I’m not sure if you’ve seen my post on LinkedIn but I am currently looking to hire new members for my team in the UK. After spending many years on the sidelines and providing advice for how we can onboard more successfully, I wanted to compile a list of everything for others who are struggling to onboard post pandemic.
During the hiring process
Finding the right people to join your team can be the hardest thing. Will they mix well with the existing team? Are they competent enough to do the job? The negotiation for the package can be really easy in comparison! I try to have a quick chat with any potential hires to make sure that they understand the role, what we’re looking for and if we’re the right company for them. I’d rather have an open discussion before they progress further to ensure that there’s no misunderstandings.
Before they arrive, I’d recommend:
- Sending them an email /pre orientation email which covers things like: What they’ll need to bring / provide during the first week at the job (e.g. Passport, right to work authorisation). This can also include any security protocols they’ll need to enter the office (e.g. car registration if there’s a car park).
- The next thing is getting all of their accounts / equipment ordered and arranging any permissions that may be needed
- Prepare your customised onboarding plans. This could be setting up specific meetings or trainings that may be needed in the first month of their employment
- If you are doing a remote onboarding, ensure that they have everything they need (laptop, chargers, headsets, cameras, phone) delivered a few days beforehand so that they can have their setup ready for their first day.
I think this is one of the most important days and can be the key to success. Here’s a list of things that I always try to do:
- Have a quick tour of the office and include all of the required areas (bathrooms, coffee machine, meeting rooms, anything that’s useful to know)
- If you’re working in a factory, this could also be a tour of any production facilities (if appropriate).
- It can be useful to have a meeting with the CEO/ Head of the Department to introduce:
- The company
- How the department works
- What Projects are running / how they work
- Introduce to the receptionist and ensure they’re aware of any security protocols (e.g. access to the building).
- If onsite: Try to get their direct colleagues available for an introduction / lunch
- If you’re doing this remotely, try to arrange a virtual lunch with your team / specific team members
- Optional: Get some promotional swag available (who doesnt love a good bit of swag?)
- Assign them a buddy / someone to work with for the first month of their onboarding who can answer questions as needed
- Invite to any meetings that may be required. During the first two weeks, I recommend a daily check in with the new employee (this can just be 30minutes) to ensure that they’ve got everything they need and if they need help with anything (this could be purely admin or project specific questions).
- Set up a schedule of required activities that need to be completed and give a clear due date. Do they need to undertake any mandatory trainings? Have they got to do any Security clearances? or required activities? This can help with getting acquainted and learning about the organisation or team.
Within the First month:
As the new employee starts to get orientated, it’s important to ensure that you can help build some team cohesion. This can be through informal lunches, team activities or just coffees. Depending on the team / time of the year, we may do a team building activity to introduce them to the team and build relationships outside of the work environment.
- As a Manager, you should be doing a regular check in. This could be twice a week/ weekly, as needed. It’s important to encourage and keep communication lines open so that the new person knows who to contact if they have any questions.
- Get them involved in what they’re doing longer term. This can be introducing them into the project, doing smaller tasks that might be useful to the longer term goals.
- Ask for feedback: Ask how they felt that the onboarding session was going and if there’s anything that they’re missing
This timeline is typically when the biggest turnover occurs with new hires. When I’ve done some research on this, it can be because the person didnt feel accepted or understood the job. To try and mitigate this, you can do the following:
- Check in:
- Keep your regular check ins and understand if they understand their role/ where they’re adding value and if they’re happy in their role / work that they’re doing. If they’re not, this could be an assessment for what they’d want to do instead and what might be feasible
- Give any initial feedback about their work/ how they’re settling in. This can be good / constructive as needed
- Ask for any suggested improvement points to the onboarding process / what you might be able to change
- Get them on their projects/ engagements
- Give them enough time to get acquainted with their projects, teams and important stakeholders. If they are shadowing someone, it can be useful to ask them how quickly they’d like to be involved/take over specific activities within a 4-6 week timeframe.
- I’d also look at what’s feasible for them to complete. If the project is just starting, they could take over one specific action (e.g. completing a risk register / workshop).
Onboarding a new person to the organisation does take effort, but it can also help build a strong relationship and ensure that you have the right people working with you to achieve success.
Have you got any top tips for onboarding new colleagues?