How to Create an Effective Onboarding Plan
Hiring new employees is often a time-consuming, costly endeavor. Yet it’s important to understand that once you’ve found the right talent, the real work begins — with your onboarding process. Why? Because the kind of experience you provide for new hires during their first weeks and months helps define how well they’ll assimilate and how productive they’ll become. Moreover, according to Roy Maurer in his article “New Employee Onboarding Guide” for the Society for Human Resource Management, onboarding plays a critical role in retaining talent.
That’s why, if your onboarding is more like an orientation with some job training, you’re likely missing several important elements that could help your new hires acclimatize to the company and their new role more easily. Here are a few steps you can take to create a solid onboarding process.
Make a detailed plan that addresses the “Four Cs.”
In his Forbes article “How to Onboard New Hires Like a Boss,” Ryan Wilson points out that an onboarding plan should be detailed and address clarification, compliance, culture, and connection — or the “Four Cs.” Clarification focuses on a new hire’s position and how it fits within the organization’s overall mission and functioning. This can involve further explanation about the role, job shadowing, and, if necessary, training. Compliance is about fundamental policies that all employees should be informed of and involves things such as providing new hires with your employee handbook, benefits information, rules of conduct, and more. Culture refers to the organizational norms that set your company apart from others. It can be encouraged by means of team-wide professional and social activities, including meetings, dinners, and other activities. Connection involves the nurturing of interpersonal relationships between team members. This can be achieved by promoting one-on-one time between seasoned employees and new hires, for example by partnering them on projects or encouraging them to spend lunch breaks together.
Assign a mentor.
Bennet Conlin’s Business News Daily article titled “Starting Strong: Tips for Properly Onboarding Your New Employee” advises that it can be helpful to assign each new employee a mentor — someone who has been with the company for longer and who knows the ins and outs of the company culture. Mentors should support new hires by answering questions, checking in with them to see how they’re doing, and even taking them out for coffee or lunch — using a company stipend, of course.
In order for your onboarding process to be effective, you need to measure its results. To do this, consider factors such as employee feedback, turnover rates, productivity, and even lifetime value. Over time, you can use these metrics to continuously improve the process.
When new employees feel welcomed and supported, it goes a long way to ensuring that they can settle into their new roles and becoming valuable members of your team. And that in turn can have a positive impact on your team’s productivity and ultimately, your organization’s bottom line.