by Jen Lawrence, Finance MBA
Forty-one percent of employers who don’t formally onboard new hires report costly consequences, like low productivity, low morale and high turnover.
Successfully welcoming a new hire increases retention rates and can go a long way toward building employee engagement.
Here are six ways that a company can successfully bring a new hire on board:
1. Show your appreciation for new hires. Changing jobs feels scary, particularly if there is a probationary period. New employees want assurance that you recognize their talent and are excited to have them on board. Let them know that you are keen to see how they can shape the future organization. Everyone likes to feel valued.
2. Connect the dots. Everyone wants to feel part of something bigger: It’s a key contributor to job satisfaction. It’s up to you to make the connection between your employees’ skills and the goals of the organization. A new employee orientation session—whether formal or informal—is an opportunity to link the company’s mission, vision and goals to the skills and experiences of the new hire.
3. Assign a relevant project right away. One of the best things a company can do is give new employees a project right away that plays to their strengths and builds their sense of competence. Allowing new employees to achieve success will also help them build credibility with clients and colleagues.
Consider this: Research shows that almost 50% of Millennials plan to switch employers this year because their expectations about the job contrasted so greatly with their actual experience. A smart 90-day onboarding plan would stop such turnover in its tracks. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but you do need to have a plan. Start here…
4. Appoint a new employee ambassador. Often HR or a hiring manager will appoint someone to show a new employee the ropes. It is important that this person have both the time and the inclination to take on the task. Don’t ask the person passed over for a promotion to welcome his new team leader unless you don’t mind him taking an approach à la “The Office’s” Dwight Schrute: “Hazing is a fun way to show a new employee that she is not welcome or liked.” Pick a corporate cheerleader who will make the new hire feel at home.
5. Appoint a mentor. A mentor can help a new employee reduce the stress associated with performing new skills and duties (“Let me show you how the CRM system is used in the sock world”), and the relationship stress associated with having a new manager, colleagues and customers (“You have three tough clients: Let’s go over the relationship history”). A good mentor can help a new employee integrate into a company as quickly as possible and start to focus on results.
6. Don’t be pound foolish. The hiring process costs an average of $5,000 per employee in terms of interview time, training and administrative costs. When a new hire does not work out, the associated cost of legal fees, time and lost productivity can cost anywhere from one-third to five times the employee’s annual salary. The above steps are not free, but spending some time and money to prepare the new employee for success is much easier than dealing with a wrongful hiring situation.
Making employees feel valued, competent and part of something great will go a long way toward making them feel that they have made a great career move. The quicker they feel that way, the faster they feel engaged and are able to contribute to your organization.