The compliance side of employee onboarding is procedural. The engagement side is harder to define. But there are still best practices processes for both sides of the onboarding equation.
Here are the practices you should implement in your organisation to have an industry standard onboarding process:
Onboarding is a process. Have a fully mapped out plan for everything that needs to be done when you hire a new employee. This will include everything from sending the initial offer paperwork, setting the new hire up with the tools for their job, to a program for the first 90 days of employment.
Go through each step in detail. Include everything the new hire needs before they do. Any time spent waiting for a laptop, paperwork, or for clearance to be granted, is a productivity loss for your organisation.
Define every step in your onboarding process, so you can prepare everything for a new hire before they even arrive.
Paperwork is the most boring, confusing, and frustrating part of the onboarding process. So much can be held up by a missing signature on one piece of paper.
Get your paperwork out of the way as soon as possible. The faster you finish off paperwork, the faster you can focus on the engagement side of onboarding. Electronic acceptance is a simple work around to speed up the paperwork time as it removes the delays of postage, filing and manual data entry.
Setbacks in the onboarding phase give the impression your new hire is not expected to be productive immediately.
Have everything from a desk to login details ready for new hires will mean they can hit the ground running rather than sit around twiddling their thumbs. All they have to do is sit down and use their login details to get started.
Work through your own list, even give provisioning a dry run yourself, and make sure everything has been completed as planned.
That way, you can welcome your new hire with the confidence they will have everything they need, because you went through the steps yourself.
Discuss the most likely questions new hires will have when they start. Your FAQ can even include the best people to talk to about certain matters, or what your policy on having certain items in the office are.
The FAQ is like a digital version of an employee handbook. It can be much more comprehensive, easier to update, and much easier to access at any given time.
This database gives new hires a resource to get to know the company before they start. It avoids any embarrassing mistakes that new hires often make, and clears up any questions they may feel too embarrassed to ask.
Include a vocab sheet of common terms used in the office. New hires will feel more like part of the team when they know what you’re saying.
Add to this FAQ over time. Monitor your new hires for any questions they still have after reading through the handbook. Make asking about the effectiveness of the FAQ part of your regular follow-up with new hires.
Assign someone at a similar level to your new hire to be their mentor. This doesn’t have to be someone more senior than the new hire, nor does it have to be someone from the same department.
Pick someone who you feel would get along with the new hire, and someone who recently went through the onboarding process themselves if possible.
Mentors give new hires a starting point with building relationships in the office. Advanced questions beyond the FAQ can be addressed by mentors. Mentors can also help with handy tips outside of the office, such as great places to eat or the best commute.
Mentors have that human element that FAQs and checklists lack. The right mentor can start a friendship that lasts the new hire’s working life at your organisation.
Zappos make all new employees at all levels undergo customer service training. This training helps to reinforce how Zappos is a customer-focused organisation, and anyone who can’t value customer service may not be a good fit for the organisation.
Cut to the core of your organisation. What is the defining skill or value needed to succeed at your workplace? Have new hires spend time focusing on this attribute. Those who thrive at the core of your organisation will grow into valued employees over time, no matter what role they have.
Check out our tips to make your onboarding process amazing for ways to go that extra mile and make your onboarding process truly special.