You finally found the perfect team member to fill your open position. Now what?
Employee onboarding can seem like a huge task to take on while juggling the daily ins and outs of running a small business. And while it can be easy to make a checklist and throw them into the fire, a personal touch goes a long way in making sure new team members feel welcomed.
Show How Valuable New Team Members are on Day One
During a general HR training I sat through recently, the presenter asked the question, “When is the best time to let someone go?” Her answer was, “During the interview.”
So much time is invested in training and setting someone up for success that the wrong hire can cost a company more than just the overall financial investment. Employee morale, culture, and productivity can all suffer a significant blow.
Conversely, take the onboarding process as an opportunity to set a professional tone that establishes your company culture. More importantly, let it show the level at which you value your people. It will speak volumes to your newest teammate.
Make New Members the Focus of Your Checklist
Don’t get me wrong, a great checklist ensures a smooth onboarding process, but your new hire should also have a great first impression of your organization. Start any such checklist with something personal, something that shows the level of care you are willing to invest in them.
Take a look at the items on your list and ask if it is personal. If the first item is sending a welcome email, consider taking that opportunity to point out what qualifications stood out to you during the interview, as opposed to sending a pre-written template, “Welcome to the team’ FIRST NAME’.”
Welcome New Members to the Team
This will likely be the first official message your new hire will get. A call may make a better first impression, but follow up with an email that creates a sense of excitement and sets them up for success.
- Start with a warm welcome.
- Point out which of their qualifications stood out to you.
- Include a start date, time, and location.
- Provide their contact person’s phone number and email.
- List any documents they should bring.
- Include a schedule breakdown of their first day and stick to it.
- Explain the dress code, if there is one.
- Attach your company’s informational documents.
- Express your level of excitement and what this person will mean to you personally and the company as a whole.
- Thank them for joining your team.
This is crucial! You don’t want your new employee to feel like you are unprepared for them. Follow this carefully so you won’t miss a thing.
- Send a company-wide email announcing the new hire, with their name and position.
- Announce their start date and which office they will be working from.
- If possible, inform coworkers of the time and place for a meet-and-greet.
- Make sure that the head of their department is prepared for the new arrival.
- Define where the new employee’s workstation will be.
- Order all necessary equipment.
- Create their accounts in the HR system.
- Create accounts, email, and other needed accounts for the new employee (prepare a complete list of all services).
- Order security cards and keys.
- Prepare a welcome package and place it on the workstation if possible.
- Prepare HR-related documents.
First Day Checklist
Set everything out that should be done during the first day.
- Be sure to greet the new employee at the door if possible.
- Introduce the new employee to their colleagues and department.
- Show the new employee their workstation.
- Organize a work tour. Hit the essentials: entrances, restrooms, kitchen, common room.
- Ensure that they can log in to any of their systems and all equipment is working correctly.
- Provide access to the learning environment, if you have one.
- Provide all essential information, including guides and rules.
- Check that all credentials and accesses work.
- Arrange a meeting with an employee supervisor.
- Set up a welcome lunch with the new employee and their team.
- If possible, have a one-on-one meeting at the end of the day.
Continue Creating Value at Each Level
As you streamline the Pre-onboarding and First Day experience, don’t drop the ball by overlooking anything that can be done by putting a personal touch to a First Week checklist or even a First Month checklist.
Follow Up and Get Feedback
Doing a few things to make the new team members feel welcome can leave others feeling left out. Remember to make this part of a greater culture of value, and your people will give you their best from day one.
For those who are just starting the process of implementing procedures, click here for some apps that SHRM recommends to help with onboarding.
There are also plenty of templates and resources to help develop your own. If you have a platform that you are already working with, I would suggest starting there. If not, here are some good ones as well:
Written By: Dave Baker, Business Development Manager
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