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7 Secret Onboarding Tips for New Employees

7 Secret Onboarding Tips for New Employees

The hiring process doesn’t end with the acceptance of an offer. In fact, what happens next may be the most crucial factor in determining the productive life of a new employee.

For a vast number of those in the workforce today, onboarding is the experience of emotional whiplash that follows the split-second transition from a sought-after candidate to an insignificant worker drone. After a warm welcoming handshake, the next step is often solitary confinement in a broom closet where the new hire is expected to memorize an overstuffed binder of outdated materials.

That’s an exaggeration, but really not much of one.

The truth of it is revealed in sentiment analysis data across all industries. HR.com found that 46 percent of new hires failed within the first 18 months. Even when they make it past that point, they may be already burnt out.

Charting a Course for Smoother Sailing

There’s a better way to retain the best workers and lower your turnover costs. Here are a few of the secrets that market leaders deploy to onboard new hires in a way that fosters smooth sailing in the years ahead.

1. Hire slowly with culture fit in mind

The best candidate on paper is rarely the best candidate in person. Problem solving, a desire to learn, the ability to thrive in teams and strong communication skills should take precedence over any specific skill sets. Managers, not just hiring managers, need to know their teams extremely well to find the unique work arrangement that empowers everyone to succeed as a single unit.

2. Invest more time in developing new hires

Common metaphors like “getting up to speed” or “drinking from a fire hose” create the impression that the new hire’s learning speed is the problem. In fact, lost productivity in the early days of a new hires career can be mitigated by a well-defined onboarding program. 66 percent of companies with onboarding programs had a higher rate of employee retention, shorter times to full productivity and better engagement overall.

3. Assign a team member to be the new hire’s first point of contact

Information delivered by peer to peer relationships are retained better than a bare list of job expectations from a manager. Assimilation into the work culture often goes more smoothly when the onboarding mentor is from a different department, so the new hire can start building a wider network within the organization.

4. Communicate trust

If the hiring managers trust the candidate enough to hire them, the team should trust the new hire enough to give them ownership of their responsibilities. Some businesses have had success by showing the employee what the job entails and then asking them to rewrite the processes that apply to them in their own words. An informal review with a few colleagues helps eliminate misconceptions and align the team on goals while demonstrating that the company has faith in the new hire’s capabilities.

5. Put defined metrics in place

New hires will integrate themselves into the team faster once they understand how the company tracks performance and assesses accomplishments. This doesn’t have to be stressful. Buzzuzz’s gamification of participation in strategic projects combines serious work with real fun. The workplace will occupy a significant portion of the new hire’s life, hopefully for years to come, so the most successful companies make the workplace enjoyable in a number of ways. Clear goals to shoot for and 360 degree feedback (done the right way) will go a long way in making work feel more like a game that the new hire can win.

6. Lay down a framework for internal networking

Social events break down barriers and set the foundations for long-term commitment to company goals. The new hire’s mentor can act as a guide to the company’s resources on social networks like LinkedIn while network permissions are assigned and last minute updates go into effect.

7. Evaluate your training programs

All new hires want to grow and learn new skills. Your training programs should be set up to make it easier for new hires to seek out and secure the skills they need to succeed in the new position. This is another area where Buzzuzz can help, with data on which employees need which skill sets and breaking down the effectiveness of training investments.

Eliminating Workplace Toxicity

Gallup polls revealed that the majority of workers (51 percent) are disengaged at work and another 16 percent are so unhappy that they are actively looking for new work. The combination can create a toxic workplace. The real world cost of a toxic workplace is estimated to cost employers $23.8 billion every year due to lost productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism (those at work but mentally checked out) and stress-related health care costs.

There’s no reason you have to become your own workplace doctor to write a prescription for a healthier environment. Let the team-building professionals at Buzzuzz provide you with the tools and the best practices for creating the kind of workplace where employees can thrive. That’s how you’ll create successive waves of company leaders to take the business in entirely new directions on the road ahead.