Lead New Hires Down the Road to Success

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It is important to provide new hires with the tools and skills for success and to make them feel welcome in your company from Day One. According to The Wynhurst Group, 22% of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment. Don't like this statistic? Follow these 5 highly effective onboarding steps and both you and your new hire will be on the road to success!

1. Don't Be Overwhelming. The first day of a new job is nerve-wracking for everyone involved – but it doesn't have to be this way. Invite the new employee to start at 10 am or on a Tuesday (not many people enjoy starting a new job on Monday at 8 am anyway – trust me). This gives you plenty of time to prepare for his arrival by:

• Ensuring that office supplies and workspace are ready
• Identifying the key players within the department and the overall organization
• Outlining relevant processes
• Compiling introductory materials

No one wants to run around the office looking for everyday workplace essentials with a new hire in tow. Keep it calm and organized by having everything in order before Day One starts. Also, the amount of information being downloaded by the new employee is more than enough. There is no need to push the administrivia that can be completed or reviewed within a week's time. Make the first day fun and memorable!

2. Keep It Structured. This is for all of my fellow obsessive compulsive planners out there. You've already invested a lot of time and effort to find the right person, so why stop there? Comprehensive and effective training and orientation programs take more than a few hours. A well-thought-out onboarding plan should focus on the entire probationary period. This schedule should include:

• cross-departmental training
• mutually agreed upon milestones
• frequent assessments so you can nip small issues in the bud before they escalate

Also, consult with everyone who will be involved in training the new hire – outline any specifics you would like discussed – so everyone can be prepared.

3. Develop a Mentor Program. New hires need someone to help teach them the ins and outs as well as the "unspoken" rules of your company. They most likely feel like an outsider already, so don't let them flounder out there on their own. Pair the new hire up with a seasoned employee who can show him the ropes – not to mention find some common ground and establish credibility. Did they go to the same school? Are they from the same home town? Are they football fanatics? Do they enjoy fishing? His mentor can learn about his background and establish a rapport which will help the new hire breeze through the adjustment period and assimilate socially.

4. Create Value. New hires are virtually an unknown – are their skills really up to par? Will they fit in? Where do their strengths and interests lie? In order to make the most of their experience, ideas, potential, and learning needs, create an environment where your new employees can make contributions and learn in return. Identify areas of interests and create opportunities for learning. Why not schedule a "Lunch and Learn" where the new hire presents on a relevant topic that interests him? A fully contributing and growing employee is a happy employee!

5. Expect Failure. Mary Poppins once admitted that she is "practically perfect in every way" – even she left room for error. Don't be so hard on your new hires – give them the opportunity to fail safely. Since the best learning comes from failure, make sure that during the early days they are given autonomy, but with a safety net. Remember Step #3: Develop a Mentor Program? This same employee could act as a back-up or partner to help catch issues before they get out of hand. It's also important to provide plenty of feedback so that new employees can learn from their mistakes.

Successful onboarding programs provide benefits such as, lower turnover rates, increased job performance and satisfaction, increased productivity, reduced stress, and can ultimately boost profits. If you don't already have an onboarding process, it's time to start planning!


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Guest January 22 2018