All on-board!

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How people are treated when they start a new job determines whether they become productive quickly, whether they become engaged and how long they will stay with your business.

Most large organisations have a structured induction process, however we find that smaller business don’t and expect new staff to hit the ground running.

Generally new hires learn by asking others, as well as by trial-and-error. There are not many small businesses where a new employee gets a thorough grounding in what the business is all about, who’s who, and what’s really what. Giving them that can make all the difference.

Here are some tips on designing your own world-class on-boarding experience:
Plan ahead – before the new employee joins you, make sure that you have their workstation, office supplies, business cards and equipment in place. All too often someone joins a business and for the first few days they do not have the tools to do their job due to lack of foresight and planning. You can be sure that the employee will find this frustrating and it does not present you in a professional manner.

Assign a buddy – assign a buddy who they will be able to speak with in relation to day-to-day operations and who can support them through their orientation period.  The buddy should be someone who exhibits the kind of behavior that your business would like all its employees to exhibit.  They may take the person out for lunch once a week, or just catch up for a coffee every few days.

Make the on-boarding process formal – develop a checklist that covers everything a new person needs to know. It may include information on the company history, the values of the business, meeting the team, explanation of the performance review process and initial expectations, health and safety, access to the IT systems, professional development, and training and where the toilets are.  You may include a lunch with the team on the first day and schedule meetings with key members in the business during the week.

Think long term – the induction may extend over several months and may include visits to different business locations, spending a day working on the factory floor or scheduled visits with key stakeholders. Mix it up and expose people to different parts of your business.

Use technology – you may have resources on your system that a new person can look at and review.  This helps a new employee to familiarise themselves with your systems and the tools they may be required to use.

Educate managers – the relationship with a manager is one of the most significant in an employee’s work life.  Ensure managers schedule time with the new employee to start building a productive working relationship.

These may seem like straightforward steps to take. However you can be sure that most businesses do not spend time on these actions and therefore put at risk the return on recruitment investment. Following through with these simple steps will support you in building your reputation as a business that is interested in new employees getting off to a great start.

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