How to Improve your Onboarding Process

If you’re reading this, chances are good that you’re an employee of a company and just started. If not, then maybe someone sent this to you because they know how important the onboarding process is and want to help you get off on the right foot at your new job.

As with any skill or knowledge one might hope to acquire, there’s no such thing as getting it all down from the start; improvements must be made throughout the learning curve in order to achieve mastery (or at least competence). The same goes for improving your onboarding process – from having the correct HR software in place, to ensuring you’ve received feedback from previous hires. It will take time and effort on your part until things run smoothly and without much fuss for everyone involved.

Keeping that in mind, we’ve put together a list of steps that you can take to get started right away, ensuring that the process is carried out successfully and according to company standards.

Step 1: Meet Goals and Deadlines, or You’re Fired!

If you want a good start to a new hire’s tenure at your company, then you’ll need to provide goals and deadlines from day one. Give them a task that they can work on right away without having to run around trying to find someone who knows what they’re doing, or wait until other tasks are finished up first. It will show you have confidence in their ability to do the job if given an early chance, as well as boost morale by showing appreciation for their willingness to dive right in from day one.

In addition, this lets them know how long they have before expectations must be met so they don’t feel overwhelmed. If they’re not able to meet the deadline, then you can’t expect them to be able to do much else until it’s finished, so this is an important step in keeping their productivity up.

Step 2: Be There for Them From the Get-Go

Reliability is invaluable when your employees are new and trying to figure out who to go to with questions. Be there for them from day one! This means being available by email or phone (or both) if need be; it’s preferable that you don’t leave them hanging, wondering what on earth they should do next because you don’t answer email quickly enough (and let’s face it – some people just don’t like instant messaging).      If you’re not the type of person who enjoys and/or excels at this sort of thing, then consider getting someone else involved in the process – a peer or one of your managers who is willing to take on the responsibility.

Step 3: Make them Comfortable

Speak with them (if it’s possible) before they arrive for their first day, preferably before an official orientation session. This will help you get a feel for what they’re expecting and also give you important information that can be put to use later down the road; things like if they have any allergies or dietary restrictions, special requests (such as needing a computer with specialized software installed), and so on.      For longer- employees, write out the standard questions you’d ask an interviewee, so you can get all your bases covered. This way, there will be no awkward pauses in the conversation when they have to answer questions that it would normally be routine for someone new to give answers to, but you’ll still get the information you need.

Step 4: Get Them Moving

If your company has a clearly defined process of what should happen when a new hire starts their job with you (such as them filling out necessary paperwork before orientation, or having someone show them around), then make sure that they go through that process without any trouble. As stated earlier, not doing anything until everything else is finished could potentially delay their work starting until after your other employees are free to help them out; this is not something you want to do, so make it part of your orientation process.

Step 5: Follow Up

Your new hire will have questions later on down the road that don’t have answers readily available. Make sure to follow up with them during their first month or so on the job – if possible, check in with them weekly, either by phone or email – just to set expectations of what they can accomplish and what sort of assistance they may need along the way. This also gives you insight into how things are going for them; whether everything is running smoothly or they’re having some trouble getting started.

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