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Employers: How effective is your onboarding?

Bob’s bad onboarding experience

Bob arrives at his new job nervous. It’s his first day and he’s frazzled. He hasn’t been told where to park or who to ask for on arrival. No one greets him. He doesn’t know where to sit. Eventually someone points Bob to his desk and he sits alone waiting and hoping someone will pop by to tell him what to do.

For Bob it’s not a great start. His new organisation hasn’t taken onboarding seriously.

Jane’s joyous onboarding experience

Jane arrives at her new job confident and comfortable. She had received information from her employer telling her where to go and when. She is greeted by an allocated work buddy who welcomes her with a cuppa.

The buddy takes Jane to her desk, already equipped with supplies and briefing material. The buddy helps Jane fire up her computer and tells her she has a morning tea in an hour to meet the team and will meet with her boss after that.

For Jane, this is a great start. She knows she’s a member of a caring organisation. Her organisation has taken her onboarding seriously.

Tips for top onboarding

Onboarding is the process of introducing new hires to your organisation in a professional way. It matters because it integrates new starters from the get-go. It equips them with support and information so they know what’s expected and what they must do.

All organisations should have a formal onboarding process that covers Day One and the immediate weeks beyond.

This expert article provides practical tips to help you make that all-important start day a memorable one.

Pre-start day

Contact your new starter before their first day to let them know what they can expect. This includes where they should arrive and what time. Let the new starter know who will greet them and what can they expect.

Meet and greet

Assign a work buddy to meet the new starter at the entrance with a warm hello. The buddy can sign the new starter in (if needed) and show them their workspace. The buddy should give also give a tour of amenities and essential facilities and share where coffee shops and cafés are located.

Desk set up

A clean desk equipped with pens, notepads, manuals, corporate brochures, and other important documents goes a long way in making new starters feel valued and important. A box of business cards speaks volumes. A welcome card is a lovely gesture.

Immediate tasks

Have a list of immediate tasks ready to go, covering essentials like computer setup, security password setup, and security pass photos. This will get the new starter organised quickly.

The buddy can also walk through information available online and explain the structure of the intranet. This is a suitable time to review the organisation’s vision, mission and values, and talk about company culture.

Meet the boss

There’s nothing worse than a new starter spending their first day without meeting their new manager. Organise for an early hello. This doesn’t need to be an official or lengthy meeting, but face-to-face contact is professional and considerate.

Morning tea

Organise a morning tea to introduce the new starter to the team and enable them to put names to faces.

Buddy check-in

The buddy should check in a few times during the day to see if assistance is needed.

End-of-day goodbye

The buddy should close off the first day on a nice note, walking the new starter out of the office and again welcoming them to the team.

Three benefits of organised onboarding

Best first impression

The first day will be memorable if it is managed properly and reinforces that the new starter has made the right decision in joining your organisation. Great onboarding helps with retention.

Greater productivity

The sooner the new starter gets working, the more effective they’ll feel and the more you’ll benefit. Why waste their entire first week just getting the basics sorted? This doesn’t mean dumping a major project on the new starter, but meaningful work is rewarding work.

Good public relations

New starters impressed with how they’re managed on their first day will be great ambassadors for your brand. Chances are they’ll speak highly of your organisation as a caring and professional one.

Other expert articles for employers

Workplace hybrid model

The Great Resignation

Attracting talent in a tight market

Best recruitment techniques, Part 1

Best recruitment techniques, Part 2

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