The onboarding of a new employee involves much more than a simple box ticking process. It is a critical time to showcase your organisation’s culture and corporate values. A warm and timely onboarding experience makes new employees feel cared for and gives them an immediate taste for how you treat your fellow colleagues.
This module will highlight some steps you as the employer should take in the onboarding process to ensure that every new employee feels welcomed and has a good first experience of your company.
As a manager, before you prepare your onboarding strategy/plan there are a few questions that you should answer:
- How long will the entire process take? It is important to know the start and end of the process.
- What should be the key takeaways for the new employees? What would you want your new employee to learn and how do you want them to feel after the process?
- How will you measure the success for the onboarding process? Create concrete objectives for each step of the process and identify areas of improvement.
You shouldn’t wait for the onboarding process to start on the first work day of the new employee but start it from the moment the offer letter is sent and accepted. The following describes some of the recommended steps in the onboarding process. It should be noted that onboarding is not simply introducing the new employee to the organisation and staff but a longer process to ensure smooth integration into the company and its culture.
We have also included here a general checklist that you can use as a guide for formulating your own onboarding checklist.
- Compliance: Provide information on the organization’s policies, processes and benefits.
On the first day or at least within the first week, provide the employee with all the information about the processes, polices and benefits. This can be in the form of training sessions, materials, documentation and should include everything from company compliance, insurance and liabilities to the organization’s policies on leave, diversity and inclusion. This would be a good opportunity for the new employees to sign any compliance forms etc.
- Clarification: Provide role clarity.
It is vital that there is a discussion on the specific role and the expected outputs of their job. The manager should give a clear overview of what the role will involve and what it doesn’t involve. This process is an ongoing one as the employee learns and slowly takes ownership of the role, this can be within the first 30 days into the job.
- Training: Facilitate training
Training is part of the long-term onboarding process and is best facilitated by the immediate manager. Even the most experienced employee needs to be provided with a training period to understand how processes function in their new organization or new team.
This can be training on the use of any internal software program or specialized workflows and strategies that are used in the company
The experience that a new employee has on the first day and within the first week will tell them a lot about the organization culture. Introduce the employee to the organization’s vision and mission as well as its values. Have a welcome lunch between the new employee and manger where they can discuss the company culture and create a more informal space for asking questions.
Although not entirely their responsibility, the manager/HR should facilitate communication between the employee and the rest of the team. Encourage interpersonal relationships and share information on networks/groups within the organization. For instance, if there is a staff association, social committee, Young Professional Group or community service team, make sure that the new employee knows about it. Such opportunities should be introduced during the induction and orientation part of the onboarding process.
It has also been recommended to assign a “Buddy” or mentor to the new employee . This is someone who is there to assist the new employee with navigating the new role, company and if the employee has moved city or country for the job, also navigate the new culture/environment.
- Check In and Check Back:
Collect feedback to continuously improve your organization’s onboarding process. Were all the tasks completed? Managers should formally check in with new employees during their first 30, 60 and 90 days.
It should be without saying of course that during this onboarding process that the new employee is given the proper tools needed to work comfortably and efficiently, for example a workstation with the necessary equipment or specific support that they may require.
Adapted from: What is Employee Onboarding and Best Practices https://www.toolbox.com/hr/recruitment-onboarding/articles/what-is-new-employee-onboarding/
The onboarding process aims to support, guide and welcome the new employee as they gradually become familiarized with the company’s culture, values and unspoken rules. This consists of a series of activities/meetings designed to help the employees integrate into their specific department. This process can be ongoing and can last up to a few months.
Orientation on the other hand is much simpler and focuses on the new role of the new employee in the wider company. This activity is usually done as a one-off presentation with Q&As going over the main objectives of the company.