The first impression is the best and lasting impression. This adage is so apt when it comes to onboarding new hires. A strong onboarding process can make your new hires feel welcome, excited about the opportunity and make them feel more attuned to organizational goals.
Contrary to popular belief, employee onboarding is not a single day orientation event or handing out of new goodies. It is more of a strategy that helps attract and retain talent. It is the inflexion point from where the employee stops being an interested stranger to the organization and becomes an active stakeholder in its growth.
That brings us to the question of how to build a new employee onboarding process?
Here is how you can create a perfect onboarding process right from the first meet with the new hire.
One to two weeks before the employee onboarding day
One to two weeks before the onboarding day is the right time to inform the new recruit about the physical address of the office, directions to reach there and modes of transport available. Giving this information beforehand will make it easier for the candidate to make arrangements for transport and accommodation.
If the recruit is relocating to the business location from another State or country, the intimation should be given as soon as the offer letter is given. Do everything possible to make the relocation and transportation easier for the recruit. If possible, assign a specific person from the recruitment team who can be reached for help when needed. The assistance of the travel desk should be offered to smoothen the onboarding process.
The day before the onboarding process
Send the recruit a welcome letter and information about how to pass through the security systems. Most offices which are located in business centres have tight security processes that do not allow entry to strangers. Your new recruits might be well known to you, but the security team must also be informed of their upcoming arrival. Sending a security clearance letter that the new hire can show at the security gate should be serving that purpose.
On the onboarding day
Make sure that there is someone physically present to welcome and to show the new hire around the office. Ideally, their cubicle or cabin should be kept ready complete with nameplate.
The onboarding process must also be well-planned to ensure that the reporting manager and the team find the time to meet and greet the new recruit.
Other things that should be given to the new recruit on the onboarding day include:
- The work laptop, office stationery, goodies like backpacks, notebooks, coffee mug, etc.
- Official email id, work phone, employee ID as per the HR system, etc.
- Induction manuals that explain the business, its current operations, and a brief introduction about other departments.
- Identity card, access keys to their desk drawers, parking stickers, meal coupons, etc.
During the first week of employee onboarding
The onboarding process does not end with a single day. There is a lot of paperwork that needs to be done to ensure that the new recruit is completely absorbed into the organization’s system. This involves paperwork related to the IRS, pension schemes, health insurance, background checks and so on.
The new recruit should also be instructed well in advance to be prepared with copies of educational accomplishment, work experience, personal identification documents and so on. This will make the onboarding process easier and quicker.
The first week of the onboarding process is also the time when one-to-one meetings with reporting managers, other departmental managers as well as team leads should be scheduled.
During the rest of the period
For a new recruit, getting into the organization’s system is not an easy task. It could take them as long as three months to go from new recruit to part of the system. So, it is essential that the employee onboarding process has a long-term plan in place that will slowly, but steadily bring the employee into the system.
From the first day of onboarding through the first three months, a new hire requires much support from the onboarding team. Ensure that a 30-day check is kept to ensure that everything is in place in terms of paperwork, organizational roles and so on. Even trivial matters like the comfort of the workspace, workplace accessibility issues, etc. should be addressed immediately. Do ask for feedback about the onboarding process so that any flaws therein can be rectified while onboarding employees in the future.
Planning an employee onboarding process requires proactive planning and coordination. The ultimate payoff of having a good employee onboarding process in place is that it inducts the employee into the organizational culture and topography quickly. It also contributes to employee wellness as it relates to paperwork, understanding organizational goals, individual roles and responsibilities and so on.
How great can your onboarding process be? It depends on how great you want your new hires to feel. If you want them to feel top of the world and all geared up to deliver their very best, don’t hold back on anything.