5 things to get right when onboarding new staff

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​Onboarding is such a crucial process. It really can make or break a relationship between a new employee and their boss or team. It will set expectations for what is to come. That new employee is like a sponge. They will absorb everything around them and form opinions about you, other employees, the work environment, the company culture, and their job. Invest time and energy into onboarding well if you want to keep that great new hire.

1. Create an induction roadmap

The last thing you want is a new employee wondering what on earth they are meant to do next; confused, perhaps shy about asking, and quite frankly, disappointed by a lack of clear instruction. Draw up an induction road map for them. Have clearly delineated steps. Step 1 might be a tour of the office and meeting new colleagues. Step 2 might be a meeting with their new team. Step 3 could be a training session, and maybe Step 4 is their first project. That project should be clearly mapped out too. Don’t leave them guessing. They should have access to key contacts, know where everything is and what is expected of them from the very start.

2. Design a comfortable environment

Your new employee will likely spend most of their waking hours in your business environment. Make that environment as pleasant as possible. Is it clean and functional? Do you have the right office furniture? Is it light and airy? If not, how can you spruce it up? Maybe some plants? Think about how you could make the physical workplace more enjoyable. Consider adding the option for music, a comfy space to take a break in, and make sure everything they’ll need at their workstation is topped up and in good condition.

3. Offer interesting perks

Make it clear that you’re concerned with what your new employee values. Signal that you want to keep them happy. These days, there are plenty of non-monetary benefits in high demand. Consider offering flexible working schedules, or work from home days. What about free breakfast or lunch? Provide healthy food and snacks — your staff will love it! Other ideas include early marks on Fridays, casual clothes days and early marks as rewards for high performance.

4. Let them speak up

Everyone wants to feel heard. It’s important your new employee knows they can ask questions, provide feedback and make suggestions. Opening channels for communication also allows you to stay on top of any issues they are having at work, before it gets to the point where they want to leave. A good option is to take your new employee for a coffee or lunch once a week for the first month or so. This gives you a nice chance to connect on a personal level too.

5. Foster Social Bonds

We are social beings who crave connection and meaningful interactions. Working with a team of people you genuinely like makes work much more enjoyable! Strengthen relationships between your new employee and other staff by getting them to work together on tasks outside of their normal job description. You could organise a team building day, or even just a lunch or dinner outside of work hours. You could also hold a friendly competition that requires people to work in teams. A regular social catch up is another good option.

Keep your new hire motivated and you’ll be giving yourself the best chance at creating momentum to expand your business. Working on the above steps will also improve your company culture, which will boost morale and overall productivity. Work hard to retain your new employee — it’s worth it. Then you can direct your efforts into strengthening and expanding the business, rather than recruiting and training another hire.

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