How to create an effective employee onboarding process

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After a job offer has been made and accepted, the next step new hires have to take is to learn about their new role and company. A lack of familiarity with their work environment can make this a daunting prospect and make them nervous for the new position. In a bid to make a good impression, new employees may be reluctant to ask too many questions but as a business, staff must be made to feel welcome, comfortable and confident. Here are some tips on how to create an effective employee onboarding process that will ensure employees settle in well. 

Write Up the Onboarding Process

Before a recruit has even joined the business, the goals and objectives of the onboarding process should be documented with actionable steps. Every employee is different, but there should be a baseline approach that all new staff members can benefit from. With that in mind, however, the documentation shouldn’t be carved in stone – there should be opportunities for the onboarding process to be reviewed and updated regularly as the company expands and builds on its vision. 

Prepare in Advance

Making a new hire feel comfortable requires planning, including sending them a welcome letter that details the dress code for the role, their start date and time, and a brief outline of their schedule so they know what to expect. This information makes it clear what’s expected of the employee, but it also helps them prepare for their first day properly and will help to reduce their nerves about starting a new role. 

Assign a Mentor

Depending on the position, it can often be helpful to assign a buddy or mentor for the first week that can help the new staff member settle in and learn their role. Even if it’s just to ensure they have someone to chat to at lunch and who they can ask where things are, it can help someone settle in if they have a designated person they can ask questions. 

Put a Name to a Face

Organisational charts are great but only if you’ve been at the company for a while – otherwise, it’s just a collection of names with no way of knowing who they correspond to. Skip the chart and instead provide a simplified version that includes names of the team with a photo and their job role. This is of far more use to a new team member who will quickly be able to identify who everyone is and what their role in the team is. 

Encourage Questions

Starting a new role can lead to a lot of questions, as there is a lot to take in at once. Managers and HR teams should encourage employees to ask questions but also pace out the information provided so that they have the chance to absorb it. This will make learning everything required much less intimidating and will make it easier for them to ask questions or clarify information as it arises. 

Make Time for Team Building

We spend a lot of our time at work and with our colleagues, so it’s a great idea to schedule in time for some social activities and team building. Schedule in a team lunch, for example, or after-work drinks so that everyone can get to know one another and interact away from the work environment. 

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