How to Design a Well-Thought Onboarding Process
Change. Such a big part of our life as humans. It is the only constant in our lives as individuals and our history as a species. We are in this industry to assist companies in finding great talent for their organization. But also to make sure everyone feels happy and comfortable at their workplace. So, how can we make the transition into a position for a new hire better? What does our Onboarding process need to be optimal, efficient, and positive? Why is this step important?
The onboarding process is more than handing them over some new equipment and a mug for their coffee. Your new hire needs to figure out things about your organization. They have new coworkers, a new office, more likely a new route from home to work. The onboarding process should always be designed towards helping your new hire feel comfortable, at home and release tensions and overwhelms. The success of your onboarding process will show you new hires that succeed in their roles and that are not stressed by the change. So here are the different elements you need to keep in mind when designing it.
The Importance of Onboarding
The onboarding process is crucial for the success of your new hire and your success as an organization. Aligning your new team member with all the relevant aspects of the company from the moment they begin to work with you, will help you achieve your goals more efficiently. They will make informed decisions from the beginning and their result will be up to your standards. Showing your new employee you care about them feeling comfortable in their new company in the role will definitely help you with the development of engagement, identity, and commitment.
Take the time to explain the company’s hierarchy, who they should reach out to if they need help in the different departments. Communicate what the company’s values, vision, and goals are. Offer training in the different programs and software they will be needing. Discuss pertinent HR information and company policies.
The onboarding process does not start when your new hire steps into the office for the first time. It starts when they decide to sign the job offer. It is not uncommon to have talent pull back after they signed the offer, and I want to help you fix this issue. Sometimes this happens because organizations do not build off the excitement for the new hire. They signed the offer? Send them an email with the information about the next steps. Have your team add them and message them on LinkedIn. Invite them over for a weekend event with the team they will be working with. Announce on your company page about the new hire.
Show them you are really excited about them making the decision to join your company. The welcoming process goes a long way when securing new hires. The welcoming part does not end within the first week of the employee is at their role. It should be extended for at least 90 days. And the welcoming is more than an introduction. I say 90 days because we want to ensure our new team member feels supported in the organization. Make sure they are feeling comfortable and in line with the organization’s values and culture. If they do not, make sure to address the situation in a timely manner and offer solutions.
Who knows your company’s processes better than your current employees? Probably nobody, this question was just to add some content, honestly. I believe every change within any organization should always come from current employees and have a test drive with them as well. When designing your onboarding process I suggest you gather people from the organization for brainstorming sessions or focus groups. In these you should discuss:
- Best practices and experiences in past onboarding processes.
- Best introduction practices.
- Who the ambassador or mentor should be during the onboarding?
- Best way to communicate big chunks of information in such little time.
Paperwork and Access
Have this be the first part of the day. Paperwork is boring, I know it, you know it, everyone knows it. So get it over with! And access, lord, access. I remember my first day with an organization became the first week. My journey started on a Monday they activated my email on Wednesday. I KNOW RIGHT? But that is not all. The access to the building, was by fingerprint. And they activated my fingerprint the next Monday. So throughout my first week, I had to wait for someone to let me in!
When I say you must make your new hire feel at home, I actually mean it. Take care of any access or identification needs before you provide any training or introduction. And to continue with my anecdote, and this is the part where I always laugh. I remember 3 months into the company we had a new hire, she was a recruiter as well. She came in the morning, and there was nothing ready for her. Absolutely nothing. Not even a computer. She went out for lunch and she never came back. So, if you do not want this happening to you. Make sure you provide your new hire with everything they need to feel welcomed on their first day.
Yes, we all look forward to designing processes that become standards and that are done with a checklist. But we need to always have in mind that everyone is different. Every new hire will come with their own baggage. You do not want to be providing junior training to someone you hire for a position of seniority. So make sure you adjust every process depending on what is in front of you.
By doing this, the new hire will feel like the process was actually planned with them in mind. Having into consideration their role, experience, skills, and any other relevant information they shared during the recruitment process. Do not be that kind of organization that says “oh well the process is like that for everyone”. This is not only bad for the onboarding process but for your overall image and employer brand.
Design an onboarding process that is always in line with your business needs and values. This is extremely important. But also keep in mind that the onboarding process is just the first step in your relationship with your new hire. There are processes you want to be developed between the employees and the organization. And the best way to make sure they are developed and planned is by having everything in your employer branding strategies be consonant with all the other elements.