In today’s environment, there are several challenges to building your team.

For those employers who have managed to successfully find a great candidate and hire them, you need to make sure you put as much effort into successfully onboarding them as you did finding them.

Why? Because an effective onboarding program is essential in transitioning an accepted applicant into a productive employee.

When it comes to employee welcomes, training and onboarding are a required team effort.

You must be sure that you are prepared before the employee starts their first day. In addition to setting up their equipment and IT access needs with the IT team, be sure to review the employee’s defined duties, responsibilities, and tasks to ensure they are properly trained on tasks by fellow employees (how we do things at company XYZ versus industry standards) and that they have access to any necessary systems.

Remember that new employees can come from a variety of backgrounds with varying experiences, so an employer needs to meet new hires with appropriate expectations, and to meet them “where they are.” Remember to look at the onboarding plan from the new hire’s perspective.

One of the biggest factors to consider when designing and implementing an onboarding program is the new employee themself. How much does this employee already know about the organization and what is their experience level? Regardless of the answers to these questions, all new employees want to know how their role fits within the organization.

Onboarding is more than orientation—it’s a process. Orientation is merely the first step in the onboarding process. The full onboarding process should take three to six months or even longer. The onboarding process helps the new hire become a happy contributor by conveying the organizational brand, value, and culture while aligning expectations and performance measures.

Here are 10 tips to help your new hire be successful and strengthen your team:

  1. Clearly outline responsibilities and tasks;
  2. Share training schedule with time—ensure they know what is planned for them during the first few weeks of orientation;
  3. Introduce them to their teammates;
  4. Ensure everyone agrees on a work schedule (start time, end time, deadlines)—during training as well as long-term;
  5. As their direct supervisor, share expectations about how often you expect updates from them and what method of communication you prefer (email, Instant Messages, in person, etc);
  6. Be sure new hires understand how their role contributes to the overall department and company goals;
  7. Be sure they have access to—and know how to use—the tools they required for the job, whether it’s actual handheld tools or computer software—spend some time training;
  8. Touch base frequently for the first few weeks;
  9. Check with teammates to ensure they are touching base with the new person as well, and to get their feedback regarding any concerns;
  10. People are unique, and they need to be managed in different ways. It’s important to acknowledge that one size does not fit all. Try to learn how to best motivate and manage the new candidate during the onboarding process.

It’s on the list above, but worth reiterating—regular communication is key when considering meeting new hires “where they are.” You and your co-workers need to spend time with the candidate to understand “where they are” and then develop a plan to get them “where they need to be.”

Regular communication is key to checking on the progress of new hires and ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Lastly, the purpose of an onboarding plan is to retain the investment of the new hire and to coach them on how to become productive team members within a clearly defined timeline.

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