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Onboarding New Hires: Making First Impressions Count
Lacy Russell
Customer Success Manager
Oct. 2nd, 2023
5 min read

Hiring a new team member is like starting a new season—exciting and full of potential. But let’s face it, onboarding can be as tricky as spinning multiple plates while balancing on a unicycle. No need to enroll in an HR masterclass, though. We've got a straightforward plan to help your newest recruits love their job from day one, and stick around for the curtain calls!

Why Proper Onboarding is a Must

First impressions are game-changers, especially when welcoming someone new to your business. Onboarding is your chance to showcase your company culture and prep your newbie for success, which in turn helps them boost your business. But remember, it's not just about the paperwork—it's about making them feel part of the tribe from the get-go.

Shockingly, only 29% of new hires feel well-prepped post-onboarding. Miss this opportunity, and you may find them heading for the exits.

What You Lose With Lackluster Onboarding

Skipping a structured onboarding could lead your new hires to:

  • Fumble over their tasks due to inadequate training.
  • Feel disconnected, reducing their productivity and engagement.
  • Question their decision to join your team if they sense a lack of support.

Onboarding Like a Pro in 8 Steps

Here are 8 essential steps to craft a more impactful onboarding experience for your new hires:

  • Pre-Day One: Digital Welcome PacketKick things off before the first day by sending a digital welcome packet. This packet can include essential forms, a schedule for the first week, a company culture guide, and any pre-reading materials that can ease them into their new role smoothly. This sets the tone and shows you're organized and eager for their arrival.
  • Develop a Structured Onboarding PlanCreate a detailed onboarding plan that outlines each step of the process. This plan should cover everything from the initial training sessions to integration into ongoing projects. A well-structured plan helps ensure that nothing important is overlooked and the new hire can follow along with clear expectations.
  • First Day: Office Tour and IntroductionsMake the first day memorable by giving a guided tour of the workplace and introducing the new hire to key team members. This helps in easing their nerves and makes them feel welcomed. Also, introduce them to their go-to colleagues for daily needs and their mentor or buddy, if applicable.
  • Dive into Company PoliciesReview important company policies on the first or second day. This includes dress codes, work hours, break times, and any legal compliance matters they need to be aware of. Understanding these policies early on can help prevent any misunderstandings or non-compliance issues later.
  • Product and Services EducationSchedule sessions to educate them about the company’s products or services. This could be through presentations, hands-on demonstrations, or shadowing sessions with experienced colleagues. A deep understanding of what the company offers is crucial for their ability to contribute effectively.
  • Software and Systems TrainingAllocate time for comprehensive training on the tools, software, and systems they’ll use. Whether it’s the CRM, project management tools, or communication platforms, proper training ensures they can start contributing faster and with more confidence.
  • Clarify Role Responsibilities and ExpectationsClearly outline what their role entails, including short-term and long-term expectations. Discuss specific goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) that they should aim for. This discussion can also include how their performance will be evaluated.
  • Solicit Onboarding FeedbackAt the end of the onboarding process, ask for feedback. What did they find helpful? What could be improved? This not only shows that you value their opinion but also helps you refine the onboarding process for future hires.

Smart Onboarding Practices

Let's delve deeper into each smart onboarding practice to ensure you’re setting your new hires up for success:

Start Onboarding Before Day One:

Enhance the new hire's first day by sending essential onboarding documents, company policies, and an introductory schedule ahead of time. This proactive approach alleviates first-day anxiety and makes them feel prepared and valued from the start.

Ask for Feedback:

Engage with new hires to gather their perspectives on the onboarding process. This should include what they found helpful and areas they think could be improved. Regular feedback helps you refine the onboarding experience and adapt it to meet the unique needs of future employees.

Automate Where Possible:

Utilize technology to streamline repetitive onboarding tasks. Automating processes like filling out forms, scheduling training sessions, and tracking progress can save time and reduce errors, making the onboarding experience smoother for everyone involved.

Make Time for Questions:

Dedicate specific times for new hires to ask questions about their role, company culture, or any other uncertainties. This openness not only helps in clearing doubts but also fosters a culture of open communication and support.

Set Onboarding Milestones and Goals:

Develop a checklist of tasks and goals for new hires to accomplish during their onboarding phase. This structured approach helps them track their progress and ensures they're hitting all the critical milestones, providing a sense of achievement as they familiarize themselves with their new role.

Avoid These Onboarding Faux Pas

  • Rushing: Onboarding is a marathon, not a sprint. Allow your new hire to absorb information at a comfortable pace.
  • Being impersonal: Treat them as individuals, not just another cog in the machine.

Keeping the Good Vibes Going

A robust onboarding process can spike employee retention by up to 82%. But the effort shouldn’t stop there. Keep the momentum by offering flexible schedules, showing appreciation regularly, ensuring competitive pay, and always listening to their feedback.

How we can help

Need a hand managing all this? Consider using Prospr for an all-in-one employee management solution that simplifies onboarding and helps retain top talent.

So, are you ready to up your onboarding game and turn new hires into happy, productive team members? Start by refining your approach with these insights and watch how a great beginning can lead to an even greater future for your employees and your business.

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