All aboard! 5 tips for effective onboarding

Dear A Advisor,

I’m a brand-new employee in an HR department, and I already know what I’d like my first contribution to the business to be: to re-vamp our on-boarding process. I’m very enthusiastic about my new company, but I feel like my first weeks could have run more smoothly. I know this is a much-needed area of improvement—I just don’t know where to start! How can I improve my company’s on-boarding process so that people hired after me aren’t distracted or frustrated by the disorganization and can focus on their new position?

Thanks for your help!

Setting Sail

Dear SS,

What a great contribution to make to your company! A successful on-boarding process has immense benefits for any company: new hires have a great initial first impression of the company and start off on the right foot as engaged employees; they don’t miss out on essential information; they can concentrate on learning their new roles and making contributions to the company from day one.

So how can you build a great on-boarding system? Here are five elements to keep in mind:

  1. Collaborate! New hires need information from multiple departments across the business, not just the department that they work in. Their respective department, Human resources and payroll will all need to know when a new employee starts, and understand their role in the on-boarding process; no new hire should find themselves in a position in which they don’t know who to talk to about their paycheck, their role on a team or their rights in the workplace.
  2. Organize! An on-boarding process will not be successful if it is not well organized. Hold each person involved accountable to have all of the required paperwork and information to hand off to your new hire.
  3. Know your stuff! Your new hire will have a lot of questions, and you should have the answers or know where to find them. Make sure that all training materials are clear and readily available so that the answers are easy to locate.
  4. Make it personal! Assign one individual within your company to be a friendly contact. This person should act as an initial contact for company culture and as a champion for your new hire. A champion can get your employee off to a strong start on an interpersonal level in your company.
  5. Take ownership! Delineate clear lines of responsibility for each element of introducing your hire to their new role and company. There should be one person in charge of coordinating all materials and clearly assigned point people from each department that will need to hand off information for your new hire.

I wish you the best of luck implementing an effective new on-boarding process! Your personal experience will help you recognize the importance of a smooth first week at the job.


The A Advisor

How do you approach on-boarding? Do you have any employee engagement-related questions? Ask the A Advisor!

5 Foolproof Tips to HR Onboarding with Ease

Engaged Employees From Day One: Start With Success

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