Investing time in onboarding brings new employees up to speed faster, which means they’re more quickly and efficiently able to contribute to the business. Effective onboarding also dramatically reduces failure rates and increases employee engagement and retention. The time between someone accepting an offer and starting their new role can be used to jump-start the process.
But even if new employees are already in their new job, there are many ways to get them up to speed faster. The starting point is to take care of the “onboarding basics” – such as documentation, compliance training, office space, support, and technology. Fortunately, most firms do a reasonably good job of these elements. The real work begins with integrating new hires into the business.
Understand the challenges
Starting a new job is challenging. Even experienced professionals can struggle as they are unfamiliar with the business, don’t understand the culture and aren’t fully aware of how things really work. New employees have to learn a lot and may be feeling quite vulnerable, even when they seem outwardly confident.
Managers need to get involved
Managers have a vested interest in onboarding their new hires effectively. They need to coach their new recruits, check-in with them regularly and be ready to intervene if things look like they might go off-track. This requires an investment of time and energy but can help the new hire to secure some early wins, which can boost their confidence, their credibility within the firm and will increase the likelihood that they will succeed in their new role.
From the beginning, a manager should explain to the new hire what the expectations of the role are and set some key objectives for the first 100 days. The new recruit should be clear on what they need to do, how they should be doing it and what the purpose of the role is within the context of the wider business.