The most crucial people responsible for the success of new recruits are the managers who oversee their induction process. The manager, being the person who also sits in during the hiring process, understands what is required for the new employees to accomplish their assigned tasks.
Managers have a significant impact on the effective onboarding/orientation of new employees. Studies have shown that following a systematic procedure during onboarding has resulted in smoother and faster (up to 50 times faster) integration within the company. A smoother and faster integration allows for the employee to achieve the desired goals quicker and reduces error. An effective onboarding system also increases employee engagement and retention.
The sooner managers support their recruits, the better. The time from when an individual accepts a job offer to when he/she joins the organisation is a precious time which could be utilised to jump-start the onboarding process. Onboarding starts with providing the new employee with the relevant documentation, technology, compliance training, workspace and other support. Data indicates that most companies do quite well at this point in the onboarding process.
Managers should get thoroughly involved in the integration of new recruits into the work environment. Seven ways to do this right are:
1. Learn and understand their challenges
Onboarding is one of the toughest things every worker has to go through during job transitions. Even if you are an experienced professional, you will not be familiar with how things are done, and this is the time an employee will have to adapt to a new culture.
New employees, have to learn numerous new things in their first few weeks of work which can contribute to them feeling vulnerable and overwhelmed., Some new employees may play it safe and do only what they know best. Others may start focusing on their performance rather than learning & asking questions about how they can add value to the company goals. It is therefore vital for managers to reassure new recruits that learning is the most important part of their onboarding time and to assure these employees that their focus should not be on their performance during their first few days and weeks.
2. Speed up their learning
The quicker a new employee gets to know about the company and their role; the faster they will be able to accomplish their job goals. To speed up the learning process, managers should initially focus on 3 areas of learning. Firstly managers should have someone impart technical learning which will provide an insight into the fundamentals of the company’s business, such as products, clients, technologies, and systems. The second area of learning should be cultural learning. This learning should include the attitudes, norms, and values that are unique to the organisation. Finally, if required, the third area of learning is political learning which is imparted to allow new employees to familiarise themselves with how decisions are taken within the organisation and also how employees can obtain the support they may need.
3. Make recruits part of the team
It is important to make recruits feel like part of the team (or teams) as soon as they join the company. It is important to introduce them to the entire team and to thoroughly explain to them the role they will be performing and the impact their role has on the team and business.
Orientation of an employee should take place as soon as they join the company with clear instructions. More senior employees should be willing and should be encouraged by the management team to assist their new colleagues in adapting to this learning curve. Creating this crucial link between the new and old players will go a long way and reap rewards when it comes to team communication and performance.
4. Connect recruits with key stakeholders
There could be other stakeholders who are not the immediate team members but are important players in the overall success of the company. The manager should therefore facilitate coordination among the team members. One way to do this is by making a list of stakeholder names and introducing them to the new recruit.
5. Giving direction
It is impossible to expect employees to work unless their managers set clear goals. Only the right guidance will help new recruits understand three critical questions:
When should I do this? It will give clarity on the specific goals and timeframes for completing them.
How should I do it? It will provide clarity on the strategies for accomplishing the goals. It will also shed light on what tasks should be given top priority.
Why should I be motivated to complete it? This will provide insight into the organisation's goals and help new recruits understand what they need to do.
Even if the company's expectations were discussed during the recruiting process, an in-depth conversation must be scheduled in as soon as new recruits report for work. This ensures that there are no misconceptions about what it takes to be successful within the company.
6. Help recruits achieve early wins
Early wins are an effective way for new employees to build up their confidence and credibility. Most people joining a new job fall into the trap of trying to prove themselves and end up making mistakes. As such, the manager should support new employees to focus on the work that requires their attention and eventually lead them towards achieving the outlined job-related goals. Part of this lesson is teaching recruits how to achieve wins in ways that are consistent with the organisation's culture.
7. Coach recruits for success
Last but not least, serious managers do not leave new recruits to cope alone. Great managers provide support at all times especially when it is a “sink or swim” situation. It takes time for employees to fit into the work environment and good managers should continually coach their people. Simply asking “how are things going?” every once in a while, allows the employee to know that as their manager you genuinely care and are there to support them. As a manager, should you notice that the new recruits are struggling you should intervene and provide the necessary assistance in setting up your people for success.
The above are 7 easy steps to create an effective onboarding process. Creating the right onboarding process and providing consistent support and coaching from the management team should aid the organisation with attracting the right talent as well as contribute towards the retention of these same employees.