Three ways to ensure new hires are happy and productive.
By Brian S. Anders
As The Great Resignation continues, it’s more crucial than ever for HR professionals to fill open positions within their organizations. And there are a lot of vacant positions to fill. In November 2021 alone, nearly 4.5 million U.S. workers left their jobs to seek new opportunities. To retain unique talent and set up the workforce for lasting success, companies should form a cohesive employee onboarding strategy.
With so many employees hired during this time, businesses require greater involvement with new hire onboarding to ensure prolonged success. Comprehensive training and robust onboarding signal a commitment to employees’ professional growth, both in the short and long term.
Here are three ways HR leaders can express commitment to and investment in new hires.
1. Develop a meaningful onboarding strategy. A worthwhile onboarding process is critical to providing employees with the best possible beginning to their new jobs. As HR and leadership teams brainstorm to develop an optimal onboarding experience, a general plan should include insight into overall business strategy, company culture, employee policies, procedures, tools, and various systems. A well thought-out program will prepare new hires for an engaged and productive start.
Since general information may be cut and dry, ensure onboarding basics are as interactive as possible, like offering quizzes with rewards. Looking beyond, orientation days should include information on workforce goals, organization charts, and stakeholders. Providing in-depth information about company structure doesn’t just educate new hires -it shows commitment to long-term growth and goal attainment.
Finding success in onboarding is nothing without solid and open communication. New employees will often have many questions, and they should feel welcome to ask them all. To further aid in the transition into a new job, new hires should have a coworker or manager who consistently checks in on them and actively encourages questions and raises concerns.
Be intentional in making connections for remote employees by giving new talent virtual tours, setting up coffee chats with employees, and providing video tutorials on established tool stacks.
2. Bolster engagement in work culture. An organization’s culture influences the working environment, overall tone, behavior of peers, and team connections. A solid workplace culture attracts and retains better talent, which can result in excellent peer chemistry among employees and cost savings for the organization.
The challenge is ensuring new hires have ample opportunities to immerse themselves in workplace culture from their first day onward. Of course, this inclusion may be more difficult in remote and hybrid working environments. However, employees can establish connections -virtually or in person. Be intentional in making connections for remote employees by giving new talent virtual tours, setting up coffee chats with employees, and providing video tutorials on established tool stacks.
With an open and welcoming company culture, new hires will want to engage with employees to learn more about their job details and functions. Ongoing engagement may help new hires better acclimate to their new workplaces and connect with their peers.
Comprehensive training and robust onboarding signal a commitment to employees’ professional growth, both in the short and long term.
3. Feedback is vital. Deploying modes of feedback allows for honest conversations and communication about the quality of onboarding. Are there any gaps that must be addressed? How is the new hire adapting and what kind of support might be needed? Managers and HR leaders should ask these questions during milestone touch points and host consistent conversations with employees. Feedback can provide insights, reveal early performance indicators, and identify roadblocks.
Organizations should always have a channel for feedback where new employees can ask questions or detail concerns about the onboarding journey or their responsibilities. Leaders should establish a neutral space for comments and concerns to make employees feel entirely heard and valued.
Managers need feedback as does new talent. Set up check-ins with new hires after their early milestones to ensure they are on a path to success. As employees become comfortable with their roles, questions about their position or the workplace may arise, and they can ask their manager during regular check-ins.
Taking proactive steps to support and uplift new hires will make a vast difference in engagement while building a connected workplace culture. Continuing this approach will naturally bring effective results and high satisfaction in the workplace.
Brian S. Anders is director of HR for WorkSmart Systems.