Is your company missing their big chance?
Managing a growing company is exciting and full of challenges. A major challenge is hiring and onboarding new employees.
Is your company’s onboarding process employee-centric?
When great employees are hard to find, it’s important that your onboarding process puts the employee first – so that the employee feels valued.
The 4 C's of Onboarding
Compliance: The basic legal and policy-related information every employee needs to be taught.
Clarification: The information each employee needs to do their specific job.
Culture: Teaching the organizational norms – both formal and informal.
Connection: Begin to establish interpersonal relationships and information networks, internally and externally.
All four C’s are important. The most important for employee satisfaction and retention is Culture and Connection.
Without connection, employees don’t feel engaged and are more susceptible to recruitment to other organizations.
How can a company focus on the company culture and connection of the employee?
Avoid Traditional Onboarding
Companies that insist on subjecting employees to completing and signing endless repetitive forms and participating in dry presentations touting the company policies and procedures are wasting an opportunity.
Use technology to get the routine paperwork done quickly. Impress the new employee with how the company can focus on the job to be done and not tedious paperwork.
A new employee is a natural cheerleader for the company if the company handles the first few weeks properly. Spend more time focused on the employees and less time on the company.
In fact, Dr. Tayla Bard, Ph.D. quotes in her report on page 6 of “Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success.”
Have a written plan specific to the employee’s job that outlines what the employee needs to know over the course of a few weeks. Work with the employee to tailor this plan based on the employee’s goals and interests.
This is how the connection is developed.
A good start is to have an open-ended discussion to understand what the person enjoys outside of work.
Focus on Employee Goals
Onboarding is an ongoing process that everyone in the organization participates in, not just HR. Don’t underestimate the importance of greeting a new employee warmly, providing lunch, and having a functioning workstation on Day 1.
Spend time in the first few weeks of an employee’s tenure learning about the employee’s goals, both at the company, in their personal life, and in their career. The Career CNX process contains key questions that open the conversation beyond the current role the person is in or starting.
Assign a seasoned employee to act as a guide and mentor within the organization. A current employee can help with understanding the culture of the company and guide the new hire.
Work with the mentor to broadly outline how to guide the new employee in both their new job and how to incorporate the new employee’s goals.
When people feel heard and supported, retention and job satisfaction increase.
Blend the Employee’s Goals with the Company’s Goals
Just like the company’s milestones, new employees need milestones for the first few months on the job. The employee’s goals and the goals of the company need to be blended so that the employee understands how they fit into the company’s success.
There should be a job description that leads to clearly stated measurable goals for 30, 60, 90, and 120 days in a new job. The employee needs to be in complete control of achieving these goals. Use the goals to check on how the new employee is progressing.
Internal coaching is helpful here. The mentor is a natural fit to help coach, as is the employee’s manager. Most employees take about 3 months to really understand their job and the company. Periodic check-ins with the new employee by management and their mentor. Technology can help here – the Career CNX app schedules interactions automatically and reminds you when to connect.
Developing and meeting goals is great for employee confidence in job performance. As Dr. Bard mentions on page 4 of her report, “Organizations should target specific onboarding programs to help boost employees’ confidence as they navigate new organizational waters.”
Performance is the long-term goal of onboarding. Employees who are fully productive sooner are the product of great onboarding.
With a great program, your new employees will become productive faster, and be engaged and happy in their new roles. Never underestimate the importance of a great first impression.