In the last blog, we discussed how to make a new employee’s orientation, or their first 1 or 2 days on the new job, an effective and memorable experience. In this blog, we are going to talk about what happens over the next 30-60 days as the new employees are handed over to their departments. The onboarding, or training and immersion, of a new employee to their job, is critical for their success.

Unfortunately, many times, a new employee is neither trained nor certified adequately in their new position, creating the real possibility of the new employee quickly becoming frustrated and disappointed with their new employer and their responsibilities, leading to poor customer experiences and numerous mistakes, which in turn, lead to a quick departure from the job.

Consider the statistics from an HR Morning article by Christian Schappel in May 2016, which indicated that 31% of staff quit in the first six months, with more than half of those quitting in the first 60 days. The lack of an effective onboarding program for each position or role is a big problem in many companies today.

A thorough onboarding for a new employee considers the following elements;

  1. The department is organized and welcoming. The employee should feel welcomed by their new team and manager, so provide a quick note or email to that effect. The department needs to be ready for their new employee, so ensure their business email, business cards, computer, and other necessary tools are set up, available, and ready to go.
  2. The new employee is given a dedicated person to help settle them in. This person could be a mentor, their trainer, or just a person assigned to show them around, introduce them to key people, and be there to answer questions.
  3. Connect the new employee to their products and services. Give them a chance to try, use, play, and become familiar with your company’s offerings as quickly as possible, to get to know them from a customer’s point of view.
  4. Ensure there are feedback opportunities over the first 60 days whereby someone who is not the new hire’s manager checks in to see if they are settled and feel comfortable with their training and assimilation.
  5. Have an organized training program that certifies and tests that the new person can do the job.

Within onboarding training, there are four considerations that should be clarified:

  • Who is going to train. Ideally, it will not be the manager, because managers are too busy to focus on a new team member’s training. The trainer should represent the values of the organization and be an expert for the position.
  • Where training will occur. This should be a place that is good for learning, where mistakes can be made, and in an area where customers are not inconvenienced.
  • When training will happen. A well-defined schedule of what happens on which days will set clear expectations around the training program.
  • What is being taught. Ensure all processes and tasks are comprehensively defined and organized to support learning. Throughout the training process, tests – both written and through demonstration – should be scheduled.

Onboarding, coupled with a great orientation is the first impression an employee has of your company and their future experience with you. With the right attention, care, and detail, you give your new staff every chance to be successful and instil in them the mindset and the feeling that this is the place they want to be for a while. Please quit the outdated sink or swim strategy applied to many new staff today, and ensure your talent receives the investment in time and training they need.

If you enjoyed these quick tips on culture, then check out my book, Culture Hacker. It’s available now. Fans of the Culture Hacker Methodology will also enjoy the Culture Hacker Vlog.

Cheers, and thanks for reading.