They Said Yes! Now What?
Three steps to onboard a new employee.
By Caitlin Gray*
You have just gone through the intense interview process, you finally found “the one” and they accepted your offer.
Now it’s time to think about onboarding.
Onboarding is the process of integrating your new employee into your company. This can take up to a year. It is important for your new employee to feel that you are living up to the promises you made during the interview process and that they are continuing to become more and more engaged in their role and your company. There are three parts to onboarding: preparing for the new employee’s arrival, the introductory first few months, and the follow-up training period. Don’t forget that retention begins with onboarding.
1. Initial Preparation
Do not wait for your employee’s first day to start onboarding. Set up their workstation with all of the tools your new employee will need to do their job. This includes loading necessary software on their devices and setting up their technology accounts. Make sure all the other employees know when your new employee is starting. Reach out to your new person several business days before their first day and let them know what to expect including:
- What documentation to bring (e.g., PT license, passport)
- A general outline of the day including any lunch plans
- Where they should park if they are driving
- A description of the office dress code
- What time they should arrive
- Any pertinent building access requirements
If you didn’t do so during recruitment, finalize in writing the roles and responsibilities of the position and be ready to discuss them on the first day. Ideally you would have already done this during the hiring process, but if you have not, now is the time.
If you really want to make your new employee’s first day special, maybe provide a little welcome gift like a mug, water bottle, or T-shirt with your logo on it. Or it could be something as simple as ordering their business cards ahead of time so they are ready to go day 1! Your employee should go through orientation on their first day to cover the basics including:
- Filling out the necessary paperwork
- Reviewing pertinent company policies, including the Employee Handbook
- Gaining access to any necessary information to log in to the Wi-Fi, get into the building, etc.
- Meeting their team members, including the roles that each plays
- An office tour
2. The introductory months
Over the next several months, make sure the new employee’s mentor and/or supervisor is checking in with them regularly to ensure they are getting the training they need and to provide feedback in real time. Let them know how their performance is evaluated and when performance reviews and pay increases are generally conducted. Be sure to contact and support their mentor and/or supervisor to review the employee’s progress and adjust training as necessary.
3. Follow up
The last part of onboarding is probably the most important to ensure retention. Continue to have the employee’s supervisor check in with the employee regularly so they can have career discussions around those goals and promises you made during the interviews. Often these are about career opportunities, growth, or trainings. Are there external trainings or conferences that your employees can go to or e-learnings and journal articles that illustrate new PT methods? Remaining an active and interested member in the employee’s development will indicate your desire to have them remain a part of your team.
Caitlin Gray is a talent acquisition specialist at Sellen Construction. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The author has a professional affiliation with this subject.