I’ve spent several years altering my on-boarding process for a new employee and I’m starting to feel confident I have the system down. However it has been along trial and error and I’m sorry to think that I’ve ruined an employees first few months on the job due to my inability to bring them into our company.
The changes I’ve made revolve around the following:
1. First 30 Days Schedule
No matter what level of experience you are hiring, the first 30 days for a new employee are always awkward. They are spent with the employee trying to meet their peers, learn their way around the building and dig into the culture of your organization. I’ve found that structure to the first 30-90 days is crucial in on-boarding. You may find that you don’t follow that plan accordingly but at least you’ve got a list of action items that they can begin to accomplish and structure to their weeks on the job. Build out a plan and present it to them before they start or on their first day so they know what they are getting themselves into. It also allows for you to not be at their side for every minute of their first few weeks, if they have a schedule, they will be able to maneuver their way around without your help.
2. Buddy System
Hook them up with a peer in the building that they can go to should you be busy. Find someone who walks and talks a bit like they do so they can communicate the same language and begin to find a common bond in the building. By setting them up with a peer you will ease their transition and also allow for them to have some real dialogue with someone outside of their politically correct conversations they have each time you walk by. Challenge the peer to introduce them to new people, whether it’s customers or internal staff. This person will also become their mentor in due time should you set up the proper relationship.
3. Create A Reason For A Meeting
When setting up your new employee with a peer, give them an objective for that meeting. For example, if you are going to ask a department head to meet a new assistant, come up with an agenda for that meeting. Don’t just expect that they will have glowing conversation for sixty minutes and walk away from it with any real info. Challenge the assistant to come back with a homework assignment. Have them ask pointed questions that will allow them to learn about the department, questions that will drive deeper answers than knowing where the vending machines are located and how to use the fax.
On-boarding is crucial for your company. I promise that if you follow a true on-barding plan you will drive a better culture within your organization and remove the floundering that happens for the first few weeks on the job.