Now that more companies are releasing a little more of their budget dollars to begin recruiting again, it’s time to dust off your on-boarding process for new employees. Did you know that most employees’ engagement levels are established within the first 90 days of employment? What better way to ensure high levels of engagement from your new employees early on in their tenure with you than by providing a meaningful on-boarding experience.
So you probably already know to cover the basics in your on-boarding program – benefits enrollment, employee handbook, I-9s, tax forms and the like, but have you considered some of these other items?
Invite your senior most leader at your site to be a guest speaker at your new employee meeting to address the group and share with them the company’s vision, mission and values. Employees want to know what a company stands for to make sure it aligns with their own values. Similarly, ensure the new hire’s manager is around the first day or so to very clearly set expectations for what is expected from the employee. Establish how work will be measured and how often to expect feedback. When employees know what and how they will be evaluated, their satisfaction and engagement goes up, particularly when their manager also makes a clear connection about where their work fits into the overall value proposition of the company.
What about some of the intangibles? What are the unique work processes or procedures the new employee should know about? An effective on-boarding process will address these issues too. Specifically diving into the often unspoken rules or cultural landmines is critical to ensure higher chances of success from day one. Are there certain behaviors that are more acceptable than others? For example, is taking a smoke break ok or not?
On-Boarding Checklist (from SHRM.org)
The list below are some of the items you should cover with new hires, however realize every company may not need all of them.
- Company profile.
- Mission, vision, values of the organization.
- Organizational culture.
- Organizational chart.
- Tour of facility.
- Legal and policy
- I-9 form.
- Personal information sheet.
- Tax withholding.
- Benefits enrollment.
- Policies (e.g., anti-harassment, non-discrimination, e-mail, dress code, telephone, etc.) and/or employee handbook.
- Non-competition agreement.
- Security information.
- Work group
- Meeting with supervisor.
- Meeting with co-workers.
- Work expectations and standards
- Tools and supplies (business cards, e-mail account, keys, etc.).
- “How we do things” (informal issues for ensuring success).
- Cross-departmental communications issues.
- Etiquette issues (eating at your desk, answering phones, personal items at work, etc.).
As a final thought, many of our clients like to assign an internal mentor/buddy and/or an external coach to help new employees navigate their first six months of a job. It’s a small investment to make given the costs of bringing on a new person. Mentors can serve as a confidential sounding board to make sure the person is figuring out company nuances more quickly while an external coach can provide strategic counsel and explore specific issues or provide an objective evaluation of workplace situations.
Here’s to successful hires, high engagement levels and long retention of your employees.
Genevieve Roberts, Titan Group LLC, Partner