Does your small business have a proper plan in place for new employee orientation? Or are your new hires, more often than not, allowed to sink or swim?
In this Monster video, Emily Bennington, author of Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job, looks at how you can provide employees with an onboarding process to help them succeed, enabling you to reach your business goals with continuity.
By: Emily Bennington
Onboarding sounds like something complex that only large organizations can do but that’s actually not true at all. Any company can have a successful program as long as you take the time to be thoughtful in how you incorporate your new hires.
And in a lot of small businesses, where everyone is stretched so thin, onboarding tends to be like a game of double-dutch where new employees are expected to just jump in and not screw up.
And that’s really unfortunate because a lot of new hires tend to make the decisions about whether they’re going to stay with the organization or not within the first 18 months. So as an employer, you really need to pay attention to that window if you expect to keep your best people around.
If I were a small business owner looking to start or improve an onboarding program , the first thing that I would do is either hire or assign someone to be directly accountable for it. Too much important work can fall through the cracks if no one is responsible for it.
The next thing I would do is actually slow the process down. There’s so many companies that try and cramp two years of information into two days and people just don’t learn that way.
So better to give people smaller chunks of information over a longer period of time and the best onboarding programs last somewhere in the neighbourhood of 6 to 12 months -- so you really take your new employees through their first year of employment with your organization.
As a manager, one of the best and most important things that you can do for your new hires is to actually take the time to sit down with them and go over their job description as well as their top priorities for the first 90 days.
So much of what we come to judge as poor performance really comes down to unclear expectations -- so you really want to make sure that you and your new hire are on the same page from day one.
I also think it’s really important to build some social elements into your onboarding program as well so that your existing staff and your new hires can have the opportunity to get to know each other.
Sometimes we tend to celebrate an employee’s departure more than their arrival -- and a lot of companies get that backwards.
More insights from Emily Bennington:
• Monster Video: How to Conduct an Interview
• Onboarding Essentials
• Develop a Meaningful Internship Program