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April 6, 2018

How to Manage New Employee Onboarding Efficiently

Gone are the days when the HR managers considered onboarding as a once-done thing and over. With the massive change in the job market and jobs extending beyond boundaries, onboarding plays a vital role.

Onboarding is done to make the new employee familiar with the culture of the organization and to make sure that you live up to the promises that you have made to him during the interview.

Onboarding is crucial and also considered as a part of team building exercise. The immediate benefits of a proper onboarding are it helps to build company’s image, speak about company’s culture, work environment and also the performance expectation that the leadership team has from the new member.

The long-term benefits mostly include employee retention, increased productivity, lower stress and higher job satisfaction.

Managing onboarding is not tricky if planned meticulously. It fails when there is a lack of planning, it goes haywire, and the right objective cannot be met.  To make sure that your onboarding exercise yields the desired results follow specific essential rules:

1. Make a plan

Develop a step-wise-step process and a full-proof checklist before a new team member joins your company. Keep everything ready for the time and leave no place for errors.

This creates a positive image of the company in the mind of the new employee, and he is likely to work more efficiently. The steps must include a checklist of all the documents required from the new candidate, form-filling exercise, previous year records, etc.

The other steps should have names of key people to whom the new candidate must be introduced, his introduction to his team and reporting bosses, a visit to the entire campus and other things that make him more familiar with the organization.

These steps need not necessarily be completed in just one day, instead, plan a relaxed and hassle-free onboarding.

2. Make it as Personal

Onboarding is a great way to know more about the new member. It helps the HR and the reporting officers to know about things which were not possible to know during several rounds of interview.

The best practice is to assign a mentor to help the new employee make the transition into the company smoothly. He will not only be a person who will guide but will also act like a person who is a go-to person in case the new hire experience any discomfort.

3. Plan induction and Other Training

It is crucial to inform the new employee about various HR policies, leave management, salary, PF and gratuity policy, reporting rules, punctuality norms, appraisal systems, etc. 

This is an excellent opportunity to make him aware of various legal standards, sexual harassment policies, and paternity leaves.

During onboarding, it is also recommended to plan training and other employee engagement activities.

While training plays a vital role in skill development of the new hire, employee engagement makes him friendly with other co-workers and lowers his stress. Employee engagement activities also help new hire to adapt to the new culture and build healthy relationships.

Every organization and its HR know that they must provide new employees with various technical training for learning specific business systems and processes.

However, it is the responsibility of HR people to not to limit training to be domain-specific and go beyond. Training that help building skills, motivate new hires and enhance their knowledge should also be integrated.

4. Evaluate the plan

The most important exercise is to evaluate the entire onboarding plan, but most of the organizations usually miss this. As a result, old and obsolete onboarding plan fails to achieve the objective of the entire exercise and makes the complete activity a waste of time.

Therefore, always plan,  implement and be consistent with the onboarding plan and involve some key people in the whole exercise who can guide you to make changes.

Feedback, in particular from the employee, is also valuable because he is one of the major stakeholders, his feedback will help you make changes in the plan.

Make a survey schedule at the end of the first week, or make it bi-monthly or quarterly with the objective of understanding whether they are happy with the organization and whether their expectations were met or not.

5. Seek advice from forums

It is a good practice to seek information on how to make your onboarding even better and more result oriented from various HR forums available on the internet or offline HR communities.

Ask them their experience and where they failed and what changes and innovation they have done in their onboarding plan. This will give you lot of idea to bring changes in your policy and to make it more employee-centric.

Seek advice from industry veterans and thought-leaders and take help of professional networks like Linkedin. They have a lot to offer owing to their experience that will inspire you and make your plan more effective.

6. Tailor-made Plan

Although difficult, try to make tailor-made onboarding plan for every employee. It is recommended keeping in mind that each is different and falls under different age-bracket, backgrounds, have varied strengths, weaknesses, skill-sets, attitude levels.

Therefore, there are no one-size fits all, and a tailor-made plan is much more productive. This will also help to assess any additional training needs.