Those are only a few of the opportunities you have during employees’ first weeks at your organization. But how can you take advantage of them? Here are eight approaches that work.
- Start by Having a Well-Defined Onboarding System.
Many companies just wing it, with negative results. Still other companies see onboarding as little more than filling out forms, setting up company email accounts, and showing new employees to their workspaces. Because new hires start their jobs without a deeper understanding of what is expected of them, they make mistakes that quickly become costly habits that must be corrected later on.
Many problems can be avoided if you set up a structured onboarding system that functions as high-level training. On their start days, new hires can meet individually with HR representatives to fill out forms, for example, and then meet as a group to watch videos and learn about your company, its brand, and its values. After lunch, they can be trained in the basic skills their jobs demand; watching training videos, engaging in work simulations and working alongside current employees can work well to reach those goals. And after day one, they should attend regular follow-ups to address problems and reinforce basic concepts and skills.
The operative strategy is to clearly define ahead of time exactly the skills and behaviors you need, and to create a concise mini-curriculum that tracks to them.
- Set Up Genuine Mentoring Relationships between New Hires and Successful Current Employees.
Remember, mentors’ goals should not be to get new hires to imitate what they do, or even to adhere to company systems. Their purpose is to discover what new employees would like to accomplish at your company, and to help them reach those goals. In short, mentoring is not about the mentors or strictly about your company, but about the employees who are being coached.
- Find Ways to De-layer and Free Up Communications
Invite new employees to brainstorming sessions where their new ideas are collected, posted, discussed — and put into action when appropriate. Also consider setting up de-layered systems — like virtual suggestion boxes on your company intranet — where employees at all levels can present suggestions directly to top company executives. If employees can only submit ideas to their immediate managers, you have created a communication structure that carries a risk of demotivating front-line and entry-level personnel; just one supervisor who stifles new ideas can do great damage to your company.
- Don’t Do Training on the Cheap.
One thing is for certain: if you are only handing out employee handbooks and having new employees fill out withholding forms, you are missing out on some great opportunities. If you can set up mobile training that sends out pings to remind employees to use specific skills they learned in training, for example, you could increase your training ROI dramatically. The lesson? Spending a little more to deliver great training is a money-maker, not a cost.
- Within Your Budget, Customize Training for Each Employee.
Even “standardized” training can be enriched by creating individualized training elements for each new employee. You can evaluate the skills of your new hires during training and address them directly, for example, or help employees overcome anxiety about performing certain parts of their new jobs. Investing just a little time to give training extra value can go a long way toward getting new employees up to speed faster.
…/… More Info and Original Published by FACILITY EXECUTIVE