Welcome to the Company: Ideas for Successful Onboarding

Hiring new employees can be an exciting time – for both you and the new hire! After all, you found an awesome addition to your team, and you’re excited to show them how great your business is. Although having a new hire can be really fun, it can also be really stressful – especially for the new person.

You want to alleviate stress for your new hire by giving them a smooth transition into your business. So, how do you do that? Here are some ideas for giving your new hire a smooth start in your business.

  • Start with the small stuff: When your new hire starts, there are some seemingly small items that can actually help make the transition a little easier for them. Consider a small welcome gift they can use in the office, such as a water bottle or coffee mug. Also, make sure to show them where the bathrooms are, how to use the copy machine and what to do if they’re having computer problems, to name a few. Although these may seem small, these items can help your new hire feel comfortable in the new environment.
  • Use the buddy system: Consider pairing your new hire with an employee who’s been with the company for a while. The buddy can be the new hire’s go to person if they have questions and concerns about getting acclimated within the company. The buddy can also share some of their tips, tricks and experiences, which can ultimately help the new hire get a great understanding of the ins and outs of the business. Having a buddy can also help the new hire feel more comfortable simply because they know someone within the company and are not all alone.
  • Hands-on approach: What better way to learn than by doing? A great way to get your new hire involved and comfortable is to start them off by doing rather than by watching. Whether it be a computer program or making phone calls, involving them from the get-go can provide beneficial training. It also allows the new hire to ask questions in real time as they arise, rather than scrambling for an answer if an issue comes up. However, try not to give them too much hands-on training right away. You want to help them feel comfortable, not overwhelm them.

 

  • Team involvement: Right from the beginning, it’s important to involve the entire team your new hire will work with. Whether it be going out for lunch on the first day or just holding a brief introduction meeting, letting your new hire meet the people he or she will be working with the most gives a level of familiarity which can help lead to better productivity. When the team works well together, better results are often produced.

 

Gaining a new employee is a fun and exciting step for your business. To reduce stress for them (and you), and to give them a smooth transition, consider some of these ideas. When your employees work well together, you can watch your business thrive.

*Bonus: If you need help with new hire onboarding, let us know. Our outsourced HR services can help make sure your new hire has an easy transition.

Employee Onboarding & Why It Matters

You’ve gone through the interview process and you’ve met with a few potential candidates you really like. After going over your notes and taking some time to think through who would best fit your role (and your culture), you find the candidate you believe fits perfectly with your company.

This isn’t just any candidate, either. This candidate has exactly what you are looking for in a new hire: they fit the company culture, possess the skills you are looking for, and give you excitement about what they can bring to the company. You like what you’ve found, and you want to make sure they stick around.

You offer the position and they accept. You can’t believe your find! So now what?

When a new hire is brought in to the company, they go through the onboarding process. The onboarding process is typically thought of as all the paper work, training, and first day orientation. However, the onboarding process is more than that, and the strategies of onboarding are changing and becoming more modernized. Here are just a few trends we’re seeing.

  1. From paperwork to technology. Many companies are starting to lean towards an automated process – but this doesn’t mean they are eliminating face to face contact. This new automated process is being used mainly for paper work, whether it be having forms filled out online, or just storing paperwork in files that are accessible to all who need them. Focusing less time on actual paperwork and using an automated process can mean more time to focus on training, and taking the time to get to know more about your new hire.
  2. The first impression. The most important aspect to remember when onboarding a new hire is the first impression. First impressions are all it takes to formulate an opinion, and this opinion could be a deal breaker for the new hire if not executed correctly. Did you know it takes anywhere between six months to a year for an employee to make his or her first impression on the company? But what you might not have considered is that this is also the time for the company to make an impression on a new hire. If the first impression does not impress the employee, this can cost the company key talent. However, fostering a great impression for the new hire can result in a sense of culture, loyalty, engagement, encouragement and excitement for the new hire.
  3. It’s in the detail. It’s not that hard to make a good impression. Have your new hire’s work space set up and ready to use when they arrive. Offer a small welcome gift. There should also be a substantial amount of new hire engagement taking place. Some examples of new hire engagement could be taking the new hire out for lunch, or holding a meeting to introduce him or her to their coworkers. This leads to happy and engaged employees who are much more likely to continue their employment with the company. Keeping the new hire engaged and happy eliminates the risk of them leaving and the company having to start the hiring process over again.

It is important to remember that onboarding is a continuous process and should be ongoing throughout the first six months to a year, rather than only the first week of employment. Having a solid onboarding process will help create a great first impression for the new employee and will help you keep the employee happy, engaged and less likely to leave the company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why HR Matters

You spend a lot of time building up your organization and perfecting your product. But what about your people? As a small business owner, staffing is vitally important, especially for organizations in growth mode. These are the people that keep you from working long(er) hours, help you scale and provide you with valuable feedback.

Often, human resources (HR) is over looked, especially as you’re trying to wear multiple hats. But we’re here to tell you it’s an essential component of any organization and critically important to get right.

Here are a few reasons why:

It’s the law. There’s a lot of legal stuff surrounding HR, and not just in the context of the fun stuff like disciplinary action and termination.

“While most managers are aware of the legal snares that come with termination decisions, the hiring process is equally fraught with legal peril. Most commonly, applicants who were not hired may allege discriminatory failure to hire on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, or some other legally protected category. It is also possible that applicants may pursue claims based on inappropriate inquiries made during the application or interview process” (source).

For instance, did you know you can’t ask about age, citizenship status or what they enjoy doing in the spare time? And we’re just getting started.

Cheers to happy, healthy employees. You have champions for your finances, your marketing, your operations. In a small business, these might even all be you. An HR professional or team is the champion of your people.

Part of their job is to gauge and maintain employee satisfaction. They can send out satisfaction surveys, meet with key team members and facilitate exit interviews, all of which will give you vital information and insight into the people on your team.

Why is this so key? In small organizations, people are often performing multiple duties, as well as carrying around a lot of knowledge about the way things are done. Think about what would happen if you lost just one key individual during the early stages of your business? How would that affect your bottom line?

Let’s not forget about the cost of training a new employee versus maintaining a good employee. It can cost anywhere between 30 to 50% of an employee’s salary to onboard a new employee. Yep, we said 30 to 50%.

Improve and resolve. When you’re just starting a company, you’re looking for anyone to help make your dream a reality. But what happens if, as your company expands and grows, you realize one particular employee isn’t in the right place within your organization? Do you have a plan to improve employee performance?

“Without a human resources staff person to construct a plan that measures performance, employees can wind up in jobs that aren’t sustainable for their skills and expertise” (source).

Let’s also take into account that we’re all human beings and so, sometimes, we don’t get along with everyone else. Do you know who within your organization will handle workplace conflict? As ideal as it would be to say, “We’re all adults, figure it out,” it’s best to have a skilled professional handle employee relations and conflicts.

Onboarding, off-boarding and all other things boarding. When an employee begins working with your company, they need some sort of training (unless they’re a genius). HR helps to perform onboarding functions like training, review of benefits and can even be part of the interview process.

They can also work with current employees to make sure they’re able to improve on their skills and qualifications by providing training and development opportunities. By identifying areas for improvement, they can work to improve the skills of your current work force, saving you time and money in hiring and training new employees.

And if an employee decides to leave, they can work to ensure they know the reasons why (through a little thing known as an exit interview) as well as that they’re not walking away with valuable knowledge which hasn’t been transferred.

The bottom line is that HR doesn’t only affect people within your organization. It affects your bottom line. It’s important to have systems in place, all the way from recruitment to exit, to ensure you’re not only compliant, but also employing good, quality people.

Seem like a whole ton of work? We can help. The Possibilities Center is pleased to announce our newest endeavor, HR Consulting. Contact Lisa Fitzgerald (lfitzgerald@eidebailly.com) to learn more.