Many managers I work with have strong and detailed onboarding plans for new hires, but in general, onboarding is something that often does not get enough attention from managers. If you haven’t given it much thought, you might want to consider enhancing your plan.
According to a BambooHR study, one-third of new hires quit their job after about six months. Another study shows 33% of employees decide whether they will stay at a company long-term after being on the job for one week or less, and 63% make that decision in the first month! Having a great onboarding plan is one of the best ways to combat an increasingly expensive turnover rate.
Gone are the days of the “train yourself” approach. One of my friends who has been selling for decades once told me that on his first day in a new job many years ago, his boss handed him a phone book and said, “go sell.” What? No onboarding, no training, no coaching, no plan to develop his talents? Fortunately, he was wildly talented, so he was able to teach himself and achieve goals, but he soon moved on to another company that focused on developing its people.
The most successful companies have a comprehensive onboarding plan and ongoing talent development strategy in order to set new hires up for success and reduce turnover. Studies show that a well-managed onboarding program can lead to a 100% increase in employee retention rates and a 60% improvement in an employee’s overall productivity. The very best onboarding plans begin even before the new employee walks in the door.
What To Do Before Your New Hire Starts
Pre-boarding will make your new hire feel welcome from day one and pave the way for a positive first day experience. In the time after you hire the new employee and before their first day, you should let your team know a few interesting facts about their new team member, why they were hired, and the role they will play.
You might also consider sending your new hire a friendly note or welcome messages from their teammates. Also, let them know where to go on the first day and provide them with any paperwork that can be completed ahead of time. It also helps to have IT set up their computer, logins and passwords before they arrive.
Make The First Few Weeks Memorable
Once your new hire starts, discuss your expectations with them right away. In order to set the right expectations, you need to first have a clear understanding of their innate talents. You can set higher expectations based on their greatest areas of strength. This will lead to increasing levels of growth and success. Here are some things you can do in their first few weeks:
- Provide your new hire with specific talent feedback. Discuss their strengths with them and how they can use them, grow them, and increase their success with them.
- Discuss the performance metrics that you will be tracking and the specific actions they can take each day that will lead to strong performance.
- Help them get to know your company, your clients and your culture.
- Let them know how to have fun at work and how they can get involved.
Ongoing Training and Development
Onboarding should not end after initial training. It is important that you think about how you can ensure your new hire’s continued growth and development. Have ongoing conversations about what they have learned and how they are doing against the expectations you put in place. Implement specific coaching strategies to maximize their strengths and work around their weaknesses.
Effective onboarding is key to the success of a new hire. When done right, it will increase employee retention, morale and productivity.
If you are a CSS client, you might want to check out the online course Effective Onboarding for more tips on how to create an effective onboarding program.