Starting a new job is an exciting time for an employee. They are fired up and ready to work, learn, and help your company grow. But the new hire honeymoon period can fade quickly if you don’t keep them engaged. When onboarding, your goal as an employer is to train new employees to be as productive as possible – and quickly. However, expecting so much from a new hire right away can cause fatigue and affect retention rates. This means your process of bringing on, training, and engaging new employees is more important than ever. In fact, new employees who were onboarded with a structured process were found to be 58% more likely to stay with their company after 3 years.
Below, we’ve outlined 3 key ways to keep your new hires engaged and productive during the onboarding process so that they become, and remain, a valuable member of your team.
1. Define your onboarding process
Now is the perfect time to get together with your HR team to define your onboarding process. Even if you have one in place, it’s a good idea to refresh your processes and procedures to ensure they are up to date. If you’re not sure where to start, create a “new hire checklist.” This list should be a source for your team and your new hire to know exactly what to expect just before and as soon as they begin work. Include all of the necessary information they’ll need to fill out, from forms to training programs to team introductions. A timeline of events also comes in handy so everyone knows how long they can expect to be training. Be sure to also include any other bits of information you’ll want them to know up front – like fun cultural events your company holds or any anecdotes about your special work environment.
2. Cultivate Strong Employee Relationships
Helping foster relationships amongst team members is an important part of onboarding a new employee. How new hires get along and work with your existing team will determine their future with the company, as well as the future of the rest of your team. Ensure that when new hires come on board, they are introduced properly to their coworkers and that they have an opportunity to get to know them. Taking time to plan a simple team lunch or even a 15 minute coffee break where they can ask questions, get advice, or just get to know one another is a great way to facilitate these relationships.
3. Survey and Ask for Feedback
New employees want to ensure that they are heard, and that they have a clear way to communicate with their teammates and managers. The best way to ensure that new hires understand they have a voice is to consistently ask for feedback and provide clear avenues for comments and/or criticisms. If something isn’t quite working, you’re going to want to know why and how you can fix it, especially with your onboarding process. Allowing employees the opportunity to speak up, and giving them healthy and effective ways to do so is crucial. A few ways for you to open these channels of communication are with employee satisfaction surveys, open forums during meetings, and one-on-one progress meetings with managers or bosses. Allowing these types of conversations to take place will ensure your new employees feel truly valued and heard, and will hopefully set them up for increased productivity throughout their career.