- A company’s onboarding process should ensure new hires stick with the company for the long haul.
- In the first 90 days, new employees should shadow veteran colleagues to acclimate more seamlessly.
- Build trust with new hires by allowing them to manage projects as part of their onboarding process.
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Effective employee onboarding ensures that your team members remain with your company for the long haul. That said, here are the four steps to take within the first 90 days of an employee’s time in the office if you really want them to stick around.
1. Have a shadow period
On day one, you don’t want to spoon-feed your new hires, nor should you feed them to the wolves. Implement a shadow period during which new hires meet with and work alongside ideal colleagues. During this time, they can learn the intricacies of the company without bearing full responsibility.
While it may be tempting to push them into the deep end and see whether they sink or swim, that is a surefire method to drive new employees away and leave them feeling undervalued and unsure. You might need their help immediately, but practice patience. View your onboarding process as though you are planting a seed to grow, not replanting an already grown tree. When you hire, build in this 90-day period when you don’t place tremendous expectations on their contributions to the immediate needs of the business.
2. Instill the company vision
Before their first day on the job, employees at my company know the company’s mission and values. Our onboarding process actually begins during the interview itself. I encourage hiring managers to share the company mission documentation within an interview and then asking the potential hire where and how their role fits into this vision. This way, they walk into the company knowing where they can contribute and how their efforts will make a difference.
Employment is a two-way street, so be sure to marry your company values to your employees. One of my newest hires has a very clear drive to help people and values the mission to make the world a better place. I made note of this and have been using her expertise on the projects that directly impact our community. When you understand where your employee’s values align with your company’s vision, it becomes clear how to bring the two together and, in turn, create dedicated employees.
3. Unleash opportunity
When hiring or searching for top talent, my focus lies on how somebody works versus what they have accomplished previously in their career.
I allow employees to fully own a project and communicate that they have access to every resource I can make available to them. This provides them with an immediate sense of trust, which leads employees to feel empowered to take action based on their knowledge and instinct. This project not only empowers them, but also reveals how resourceful they can be, how willing they are to explore and support alternative options, and how capable they are of making sound decisions.
4. Assess their standing
Once the 90-day window winds down, have a performance review scheduled in advance. Use this as a conversation to see what is working and what isn’t. Leverage this time to help build their foundation within the role and better understand gaps or areas where the onboarding can be improved for the future. Remember, every new hire is an opportunity to build your team and improve your processes.