Making Employee Onboarding Incredibly Rewarding
Let’s wax poetic for a second.
Without a good onboarding strategy, a new manager or team leader is much like an untrained German Sheppard being let loose in your home. They’ll come barreling into an unfamiliar environment, destroy everything in their path, and mark their territory in a variety of unappealing ways.
On the other hand, a good onboarding strategy makes you somewhat of a metaphorical dog whisperer. You’ll be harnessing your powerful pup’s (err, we mean new hire’s) unbridled enthusiasm and energy which will lead to an enduring relationship.
Okay. Despite our efforts to lighten the mood, effectively introducing a new member to the leadership team is no laughing matter. It’s integral to the overall future of your tech business.
Yes, your intensive interview process should mean you’ve selected a super-awesome candidate. But onboarding will help ensure you don’t end up as disappointed in your new hire as you were with the Star Wars prequels.
Below, we’ll be going through some tips that’ll smooth out any possible rough-edges in your onboarding procedures.
Easing Apprehension means Relieving Tension
A new leader may offer a fresh perspective and savvy set of skills, but their very hiring might ruffle some feathers. It could be the result of someone else’s firing. Or a current employee may have been passed up for the position.
As such, you must channel your inner Sigmund Freud prior to bringing in your new hire.
Potential misgivings or animosity must be dealt with early, empathetically, and attentively. Schedule private meetings with employees directly involved with the change. It’s here where they may ask questions and raise concerns.
Also, meet with your new hire before their first day to give them a heads up about the current office dynamics. They shouldn’t be blindly wandering into a warzone.
Don’t Wait to Integrate
There is nothing worse than leading a new team without any previous interactions with its members. It can be like a bad blind date but without the benefit plying yourself with drinks to ease the pain.
Usually, there’s a lengthy period between hiring a manager and the day they start. Don’t leave them in the dark during this time.
Instead, fill them in on current projects, provide them with a list of clients, and get them connected to workplace communication platforms.
Encourage your employees to email and congratulate your new hire before their first day. Landing such a great gig is a big deal and the rest of the team should make it clear just how amazing of an opportunity this is.
Making your new hire feel part of the team ASAP will help them interact and contribute quickly – rather than twiddling their thumbs aimlessly for the first few weeks.
Give a Clear Explanation of Workplace Expectations
The workplace isn’t an improv theatre. New leadership hires need clear-cut guidelines for the responsibilities and expectations pertaining to their position. Not making it up as they go. Yet 50% of American employees don’t have the foggiest idea of what they’re supposed to be doing at work, according to a poll from Gallup.
Clarifying how an employee’s success will be determined is honestly just the fair thing to do. It’s pretty callous to leave them guessing.
Explain to your new hire matters such as whether they’re supposed to help the company grow or maintain its current state. Let them know how much work they’re expected to do and about policies of which they’ll be in charge.
You can codify these goals and expectations or write out a thorough job description. Regardless of the method, just make sure to establish these objectives and parameters during the hiring process then once more when onboarding is underway.
We can’t stress enough the importance of this step. It’s hard to hold someone accountable when neither of you has a good grasp of what they’re supposed to be doing.
An Office that’s Socialized = Performance that’s Optimized
You don’t want your new hire to feel an icy, anti-social chill the moment they walk into the office.
We’re not saying work should always be a romping good time, but your employees should project some form of warmth and friendliness.
In fact, a study by The McKinsey Global Institute shows that productivity improves up to 25% in organizations with connected employees.
And you might as well connect employees right off the bat. Throwing a little lunch-time mixer with a delicious ice cream cake to celebrate your new team member’s first day will go a long way in breaking the ice. It’s a scientific fact that cake gets people talking!
You could even go all out for the party. The bigger deal you make, the more excited everyone will be. Just don’t take any ideas from Mad Men. They didn’t have H.R. departments back in the 1950s.
New Hires Need Time to Learn Reason and Rhyme
It’s going to take some time for your new hire to become acclimated. Unless you’re onboarding Bruce Lee and your tech firm is somehow Kung-Fu-based.
According to Training Industry Quarterly, it takes at least 1 to 2 years before an employee is fully productive. With a great onboarding process, it’ll probably take closer to 1 year than 2.
Increasing workload and productivity expectations incrementally is your best bet. Have regular progress meetings to keep track and to work out any kinks.
But most importantly, don’t rush your new hire.
Think about it. If you throw your new hire directly into the fire, they’ll simply shut down and fail to adjust. Whereas, slowly but surely increasing the workload will ensure a gradual-but-steady growth in productivity.
It’s in Good Taste to Foster an Awesome Workplace
You want your business to be the proverbial “place to be” where everybody contributes and feels like a valuable piece of the puzzle. Not a place where employees clock-in, clock-out, then go home and cry themselves to sleep over their broken dreams.
Part of creating such an environment is by establishing an awesome onboarding process that gets new hires started off on a high note.
Looking for a way to save time managing your agile team? Why not give SyncProgress a try for free? All features are included in our free plan, giving you the chance to fully manage your remote team for free.
Back to Blog