New employee onboarding can be overwhelming. There are a number of items you need to “check” off the list to ensure you set up your new employee for success. One item, sometimes easily forgotten, is making the effort to learn about who your employee is. Sure, you spent time vetting their skills and qualifications, feeling confident they could do the job and thus you hired them. But at the end of the day, who is this person you will be working with every day? At the same time, they may be wondering the same thing, who is this team I am now a part of and how do I fit in? At the end of the day, no one is expected to walk away best friends, but ensuring a welcoming environment where new employees feel comfortable helps improve engagement and morale, and having a solid personality fit as well as a skill fit goes a long way toward reducing turnover, too.
Creating and fostering a welcoming culture doesn’t need to be a daunting task. First, think about your specific team, their job duties and what makes sense. Are you bringing somebody into a small, collaborative group? Perhaps scheduling a few team get-to-know-you lunches will set aside time for everyone to learn more about the newest member. But, what if you have a very large team? In that instance, a team lunch may not make sense. A simple email to the group, a bulletin board with a brief bio and picture or even making sure to take the time to introduce them in the next staff meeting can open the door for the new employee and tenured employees to interact.
For some organizations, assigning a mentor or a more tenured employee to the new employee provides a resource outside the manager and HR for the new employee. The mentor is someone who has been a part of the organization and can share their experiences with the new employee. It can be a more “casual” transfer of knowledge where the new employee is paired with someone they don’t feel pressured to address as they would their manager, but rather a peer that can add a level of comfort that may make the transition easier. This person can be someone that helps with some parts of training, they can be someone that just checks in with the new employee to see how they can help and how things are going, or they can be someone that they work with regularly that has been tasked in helping ensure their success. This relationship can be set up however makes most sense for your team and organization. This also provides a professional development opportunity for your tenured employees to work on skills outside their current job duties.
As a manager, taking extra time with your new employees can be hard. When you check in with them to see how everything is going specific to the job and training, try and include some time to learn more about them personally. This can be as simple as asking how are you? How are you enjoying the job? How is everything going outside your job tasks? The manager-employee relationship is one of the most important, and creating a comfortable trusting relationship early on has the potential to impact the employee and team’s success.
We have all been the new employee at one point in our careers. Thinking back to the first day on the job and how you felt meeting new people is important to remember when interacting with new employees. Taking the time to put yourself in their shoes can help make the entire onboarding process more smooth and welcoming. Think about your organization, and in particular the team or area the new employee is part of. What steps can you take to make sure they feel truly welcome to the organization and their new team?
Take some time to think about the onboarding process at your organization. How do you ensure new employees feel welcome? Take some time to learn if your current methods are working. Are there recent new hires you can check in with? A way to learn if a new hire feels welcome, without taking up more of your time is implementing new hire check-ins. Not only do these check-ins collect information about how welcome employees felt, but they gather data on the entire new hire experience and help you utilize the insights to improve your processes and understand your workforce better.
Are you interested in creating a mentoring program at your work? This type of program can be implemented and used for a number of reasons in an organization. Cross training, professional development, and succession planning are just a few of the areas that this can be a benefit in.
At People Element, we can help implement these programs and conduct new hire check-ins to make your organization run more smoothly and decrease turnover in a way that impacts your bottom line and ensures your team members are engaged, happy, and productive.