Ensuring new hires feel connected to the team and engaged in their position is critical. So much has changed since moving to remote work, including the onboarding process. Don’t be fooled; the initial weeks or months aren’t just when an organization assesses their new hire, it’s also for the new employee to determine if they will be able to thrive within their new team.
Here are five of our considerations for a successful onboarding program:
So you’ve successfully filled a position – congratulations! But the real work has just begun. Onboarding is more than any one department, supervisor or team member. Setting clear expectations on what “onboarding” includes, and who is involved, is key – it goes beyond the first day or week.
- Have a “New Hire Form” that all supervisors fill out to notify the various departments involved in onboarding
- Need specialized account access? IT/IS is on it!
- Does a new desk need to be ordered? Facilities has you covered!
- Has training been scheduled? People & Culture have your back!
Clear lines of communication across departments ensure everything your new hire needs is prepared on their first day!
The Onboarding process starts before day one. An onboarding portal allows candidates to learn about your organization and get administrative tasks out of the way. This allows their first day to be focused on them and not the paperwork.
FIRST DAY JITTERS
We’ve all been there. Being a new team member can be stressful! A successful onboarding program can help mitigate some of that anxiety and support a new hire in their role. A small action can go a long way in making someone feel recognized. For example, since the appearance of Covid-19 our Office Coordinator sends branded masks to all our new hires. This is a small step, but has the ability make a big impact on a new hires connection!
Each new hire should receive a Welcome Plan to clearly guide their first day, who they can connect with on a variety of subjects, and what tasks and training they can expect in their first few months. Having a document ahead of time/at the onset of the job with simple clear information on what to expect has the ability to ease stress.
BUDDY SYSTEM AND BUILDING CONNECTIONS
Pair every new hire with a Buddy. This connection allows the new hire to have a friendly face they can go to for support or questions and aids in building engagement in the workplace. We provide monthly Buddy lunches through the onboarding process to carve out specific time for these relationships to be build. The Buddy is a colleague who a new hire can turn to for questions they might be hesitant to ask their manager.
Other ways to engage with the team? No need to wait until your onboarding is completed. We encourage new hires to participate in our Fun Friday events, Leadership Roundtables on topics such as Psychological Safety, and other events from the start!
Onboarding doesn’t stop after 3 months. It can take up to a year for employees to fully transition from onboarding. Especially as many of us have transitioned to working from home, continuing to build relationships and engagement can take more time and effort than before COVID-19. Remember that onboarding isn’t just about basics, it’s also the time employees learn about your organization’s culture. Stories can be a great way to share employee culture during the onboarding process.
Here are four ways to continuously engage new hires:
- Vision and Values session with CEO for all new employees
- Check-in surveys at 1 and 3 months to provide an opportunity for feedback.
- 3-month, mid-year and end-of-year reviews with manager.
- Social Committee events including virtual escape rooms, paint nights, music bingo, etc.
Onboarding is a critical piece of a positive start, and it’s also a key part of a successful retention strategy and the first step to employee engagement. Creating an effective onboarding process takes time, patience, and the commitment to continuous improvement. Our whole team works together to bring new hires into a team that is committed to their success!
Megan Griffin is People & Culture Coordinator at StarFish Medical. Prior to her time at StarFish, she has worked supporting teams in the public and private sector. Megan received her Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Victoria.