With finding and securing the best person for the job often being a challenge in itself, it’s no surprise that it’s tempting to breathe a sigh of relief at this stage, before moving on with the next vacancy that needs filling. However, if your new hire doesn’t have a good experience in those early weeks and months then they could be handing in their notice fairly quickly. No-one wants to lose a talented member of staff or have to start the recruitment process again so soon. That’s why I was so pleased to receive this guest post from Avi Singer, founder of showd.me, with advice on successfully onboarding new members of staff. Hope you find it helpful.
Thirty-one percent of new hires quit their jobs within the first six months a study by BambooHR found. Most who did so held entry or intermediate-level roles, indicating they may not be receiving the training or information they need during onboarding to be successful.
When asked what companies could do differently to encourage them to stay, the majority of survey respondents asked for clearer guidelines and more effective training.
This research suggests onboarding programs, for the most part, have been unsuccessful at helping new hires adjust to the social and performance aspects of their jobs.
It’s time to reshape our onboarding plans to help new hires learn the attitudes, skills, and behaviors required to function in a new position effectively.
Here are six essential elements you need when onboarding new hires:
1. The ability to assign and track learning experiences.
There’s no doubt that social learning can take place any time an employee with more knowledge on a subject gives the new hire “the lowdown.” However, to make social knowledge sharing most effective, it needs to take place within a structure.
Schedule training sessions on particular topics where employees can share their expertise with new hires. The sessions don’t need to be in person, but can still take place in real-time through video chat.
Schedule key meetings to access where each trainee is in the onboarding process. What have they learned so far? What do they still need to learn? What important content should they review? These meetings will help you keep track of new hires’ learning paths through the hustle and bustle of work so nothing falls through the cracks.
2. A content management system.
Sometimes schedules don’t align and employees who have valuable skills to share won’t be available to teach trainees in live sessions. Instead, have them record tutorials for trainees to view on their own time. Recorded content will also allow you to view training content and ensure messages are consistent, so employees are all hearing the same information.
Some information is better shared in document form such as a checklist or step-by-step guide. Ask your most knowledgeable employees to create these documents to help new hires learn processes quickly. You can store these key documents in a cloud-based content management system for employees to access and review as needed.
3. An online system to complete HR documentation.
If your organization still uses paper forms for benefits registration, you’re losing valuable onboarding time. New hires can spend a few hours to half a day completing paperwork by hand. Then human resources takes the paperwork and enters the data into the digital system to register new hires for benefits and create profiles.
Remove that extra step in the process by allowing new hires to complete all HR paperwork in an online program that can store the information and easily transfer it to the right places. Completing forms online streamlines the paperwork process and ensures all necessary fields are filled out.
4. A Q&A or discussion forum tool.
As new hires progress they will have questions -- weeks or even months after training. Employees can hunt down a supervisor or another employee to ask, but a more effective method would be to let employees to crowdsource answers from all employees in the company in a Q&A forum.
Multiple responses will help give the new hire a more complete picture of how to handle a situation. Not all solutions to challenges are black and white. Some employees have different tricks they use for getting things done. Using a Q&A tool will allow new hires to solicit the opinions and solutions from multiple employees.
5. New hire feedback mechanism.
Distribute a survey on which new hires can document their onboarding experience. With written feedback, you can compare results and see a more accurate picture of which process are going well, and which are not. Which in turn allows you to make informed decision on what needs to be fixed or changed.
Additionally, ask employees who their best trainers were and who they’d like to learn more from. This will give you an idea of who your organization’s leaders and mentors are so you can make more informed decisions about who to pair new hires with in the future.
6. An instant messaging tool.
For a smooth workflow, employees need a way to contact one another for immediate help. Delays in communication or misinterpretations can cost you valuable time in errors and frustrate new hires. An instant messaging tool will allow new hires to ask questions and clear up communication quickly, on-the-go.
With the right elements, new hires should be able to assimilate into their roles and your organization's culture easily. Beyond having these tools available, encourage employees to use them. Your employees might not know what strengths they have until they share with others how they do what they do, and new hires can learn quickly with access to the knowledge of so many talented employees.
What are some of the biggest obstacles your organization faces in onboarding?
Avi Singer is the founder of showd.me, a social learning platform that allows employees to easily train and learn from other employees across an organization. Connect with Avi and showd.me on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
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