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Your Onboarding Process Sucks: Here’s How to Fix It

Management / 03 Mar 2021

From time to time, businesses need to make new hires. The old guard leaves or the company grows and requires more people. It sounds simple, but actually filling a position is notoriously difficult, as anyone who has tried to do it will attest.

There are a couple of basic problems. The first is that the hiring manager never really knows what the old employee was doing – not fully anyway. So instructing the new one is never a straightforward matter. You’re mainly trusting them to figure some of it out for themselves.

The other problem is onboarding – the process of actually inculcating them into their role. Most employees will expect you to provide a “ramp” for them to get snug in their position before piling on the pressure. But actually knowing how to do this can be elusive.

In this post, we explain some of the methods you can use to fix your onboarding process. Right now it sucks.

Start Before They Arrive

The onboarding process should begin even before they arrive for their first day at the office. You should be priming them for what to expect and where they need to be.

Remember, new employees often come from totally different environments. They may have a bunch of assumptions about your company that aren’t at all true.

They also don’t want to waste time, so everything should be set up for them from day one. It shouldn’t be hard for them to log into their computer or access their email. Everything should be ready to go. To them, it should feel as effortless as throwing a hot dog down a hallway.

Make Them Feel Like They Belong

It can be a little awkward making somebody feel like they belong. But it is essential if you want to avoid alienating them. So what does it involve?

Well, first you’ll want to provide them with an onboarding partner. This person is a colleague they can turn to whenever they have questions about something. Most things will be practical – such as “where is the bathroom?” Give them full access to this person for a couple of weeks so that they always have an advocate.

Next, immediately bring them into the social network – whether online or in-person. Get them chatting with the rest of the team.

Finally, set them up with all the tools everyone uses to do their jobs successfully. Don’t leave them out in the cold. Here, pursuing digital HR transformation can help because it allows you to deliver human resources services over the cloud. You can do everything from employee development to career planning digitally.

Make a Good First Impression

When it comes to onboarding, the primary goal should be to create a good and lasting first impression. You want a new employee to feel like they’ve come to a company that’s excited to host them. Going to work shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should be something that feels filled with passion and, hopefully, a bit of joy too. Always be grateful and regularly check in with them.

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