How can you help new employees make a smooth transition into your small business? Successful new employee onboarding can reduce costs and save company resources. Employees who are up and running quickly will have fewer days of on-the-job training, saving you time and money.
Onboarding new employees: 5 Tips
Creating a successful onboarding process requires organization and thoughtful planning from the moment you offer a job through the first few months of employment.
Here are five key elements of a successful employee onboarding program.
1. Clearly define the job and your expectations
Many new employee onboarding efforts get derailed before you even mail the offer letter simply because you never clearly define the job. Every position should have a distinct set of responsibilities, with clear goals and expectations for each employee.
Changing your expectations after your new employee begins working can waste precious time and resources, and may result in redoing the entire employee onboarding before any work has begun.
2. Develop an orientation program
Whether it’s assigning a mentor or presenting an overview class, develop an orientation program that addresses all the basic needs of each new employee. This may include having the employee train on policies and procedures and tour your company building. Must of the cost of training staff can be reduced through group training, or e-learning.
3. Prepare the work environment
All the tools new employees need should be ready the minute they come to the office on their first day of work. This step not only makes the employee feel immediately welcome and appreciated, but preparing for an employee can also prevent many lost hours of productivity.
For example, if you hire for an office position, the new employee should have basic office supplies in his or her work area. If the employee will use a computer, make sure one is set up with Internet access and an email account set up. If the employee needs a phone, connect one to the desk and have a clear set of instructions for the voicemail readily accessible.
4. Introduce new employees to team members
Introduce new employees to their team members and explain how their responsibilities fit into the work your current employees do. To make the onboarding process more comfortable, you can schedule a team meeting on the employee’s first day or make another employee responsible for introductions.
5. Stay connected
During the first few months of employment, make a point to check in with new hires. Look for signs that the employee fits in well with your company and help guide them through situations that may not be going smoothly.
New employee onboarding best practices for small business
As a small business owner, you most likely hire employees to help with the enormous number of tasks that come with running your company. But, bringing a new person up to speed in your business adds more to your workload.
By streamlining your program for onboarding new employees, you can keep more of your time and money. Your new employees will be on their feet faster, and may stick around longer, if you give them clear expectations, direct instructions, and opportunities to settle into your company.
The less time it takes your new hires to become productive team members, the faster you can get back to running your business.
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This article has been updated from its original publication date of April 11, 2013.