Here’s your desk & there’s the bathroom. Now get to work.
You just hire a new employee and have invested 2 months of your valuable time going through the selection and hiring process. There is a total of 100 hours invested in hiring your star programmer, costing your company $35,000 – $50,000. The team is super excited to get this person on on-board. Their skills are exactly what was missing and will take a lot of pressure of them because they have be understaffed for 3 ½ months.
The newest member of your team is very nervous about leaving their last company but came because the money was a little better and the projects seemed exciting. They arrive at the front lobby for their first day and you receive a call from the receptionist announcing their arrival. You are in a middle of a conference call with some executives. You call your Lead Developer to get the newest staff member and, you say, “Peter, please get Sally from reception and show them around.”
An hour later, you make your way over to Sally and you find her on the internet looking at job postings.
90% of an employee’s decision to stay with a company happens within the first 6 months of joining! Yet, 60% of companies have no formal on-boarding process.
A proper on-boarding plan reduces this by 18%, reducing turnover and mistakes resulting from lack of training. In addition, companies who have formal on-boarding plans reduce the time it takes to get to full productivity by 50%, down from 6-8 months to less than 100 days.
Companies have taken some interesting steps to amalgamate new staff into the fold. For example Facebook tape a piece of paper on the monitor: “Welcome to Facebook!” Underneath, printed in big, bold, red letters, are slogans like: “We hack therefore we are,” or “Move fast and break things.” “Within days, your software code will be in front of more than 845 million users”.
The best companies have a clear plan and process. These companies have increased retention, increased moral, increased productivity, strong team bond and greater loyalty to the company and its brand.
Here are 10 innovative things companies are doing to help acclimatise new staff:
- WAP (Welcome Aboard Party): This is an event held by the company or department where all the staff celebrates the arrival of the newest team members. The party has music, food and drinks. Think of the bonds this would create for everyone involved!
- Start Buddy: The company has volunteers from the new employee’s department to partner with them for the first 4 weeks. The individuals give them tours, offer advice, answer basic questions, assist with training and provide reports to management.
- Friday Starts: Many companies like to have their new employees start on a Friday. This is the day most staff are open and relaxed. Also, this gives the new staff a rest before they start their training on Monday.
- Meeting with President: Every employee gets to meet the President of the company within their first 2 weeks. The larger the company the more impressive it is, with large companies, the President will meet the new hires in a large group, but still shaking their hands.
- Swag: Many companies provide new hires with a lot a company swag, including pens, clothing, mugs, note pads, key chains and other need items; this builds excitement of being part of the company and is a great branding opportunity.
- Welcome Sign: At the front entrance, there is a personalized welcome sign for each new employee.
- Deliverable Checklist: A road map of expectations and deliverables by the newest staff member, this enables them to check things off upon completion leaving the sense of accomplishment.
- Onboarding Feedback Survey: At the end of the first 3 months, an employee will receive a survey to critique the process and offer areas of improvement.
- Everything ready for the first day: When a staff member joins they are lost looking for a home to settle into. If their space is set up with a fully functional computer, training manual and welcome package, they feel at home.
- Early Onboard: Providing materials for the employee before they officially start will allow them to become familiar with the company and their role.
Again, the employee retention statistics are horrifying and by themselves are reason enough to be upset with HR, but it takes a community to raise an employee. You have a great opportunity to improve the retention and performance numbers in your organization by rethinking how we design new hire training programs to consider the entire on-boarding experience.
What have you done to improve how your organization onboards new employees?