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The Ultimate Guide to an Efficient Onboarding Process

Imagine walking into a restaurant that had great reviews online for the first time, and you get an unwelcoming reception. There is no valet at the parking lot, no one to hold the door ajar for you, no one manning the food stand, and no menu displaying the meals available for the day. At this point, the only thing that would make you stay is the fact that you already paid for a table reservation while booking online. Even then, you would unconsciously find fault in everything throughout your stay there, disregarding the fact that the meals taste great. The experience you had is exactly what an inefficient onboarding process feels like to a just recruited employee.

An onboarding process is organized to ease a new employee’s launch into his job role in a hiring company. If the onboarding process is efficient, it sets the pace for maximum productivity. Everything from the recruitment to the employee’s first week on the job is part of the onboarding process.

Efficient onboarding will have the employee well intimated with the company’s work pattern and ethics. A well-informed employee will be ready to do his bit to help the company achieve its goals. However, a poorly planned onboarding process will leave the employee feeling frustrated when he starts officially working with the company. It may even cause him to leave the company early. The onboarding process consists of four phases, they are:

1. Pre-onboarding Phase

This is the introductory phase of the onboarding process. It starts right after the chosen candidate accepts the offer of employment. This period is fragile because although the new employee will be wrapping things up with his previous employer, he can still change his mind about working with your company. In this phase, communication is of utmost importance because at this point the new employee needs total guidance. Every thing and everyone is new to him, so you should explain all information with details and examples. Endeavour to answer his questions as clearly as possible. All necessary paperwork is also attended to in this phase.

Steps to Follow in this Phase Include:
  1. Communicate your company’s policies, processes, and procedures of employment to the new employee.
  2. Inform already existing employees of the arrival of a new member of staff.
  3. Set up the new employee’s workspace ahead of time.
  4. Conduct medical clearance to be assured that the chosen candidate is fit and healthy.

2. Orientation/Welcoming Phase

This phase is when the employee is given all the details of his employment contract in full. The orientation is the chance to intimate the new employee with the company’s vision, goals, and objectives.

During the orientation, help the employee understand your company’s work culture and methods of carrying out tasks. You should also outline employee benefits such as days off, health insurance, and so on in this phase. For on-site jobs, this phase is usually done in the company.

Steps to Follow in this Phase Include:
  1. Outline the responsibilities of the employee’s new role and the set expectations he has to meet every day.
  2. Introduce the new employee to the rest of the team and describe their roles as well. Schedule a virtual meeting if the employee is to work remotely.
  3. Show the employee his new workplace and give directions on how to use the necessary equipment.
  4. Take the candidate on an office tour and answer any questions he might have about office hierarchy and the different departments.
  5. Tell the new employee about any existing work routines and compulsory team-building activities.
  6. Share the company’s calendar of events for the year with the new employee so that he can note anniversary celebrations and other company programs.
  7. Gift the new employee company-branded items (where available) as part of his welcome kit.
  8. Schedule a meeting with the rest of the team and have everyone shares their experiences working with the company so far as a way to bond with the new employee.

3. Training Phase

This phase is what determines how well the new employee would function in the role assigned to him.

  1. Place the employee on a period of probation to observe his growth.
  2. Encourage the employee to attend webinars and workshops organized for staff training.
  3. Assign a supervisor (an older member of staff in the same niche as him) to the employee to monitor his progress for the first two weeks or more.
  4. Schedule periodic check-ins and encourage the employee to give a report of his work done for the day, every day before he closes. This is especially important to ensure he is settling in well if he works remotely.  
  5. Set weekly tasks for the new employee with reasonable deadlines, so you can measure his level of productivity, and so that he can see how he is expected to work.

4. Post-onboarding Phase

This phase is meant to facilitate the employee’s final transition from a new hire to a full-fledged member of the company’s staff. At this point, the employee’s period of probation is officially over and he is now ready to perform efficiently in his job role without external supervision.

Steps to Follow in this Phase Include:
  1.  to review the employee’s performance in the past weeks.
  2. Introduce the employee to regular clients he is likely to work with.
  3. Encourage the employee to fill out a work survey and give an honest review of his experience working with the company so far. This survey will help the company identify areas where improvement is needed, and implement changes as necessary.

Pro Tips

  • Review your website and ensure that your job descriptions are clear to prospective employees before recruitment.
  • Share opportunities for growth in your company with the new employee.
  • Provide the new employee with an itinerary for the first week, to help them get into the schedule.
  • Keep the first day of the onboarding process as short and straight to the point as possible.
  • Create a checklist of goals and targets for the employee for the first week, to keep him on track.
  • Make the new employee’s first team-building activity fun and memorable.
  • Pair the new employee randomly with other members of staff in the company to work on a project together, to encourage interactions and familiarization. Switch up the pairing and have the employee work with a different coworker by the start of another project.

 The secret to a successful onboarding process is adequate planning and effective communication. Ultimately, the goal is to make the new employee feel welcomed and valued so that he can give his best efforts to the job and be productive.

 I hope you got value from this article, bye for now.

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