Leadership as a Factor in New Employee Onboarding
An employee’s onboarding experience is the one of the greatest opportunities to put your best foot forward. It’s the chance to get to know your employee and for them to get to know the organization in a way that will earn their loyalty for staying with you long-term. Training and on-boarding is more than simply learning the job requirements, department processes, and company policies. It’s the time when a new employee taps into the company culture and gets a true feel for whether or not the position and organization will be a good fit for their long-term career goals. Leadership’s role is important in this arena in so many ways, including the fact that the people in charge tend to serve as role models for the company, modeling what the culture will be and how employees operate and find value within that culture.
Most employees understand that leadership is often busy. Adding check-ins with new hires to the list of responsibilities might sound daunting, but if you want to create an inclusive culture that shows every employee, especially the new ones, that their ideas and skills are truly valued, it’s a must-do. Making leadership more accessible can be done in a number of ways, from hosting regular new hire meetings (these can even be conducted town hall style as opposed to one-on-ones) to an open-door policy where employees are encouraged to ask questions and learn more about the company’s mission, vision, and values directly from leadership.
But if a larger affair doesn’t make sense for your company, that doesn’t mean you have no other options. Leaders can create simple, personalized emails to send to all new employees that feature a small bio, a photo, and a little bit about how the leader believes the company can benefit from the new employee’s skill set. A warm welcome is sometimes all it takes to leave a positive impression on your new hires when they are in their most impressionable phase of employment.
If you or your leadership wants to be more involved with on-boarding, consider having leadership run a training session for the area they oversee. A CNO could offer training on nursing policies with new RNs, or the VP of HR can discuss the general company policies with all new employees. These can be for new employees only, but they can also be part of an ongoing professional development plan for the entire organization. However you decide to engage your employees in the beginning days of their employment with your organization, make sure it’s authentic.
Onboarding should always go beyond simply learning the specifics of their role’s duties. It doesn’t end when all the boxes have been checked. It takes time for a new employee to become part of the organization and feel truly integrated. Leadership’s role in helping new hires feel at home, valued, and valuable can make or break an employee’s decision to stay long term.