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Successful Onboarding and Best Practices

    Highlights of a Successful Onboarding Process:

    The First Day

    The two main goals on the first day should be setting expectations and introducing objectives. Employees need to have crystal clear ideas about what their job duties and responsibilities are on Day 1. Aligning expectations is critical. To keep existing team members from resenting a new employee, make sure roles and responsibilities are outlined for the entire team. It's a good idea to clarify the position of the new hire as well as the positions of other team members whose work is closely related, how they'll interact with each other, and how projects will run.

    The First Few Months

    It's important for HR to have a one-month check-in to make sure that the new employee is comfortable, happy and engaged. Reviewing and giving thoughtful feedback on your new hire's early contributions are also important during onboarding. Mentoring is a great way to get a new employee involved and engaged in their work. Mentoring programs can be as simple as assigning a new employee a go-to person or having an elaborate team of mentors for any questions that might arise.

    Conducting another check-in between three and six months, depending on the employee and the role, is adviseable. Nearly 90 percent of employees decide whether to stay or go within that first six months. Showing you care by taking the time to check-in with them can make all the difference.

    The First Year

    An employee's performance at the end of the first year will prove if they're fully productive. Now you can plan for future development. Show them what their career looks like at the company.

    The end of the first year is when traditional onboarding transitions into retention and employee satisfaction. Shift from on-the-job training to continuous development. It's also a great time to have the compensation conversation. Your new hires will thank you for setting them up on the path to success and your company will be well on its way to turning those new hires into seasoned employees.

    Why is onboarding important?

    • Helps new employees adjust
    • Creates self-efficacy
    • Clarifies roles
    • Encourages social integration
    • Can help reduce turnover and improve productivity
    • Helps new employees understand and fit within the organization’s culture
    • Can increase job satisfaction and organizational committment

    Best Practices for Onboarding:

    • Implement the basics prior to the first day on the job.
    • Make the first day on the job special.
    • Use formal orientation programs.
    • Develop a written onboarding plan.
    • Make onboarding participatory.
    • Be sure your program is consistently implemented.
    • Ensure that the program is monitored over time.
    • Use technology to facilitate the process.
    • Use milestones, such as 30, 60, 90 and 120 days on the job—and up to one year post-organizational entry—to check in on employee progress.
    • Engage stakeholders in planning.
    • Include key stakeholder meetings as part of the program.
    • Be crystal clear with new employees in terms of:
      • Objectives.
      • Timelines.
      • Roles.
      • Responsibilities