Excited about the opportunities…nervous about meeting expectations…hoping your contribution will be appreciated and recognized. That’s how most of us feel when we start a new job!
Unfortunately, the “honeymoon” period doesn’t always last. Sometimes a different reality –that doesn’t align with the expectations a new hire arrives with – starts to settle in.
At many organizations, onboarding means loads of paperwork, missed details, unanswered questions, and busy hiring managers failing to make new hires feel welcome. This creates a poor first impression and reduces a new hire’s time to productivity.
Here are four tips to help hiring managers turn a new hire’s “Day 1” excitement into long-term employee engagement:
1) Start early. Nothing beats being prepared for Day 1! Before they even start, new hires should be given a portfolio of their team members that provides helpful information like names and contact information. At the same time, the hiring manager should become more knowledgeable about the new hire, send a welcome note and pick a coworker as the new hire’s buddy.
2) Give guidance. It’s the hiring manager who really makes or breaks the new-hire experience. But let’s face it, portions of the onboarding process can be tedious for everyone involved. So HR departments should provide the hiring manager with step-by-step guidance on what needs to be done before the first day, Day 1 and beyond. That way, the hiring manager is equipped to help new employees become productive and engaged quickly and efficiently.
3) Create strong connections. As part of the onboarding process, help new employees connect to the organization by describing the goals of the department and how they support the organization’s strategy. This can also help new hires feel connected to their new colleagues by clearly defining team roles and responsibilities.
4) Start a development plan. The first day on the job is a great time to set up a learning plan. New hires are open to suggestions from their hiring managers and will see the development plan as an opportunity to grow and be accepted into the workplace. Hiring managers can take advantage of this by selecting learning activities that will enable new hires to reach their first milestones and begin contributing as soon as possible.
Effective onboarding is about more than just introducing employees to the work environment and corporate culture. It lays the foundation for long-term employee engagement. Yes, there will always be a stack of HR forms to be filled out. But getting new hires excited by showcasing the best from their new employer is what will make Day 1 truly the start of something special.
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Dean Fulford is a senior human resources leader with experience in all aspects of HR vision, strategy and implementation, applying his background to many facets of the businesses he’s worked with. He has done consulting in organization development and effectiveness, performance consulting and process improvement in both small and large organizations, and bringing solutions that provide immediate impact while enabling sustained organizational impact.
Dean has led the implementation of operations review practices in HR departments, bringing a unique skill set and approach to human resources leadership driving pragmatic, metrics-driven solutions. He is also a certified human resource leader (CHRL) and licensed professional engineer. He specializes in HR strategy, employee engagement to drive effective operational processes and talent management. For more information, get in touch with Dean.