If you’re an employer, you have probably heard, and read, about the need for a good onboarding program. This opportunity to provide a company orientation to your new staff members is imperative for informing their experience overall. And to maintain good retention, it is the best investment you can make into your organization. But what is the time frame for onboarding? How do you know when their orientation ends? If you want to make the right impact for your new team members, consider everything you can offer within the first 90 days and beyond.
Your new employee will make their impression of your company on the very first day of work. If you’re not ready for them, they’ll notice that and act accordingly. You need to ensure that the desk space is prepared. Have the computer already set up for them with everything they need to accomplish their tasks. Give them a tour of your entire facility and introduce them to key people around the office. Letting a new employee stumble through the first day is a recipe for disaster, so don’t let that happen.
Assign a mentor
A great way to provide added value to a new hire is to allow them to shadow a veteran employee. Create a mentorship program within your office where seasoned workers will help train new employees. This also keeps your current staff engaged so they don’t feel like the addition of a new employee is a threat to their position.
Far too many companies wait until the first 90 days are up to do a formal review. And while this review can be helpful, much of the feedback you provide can be too little too late. If you’re not communicating with your new employee on a daily basis, at least recap with them each week. Let them know how they can improve, but also provide information about ways they’ve already contributed. Positive feedback is essential.
Ask for input
It is also important that feedback goes both ways. Ask the new employee for their input on their onboarding process, what they need or want in order to be more successful, and allow them to come to you when they have questions, concerns, or problems. Establishing positive communication patterns right from the start will be necessary or a healthy working relationship.
Focus on results
Lastly, you want to focus on the results of the onboarding process rather than the process itself. Why? Because each new employee will have a different learning curve and style and that needs to be respected. If they are shoehorned into a situation that won’t work for them, they will become disgruntled rather than engaged. Don’t focus on how they go somewhere, but whether or not the end result is what you wanted. Details can be tweaked over time.