Working with an effective team is vital to the success of your startup. In the beginning, you may be able to handle the stress of tackling each task in the business yourself.
But as you expand, you will need to bring in more people to oversee the different aspects of the business. This is why every business owner needs to know how to onboard new hires effectively.
What Exactly Is Onboarding?
Onboarding refers to all the steps taken to bring new employees up to speed with what is happening in your business environment. As simple as onboarding appears, many businesses struggle to do it right, which impacts not just the new employees’ efficiency but also their overall experience and retention rate.
The best practices that businesses should adopt when onboarding new hires include:
• Have a goal and comprehensive plan
To successfully onboard new hires into a business setup, you have to ensure a comprehensive framework for them to work with. A detailed framework here refers to clearly defined goals the business looks to achieve within a specified period.
Asides from having these goals, you should also have plans in place to achieve them. It is never enough to have goals in a business setting; you need to have the required plans to actualize those goals.
Having comprehensive business goals and plans helps create a healthy work environment that allows employees to thrive and work at an optimal level. It won’t be easy to onboard new hires into a system that is not well-defined or goal-driven.
• Create a custom experience
Employee experience is a big deal, and it starts with the onboarding experience. A generic onboarding experience may not be ideal if you’re hiring employees for diverse roles like software development, graphic design, finance, etc.
Try to create a personalized onboarding experience for every new employee. By doing this, your new recruits feel more valued and in turn, you improve their retention.
For example, if you’re hiring a tech expert, find tech-defined ways to onboard such a person. Instead of asking a tech expert to provide just their qualifications, you can ask them to solve a technical problem in the workplace.
Where there is none, you can ask them to explain in practical terms how they will solve an issue if it arises. Here you can ask about software or applications they will use.
• Introduce new hires to the team
When you have a new employee, the next vital step is to introduce them to the team. There are two important reasons why every business owner should do this.
First, it helps to promote interpersonal relationships between everyone in the business environment. The introduction process is where existing team members get to know the new hire, and the new hire gets to meet the rest of the team.
Second, introducing new hires helps them feel welcomed immediately. Imagine a scenario, as a new hire: you walk into a company, and everyone is awkwardly staring at you and not knowing what name to call you. Unpleasant, right? Yes, and that’s what happens when a proper introduction is not done.
On the other hand, there is this feeling of love and value that comes when you receive smiling faces and having people who can call you by your name as you’re welcomed into the team.
• Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of employees
To onboard new hires effectively, you have to define their roles and responsibilities in the organization clearly. There is a famous saying that when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable, which applies to business.
Not only will abuse be a possibility when roles and responsibilities aren’t defined for new employees, but productivity will also be a challenge.
The onboarding stage is one where you have to explain to the new hires what role they will be playing in the business. You also have to state the responsibilities that accorded to that role and create a system of accountability.
New hires should know who they are accountable to in the business to aid effectiveness.
A good example is when you are hiring a marketing manager. Don’t just assume that because you have gone through their portfolio and have some experience, they will know what to do.
While you may be right about them, knowing what to do is still necessary if you define their roles and responsibilities in line with your business goals.
• Give them time to settle in
The same way Rome wasn’t built in a day is the same way you should not expect that new hires will immediately start working at an optimal level after onboarding. They may have gathered years of experience working with other businesses, but every new work opportunity is a new challenge. There is always something different about where you have worked before and where you are working currently.
Often, employees need time to settle in, get used to the team, and understand the work environment before they start working at their best. As a business owner, you should give new hires some time to settle in before you begin placing too many demands on them.
Also, note that the time it will take for new hires to settle in differs greatly based on their experience and job profile. This is where creating a personalized onboarding experience for new hires becomes necessary.
With a custom onboarding experience, you can help new hires settle in faster and better than they would have done without one.
The quality of your onboarding process for new hires will go a long way in determining their productivity level both in the short and long term. Define the entire onboarding process for each department and create a system that works for your business.
Have well-defined business goals and plans in place for onboarding and have new hires introduced to the team. Also, define their roles and responsibilities clearly. Most importantly, give them time to settle in and understand these roles and responsibilities.
Employees’ onboarding process can be painful. If you have any questions or need assistance with your ops, check AbstractOps for help.