It’s true what they say: first impressions matter.
You’re here, at your new job. You have high hopes and expectations, yet, on the first day, the person that hired you is out of the office and no one seems to be eager to help you out. You are a bright candidate so shouldn’t your welcome make more of an impact? Surely, someone has to show you the ropes.
This scenario is quite common especially when a company doesn’t have a proper process in place for new employees. Some companies do it wrong, while some manage to get it right.
But the fact is, no one likes an awkward interaction or to be embarrassed, especially during their first day. And it’s not difficult to assign a person who can show a newbie the ropes. You might not think so, but a good employee induction process can make or break one’s career—and company.
But what makes an induction process successful?
Effective inductions are timely, organized, and engaging. They provide a good first impression of a company. They inspire new starters, educate them about the company’s culture and values so they know who’s who. All information is valuable. If done well, the induction process will give an employee the best possible start in the organization. Done right, induction can make an employee feel:
- Welcomed into the organization and the team
- Confident that they can do the job
- Positive about their future in the company
- Energized about potential opportunities
These seemingly unimportant outcomes actually play a crucial role—they solidify an employee’s relationship with the company. To help you create a best-in-class program, here are some tips gathered from HR experts:
Show them you’ve been expecting them
It can be disheartening for the new employee to see that none of their new co-workers even knew that they were coming. If you accept the fact that people are too busy to give new employees a good experience, that attitude will perpetuate every time you bring someone new on.
You can avoid this by taking the time to prepare their workstation for their arrival and letting their co-workers know which day their new team member will be joining the company.
Provide a grand tour of the office
A new office can be disorienting, especially when you don’t know anyone and you have no idea where anything is. A quick tour of the office can easily solve this—plus, you can introduce them to people as you go along. Sure, they won’t remember much afterward, but at least they’ll feel more comfortable approaching people with questions.
Provide plenty of on-the-job training
Make sure your training includes all of the little things that a seasoned employee might take for granted. Just start with small, simple tasks and let them get comfortable.
Give them a mentor
You can help new hires deal with confusion by assigning them a mentor who they know they can go to with all their questions until they settle in.
Get the paperwork done as soon as possible
It can help your new employee feel productive during their first day. You might even consider emailing them the paperwork before their first day so they’re ready to hit the ground running on day one.
Ask for their feedback
Do they have any questions? Was there anything that gave them cause for concern? Is there anything they need that you might have overlooked? Knowing that you are concerned about them can help them leave with a positive first impression of their new job.
It’s not just about making them feel comfortable, it’s about fostering a positive relationship from the get-go that will encourage loyalty, retention, and productivity in the long term. And it can be as easy as giving them a ‘welcome’ gift. Everyone is nervous in the beginning—this could be the best opportunity to nurture your creativity. From sweets to a nice notebook, anything goes.
However, it might be easy to get it wrong. Understanding what factors contribute to the opacity of the onboarding process can ensure the overall process is evaluated and improved.
Your work is not finished when a new recruit signs the paperwork. If you don’t want to leave your employees asking themselves “Should I stay or should I go?”, you can’t afford to become complacent with your induction process.
With that being said, are you ready to welcome your potential employees in your business the right way?