The hiring process is often time-consuming and stressful. It therefore stands to reason that once companies manage to procure talent, they're eager to get their new hires up to speed as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, many are missing a key opportunity to start those employees off on the right foot, or so finds a new study from cloud-computing company ServiceNow. While 80% of workers say onboarding is an important period at a new job, 79% of American office workers have experienced issues during that time.
A good 33% of workers, for example, say they didn't receive essential training during the onboarding process -- training that would allow them to better get up to speed and do their jobs. Meanwhile, 28% of workers feel that their job responsibilities weren't well defined when they started, and 26% experienced IT issues that served as a major roadblock.
If your company is guilty of failing to seamlessly onboard new hires, it pays to rethink your approach to integrating incoming employees. Otherwise, you'll be jeopardizing your relationship with them from the get-go. Here are a few ways to clean up the onboarding process.
1. Assign new hires a buddy
Learning the ropes at a new job is a tricky process. Not only must new hires get their own responsibilities down pat, but they also need to get the logistics down -- things like the combination to the bathroom door or the process by which IT tickets are submitted. As such, it pays to pair newbies up with seasoned employees who can show them the ropes and serve as available, friendly points of contact during an otherwise stressful time. In the aforementioned study, 58% of new hires said that being assigned a buddy would've helped make the onboarding process much more pleasant and digestible, which is reason enough to implement such a system at your place of work.
2. Have a welcome event for new hires
It's demoralizing for an employee to start a job yet have nobody know who he or she is several days later. A better bet: Schedule a welcome lunch or similar event for each new hire's first week on the job. This way, new employees can get to know their colleagues in a relaxed setting.
3. Have managers schedule one-on-one time with new hires early on
Managers tend to be busy people and don't always have time in their schedules to dedicate to individual employees. That said, imagine how a new hire might feel if he or she were to come on board and barely get a minute of his or her manager's attention during that first week on the job. Challenging as it might be for managers to carve out time, they must make sitting down with new hires a priority if they want to start those working relationships off on a decent note. From there, they can review team goals and policies and walk new hires through their daily tasks and responsibilities.
4. Create a cheat sheet
There are certain things employees learn about an office over time, like how to fix the temperamental copier or the process for requesting office supplies. To ease new hires in, prepare a quick cheat sheet of sorts that highlights some of these need-to-know items. This will spare new hires from having to constantly interrupt colleagues to ask for basic information.
When new hires feel welcome and engaged from the start, it sets the stage for a rewarding work experience. If your company doesn't have an official onboarding process in place, it's time to change things for the better. If you're not sure how, talk to recent hires about their experiences and encourage them to provide open feedback. It's the best way to determine where your company has been falling down and where there's room to improve.