Onboarding: What New Hires Need in Those First Critical Months

Posted on by Excell Staff


Onboarding Summary

  • What is onboarding?
    • A function of talent management that establishes a welcome, confirms to the employee that he/she made a wise choice and that there is a good fit, and sets the stage for a strong relationship.  Could be thought of as the last part of the recruitment effort and the first action in retention.
    • It matters (think retention benefits vs. cost of recruitment)
    • It is the responsibility of the front-line managers, with HR setting up the paperwork and policies
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  • Before Day One
    • Send a welcoming letter before start date (naming mentor and contact).
    • Let them know if they are invited to lunch on the first day
    • Share what the dress attire is
    • When they should arrive
    • Make a checklist – is the company website (About Us) updated?
    • Ready their work area, computer, access
    • Prepare staff for new hire
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  • The First Day
    • Draw on insights from the interviews (their favorite sports team?) to make them feel comfortable
    • Give them a project – or something to do
    • Walk them through logging onto email, recording a personal voice mail
    • Provide a building map, (walk them around) Tour (printer, bathroom, good Wi-Fi coverage, coffee – show them how things get done
    • Provide a contact, for questions
    • Provide a Mentor
    • Introductions – based on their working relationship to the employee
    • Send an email to staff making the new hire an official employee
    • Provide documents: Mission/Purpose statements, building map, phone extension/email list, daily and long term (vacation) schedules, HR documents
    • If available: newsletters, List of Acronyms
    • Spend last 5 minutes of the day checking in with the new hire
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  • The First Week
    • Give them real responsibilities
    • Bring in a mentor (options: Peer, veteran, shadows, independent mentors)
    • Any specific training, such as interface with clients
    • Start with hardest projects – either group or individual assignments
    • Get them involved in the culture
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  • Beyond the First Week
    • Keep in touch – set a reminder for once a week, stop by:
      • Ask – are they feeling comfortable with the processes?  Do they know where to go for help? Are they all set up with HR? How is their commute going? Are there any questions
    • Remember they still don’t know everything they need to
  • The 3-Month Review  (“most managers say new employees aren’t fully onboard until three months after their first day.” Sit down, and give feedback and discuss progress.
    • Brief, discussion how far employee has come,
    • Outline areas that can be improved and should be targeted in next months
    • Evaluate how/if their role may need to change.
    • Speak with co-workers – look for strengths and concrete areas for improvement
  • The Final Step
    • Solicit feedback from employee completing onboarding.
    • Did it meet their needs? Help them understand the company’s history, critical information about the office, key stakeholders and their roles.  Provide contacts for questions/problems, information on benefits and policies?  Information on the company’s culture and values?
    • Successful Onboarding – verify the onboarding helped the employee learn about the organization and their role in it.
      (View the full report)


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