No one has a bigger impact on a new employee’s success than the manager who hired them. Here are some tips on how to set your new hires up to succeed.
What is ‘onboarding’
Investing time in onboarding brings new employees up to speed faster, which means they’re more quickly and efficiently able to contribute to the business. Effective onboarding also dramatically reduces failure rates and increases employee engagement and retention. The time between someone accepting an offer and starting their new role can be used to jump-start the process.
But even if new employees are already in their new job, there are many ways to get them up to speed faster. The starting point is to take care of the “onboarding basics” – such as documentation, compliance training, office space, support, and technology. Fortunately, most firms do a reasonably good job of these elements. The real work begins with integrating new hires into the business.
Understand the challenges
Starting a new job is challenging. Even experienced professionals can struggle as they are unfamiliar with the business, don’t understand the culture and aren’t fully aware of how things really work. New employees have to learn a lot and may be feeling quite vulnerable, even when they seem outwardly confident.
Managers need to get involved
Managers have a vested interest in onboarding their new hires effectively. They need to coach their new recruits, check-in with them regularly and be ready to intervene if things look like they might go off-track. This requires an investment of time and energy but can help the new hire to secure some early wins, which can boost their confidence, their credibility within the firm and will increase the likelihood that they will succeed in their new role.
Make them part of the team
New hires need to build effective working relationships with their peers. The arrival of a new employee should be communicated prior to their start date so that the team understands who the new person is, why they have been hired and the role they will fulfill.
Once they join, a team lunch or social get-together is a good investment as it helps to connect your new hire with others in the team, in a more relaxed setting. Outside of the new hire’s immediate team, there are likely to be other stakeholders who will be critical to their success in the job. A good manager will take the time to set up introductory meetings with key stakeholders so that the new recruit gets connected with the right people from the start.
From the beginning, a manager should explain to the new hire what the expectations of the role are and set some key objectives for the first 100 days. The new recruit should be clear on what they need to do, how they should be doing it and what the purpose of the role is within the context of the wider business.