of career development and new employee expectations. Having these conversations helps to prevent feelings of dissatisfaction from employees over time. It also helps them to understand what to focus on and how to position themselves for growth.
Some companies choose to use onboarding software. This is great but this shouldn’t replace the above key elements of the process. Remember, the process is complete when the new employee is fully assimilated into the company.
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