Do you remember what it felt like when you first joined your company after a successful career somewhere else, especially if relocation was involved? You will want to do everything you can for your new employee to overcome the natural jitters and cognitive dissonance, and to create an environment that ensures quick engagement and early wins.
Here are some suggestions:
The first step is to ensure that all the physical requirements of the job are looked after on behalf of your new employee. This will include things like business cards, office space, computer, phone line (and extension), software licenses, cell phone, expense card, company car, etc., and getting the individual’s name listed on the company organizational chart and telephone directory.
Contacting the new employee before he/she actually joins to welcome them will really stand out as an indicator of how much they are valued. If you are holding an important meeting such as a strategy or planning session, it would be appreciated if you could invite them to attend as well.
Day One Orientation
The initial orientation on Day 1 should be thought out carefully and treated as a high priority, not simply as a necessary administrative task. You will want to give your new employee a warm welcoming feeling, with a tour of the premises, and a strong introduction to the team and support staff.
You will also want to give them an overview of the entire on-boarding process, including the training schedule, which should include the following elements:
- Company overview (vision, history, org structure, goals, etc.)
- Administration (final on-boarding documentation with HR, how to fill out forms like expense reports, etc.)
- Computer training (as needed, for custom software, corporate CRM, etc.)
- Specific job training and/or job shadowing
Psychic and Emotional Considerations
You will also want to spend some quality time with your new employee, helping him/her to engage quickly into the new environment and work toward early wins. This will include elements like:
- Discussing potential allies and detractors (for instance an internal employee who might have been passed over for this position), and how to deal with them.
- Outlining informal networks and sources of information (i.e. the informal ways that information gets circulated and things get done).
- Clarifying and agreeing on goals and expectations in the first weeks and months, including “easy wins” to help build confidence and reputation.
A lot goes into a successful on-boarding. If done well, it will go a long way to launching your new employee in a successful career with your company – if done poorly, it will almost certainly result in failure.
If all of this sounds daunting, do not despair. Help is just a phone call or email away.