Engaging your new employees from the time they accept their offer is critical to driving engagement and reducing attrition. A 2014 Gartner study found that nearly one third of participants had quit a job within the first six months due to unclear guidelines, ineffective training, or an unfriendly environment.
One of the most effective ways to prevent these employee false starts is to put a structured, measured onboarding plan in place for your team or company.
It’s not just paperwork
We hear this all the time: "We already have a process in place to collect all the required forms and paperwork for new employees." Legal, administrative and HR-related tasks are a necessary, but are a relatively small part of onboarding.
Streamlining the paperwork process won't move the needle on a new hire's experience. What will move the needle is what happens over the next few weeks or months as your new employee integrates into your company culture, makes connections, and starts feeling productive.
Don't wait until your employee's first day to start onboarding
Onboarding should start once your new employee has a start date. This often referred to as pre-onboarding or "pre-boarding". This is your chance to keep new hires excited about their choice to join your company, foster relationships, and demonstrate your company's culture and values.
One of the most important pre-onboarding activities is preparing new hires for their first day of work. This can be a stressful time for them.
Reduce the stress by creating a checklist and agenda for their first day:
• Remind new hires to bring their photo ID and bank information
• Specify the dress code if your company has one
• Provide directions to your office
• Give the name of a contact person, or hiring buddy
• Share company handbooks or policies that they should read
• Send company swag, such a t-shirt or mug
• Include video messages from the team welcoming them to the company
• Include a personalized welcome from the CEO or another executive
Dynamics 365 for Talent makes it easy to engage new employees before their start date by allowing you to create a welcome guide using their personal email address. You can even hide certain activities until your new employee has an official work email address.
Make the first day special
An employee's first day should reinforce their decision that joining your company was a good idea!
• Make sure that new hires have everything they need to get started. This includes a workspace, computer, and required credentials, software, and tools.
• Create an agenda for the first day
• Don't just focus on orientation. Make sure to have fun, introduce them to people, and show them around the office.
• Keep other employees in the loop by letting them know that someone new is joining the company. Don't leave out the people in IT, Payroll, and other administrative departments.
Focus on relationships
Relationships are key to getting new hires get up to speed. More importantly, they help create a sense of community and belonging at your company.
• Identify an expert or champion in your company and make them an onboarding buddy
• Connect new hires with job-related communities or interest groups. This is a great way to find coaches or mentors.
• Share team member profiles (ideally, ahead of time) to speed up communication, knowledge sharing, and networking
• Share social communities or events that align to your employee's personal goals
Dynamics 365 for Talent allows you to create a list of key contacts, complete with name, contact information, and photo and share it with new hires ahead of time. It's great to show up on your first day and put faces to names.
Give your new hire the confidence and tools they need to be successful. This starts with clearly defining their responsibilities and setting your expectations for how they will achieved. Next, create a training plan that focuses on the skills they need to meet your expectations. Don't just focus on compliance-based training.
Set clear milestones
Setup clear checkpoints and feedback loops between you and your new hire. Create as much opportunity to intervene and course-correct as possible. You want to address issues before they become big problem—or worse-attrition.
• Schedule a 1:1 before their first week is over. This is a great time to discuss expectations, work styles, and career growth.
• Define 30, 60, and 90 day goals for new hires. Be sure to check in regularly to see how they are tracking against these goals.
Create these milestones in your employee's welcome guide by clicking the "New Section" button in Dynamics 365 for Talent.
Hanscome, R., & Lougee, M. (2016). Improving Organizational Performance by Evolving From 'Onboarding Employees' to 'Managing Worker Transitions' [Abstract]. Gartner.
Onboarding in a Box. LinkedIn Talent Solutions