New Hires for the New Year: Effective Onboarding

Last week, we talked about the importance of building the right team in 2021. If team growth is on your priority list, the right hiring process to identify (and hopefully hire) the ideal fit is a key factor. This week, let’s move on to the next step. Once you have your new hires for the New Year and have their start date(s) set, how can you help them hit the ground running? It starts with effective onboarding.

With the right onboarding, you can give new team members the information, resources and relationships needed to build their confidence and comfort right away – which will ideally translate into outstanding job performance. Your onboarding process can set the stage for a team member’s entire tenure. A bad experience can lead to early departure, while a great experience can lead to ongoing dedication.

Here are a few tips for effective onboarding:

  • Be sure to share all role-relevant information and documentation. This can include background details and resources they’ll need to succeed with the responsibilities they’ll be taking on.
  • Build an itinerary for at least their first week (or longer if needed). This can include a checklist of assignments and goals for the first week.
  • Ensure they have access to communication or collaboration tools, whether it’s something obvious like email or other platforms you use.
  • Give them contact information for you, your team and others they’ll need to interact with. Make sure they know other important unique practice information.
  • Make a welcome video to help them feel like they’re a part of the team. You can also pair them with others to “shadow” or meet with, so they can get to know everyone.
  • Always be open to questions, concerns, etc. During this time especially, they’ll want to know they can rely on you (or other managers) for guidance.
  • With the pandemic, virtual onboarding has become a necessity for many. If you will be virtually onboarding a team member, don’t let that be an obstacle. All of these suggestions can still be used. You may just have to get a little creative with how you accomplish them.

Onboarding is a great time to start building their skill and knowledge development. Establish regular check-ins and meetings to get a sense of their progress, address any issues early on, make sure they have the support, resources and equipment needed to succeed, etc. Set a schedule that works for you and the team member. You could do week one, 30-day and 60-day check-ins, along with regular touch bases. You can also send out experience surveys to get their feedback.

In terms of their development, consider their current technical, collaboration, communication and attention to detail skills. Identify aspects in each they can work on advancing (and meet about it regularly to discuss). In these discussions, check on their progress in building these skills, see what obstacles are in their way and learn what you can do to help them get there.

As mentioned in our last post, turnover can be costly. According to Topgrading, the average cost of turnover can range from five to 27 times the salary of the hire, depending on the company and position. Using the right screening and hiring process, you should have great candidates hired. But be sure to take the right onboarding steps to help them develop into the ideal team members you want them to be. You, your team and the individual will benefit.

Need some help with effective onboarding? We’re always a phone call or click away to support your needs. Schedule a consultation with one of our practice management experts today!

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