Many of us won’t get too many first days at a new job. And while the first day is both exciting and terrifying, it can really set the tone for your future with your new employer. That’s why doing a good job of onboarding is so important.
But if you really want to engage and motivate your new employees, don’t just overwhelm them with paperwork! Look at this as a first step towards welcoming them on board, incorporating them into your culture, building a connection, and getting them off on the right foot.
Don’t forget the little things
While paperwork and health insurance forms are necessary, there are a few small things you can do that will help employees feel welcome. Make sure to tell them where to park! Seems silly, but walking in worried that you might be towed by the end of your first day is not a great feeling. Make sure they have someone to eat lunch with, ideally their supervisor or other people on their team, so they can start getting to know everyone. And have all the tech ready so you don’t waste their time while the tech team is getting them set up online.
It’s not just parking spaces and inboxes
Beyond these logistics, using some of the tools of coaching can be a great way to help new employees understand your office culture, see where they fit and set them up for success. Here are a few ways coaching can help.
- Set expectations. It is important to communicate basic expectations from the very beginning. Talk about how quickly responses are expected, what typical working hours are, whether or not people should be expected to be available after hours, etc. By setting clear expectations you reduce the chance of miscommunication and the likelihood that either side gets frustrated.
- Establish goals and accountability. Be sure to set goals with your new employees. Ideally, you can do this with them to get buy-in. This helps give them a sense of purpose and understand what is expected. Then set a regular schedule to check in and go over the goals, talk about what is going well (first! do this first!) and then identify areas for improvement if there are any.
- Provide support. Make sure new employees know where to go if they have questions. It’s good for them to understand who they should approach first, so they aren’t confusing the established lines of communication. I also always recommend relatively frequent check-ins at the beginning when people are likely to have lots of questions, to give them an easy place to get some clarity.
The benefits of doing it right
Positive onboarding experiences can have lots of benefits, giving you employees that are more engaged, more productive, and less likely to leave. Make onboarding a time of connection, where you get to know them and they learn all about your culture. Keep mission, vision in plain view, to help them bring more passion to the job. That, combined with the coaching tools of expectations, accountability, and support will get everyone off on the right foot.
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