Onboarding is one of the most important investments organizations make in their employees.
Why invest in an onboarding process rather than just a one-day orientation? A continuous onboarding process not only ensures that new hires have the necessary paperwork filled out and start the job on the right foot, but helps to socialize the new hire into the organization. Because a new hire’s needs and concerns will change as he or she becomes comfortable with different aspects of the job, a continuous onboarding process ensures that employees can ask questions or have different needs addressed as they come up. A quality onboarding process helps to promote employee retention, which is both a cost savings and contributes to greater continuity among the work team.
Who are Millennials?
Millennials are members of the generation born between 1980 and 1995. They are a generation that came of age in an era of increasing technology and economic uncertainty, both of which shape the way they approach work and life. While millennial employees are often dismissed as lazy or self-involved, in reality their unique approach to work and life can be an asset to organizations that know how to leverage them.
- Preference for multitasking
- Highly connected, via social media and other communication technology
- Tech-savvy – Millennials have grown up using computers and other technology
- Desire to be recognized for their efforts
- Desire for instant gratification and feedback
- Team-oriented and collaborative
- Close to their parents
- Expectation of work-life balance, high value on personal time
Making Employees Feel Welcome
One of the most important goals of the onboarding process is to make new hires feel welcome in the organization. Onboarding processes which are cold, impersonal, and involve little contact with managers and other employees can be off-putting. In contrast, an onboarding process in which the new hire has contact with new coworkers and managers, is warmly welcomed, and has his or her needs and personality taken into account is likely to create more positive feelings.
Some ideas for making employees feel welcome during onboarding include:
- Introduce the new hire to office neighbors, work team members, and support staff
- If possible, have the employee’s workstation set up and stocked with supplies
Ensure that the new hire has someone to eat lunch with on his or her first day
First Day Checklist
A first day checklist can be helpful for both managers and new hires in the onboarding process. A first day checklist helps ensure that the new hire has the most important information they will need by the end of the first work day, and that they have been adequately welcomed into and oriented to the space. Having a standard first day checklist also ensures that there is consistency across onboarding for all new hires.
- Greeting and welcoming the new hire
- Setting up lunch with the new hire’s team or manager
- Having the new hire’s ID badge or other identification ready
- Introducing the new hire to team members, direct reports, and supervisors
- Going over the new hire’s job description
- Going over the organizational chart
- Giving the new hire a tour, including restrooms, break rooms, kitchen facilities, and common areas
- Showing the new hire his or her mailbox, as well as copiers, fax machines, and other equipment
- Going over IT and telephone policies and procedures
“The five steps in teaching an employee new skills are preparation, explanation, showing, observation, and supervision.”Bruce Barton