Onboarding is the process where new employees get introduced to all the necessary behaviors, skills and knowledge they’ll need. In a nutshell, it’s the process of integrating a new person into your small business’ culture and procedures.
Small Business Trends contacted Tawni Reed, an HR manager at BambooHR. She supplied the fact that 31% of new employees quit in the first six months and small businesses can’t afford these high turnover rates.
“The best of the employee onboarding programs we’ve seen are geared toward providing engagement to new hires from the beginning,” she writes. “ Showing new people how to move forward will give them a way to channel their fresh excitement and enthusiasm.”
Onboarding Best Practices
Here’s 10 Onboarding best practices every small business should follow:
There’s a few things that you can do to start the onboarding ball rolling before your new hire shows up on day one. You can start building a sense of belonging by sending them any company information before they start. If there’s any paperwork that can be filled out, you can send it to them through email to start building their focus and engagement.
Make an Announcement
It’s a good idea to introduce a new hire to the rest of the team. Everyone wants to know who the new face is in the crowd. You don’t need to go too far into detail here. Just a few words about who the new remployee is and the role they’ve been hired to fill.
Go Over Company Policies
Making sure new hires start out with the right information about company policies is critical, according to Reed. She underlines the need to make sure they understand your small businesses dress code, time off policies and pay periods to name just a few.
It’s also important to take your time to get this right.
“Don’t try and cram your entire onboarding program into one day,” she writes. “Spread it out.”
Go Over Your Company Values
Once again, it’s important to spend some time with the new hire here. If you’re interested in having them engage with your values, don’t just read them. Explain why each is important to your company as a whole.
Assign Them a Buddy
“Give your new employees a buddy to help in their first few months,” Reed writes.
NYU has even standardized some guidelines that should help if you get stuck pairing people. They write that new hires should have this kind of help for the first 60 days.
Don’t Forget the Details
Your new hire might be fresh out of college or have years of experience in your industry. Either way, every office is different so you can’t forget any small details. Understanding the company culture and values is critical. However, you’ll also want to be sure to tell them when lunch break is and where they park.
Show Them Every Department
Onboarding can take up a fair amount of time for everyone involved. Still it’s critical for new hires to see the big picture if they want to know how their efforts contribute to the whole. Taking the time to show them every department in your small business pays off.
It’s also a good idea to assign one person in every department to answer questions.
Introduce Them to Management
Reed stresses that it’s important for new employees to be introduced to everyone including supervisors and management. She highlights how important it is to set aside enough time for a decent exchange.
“Make sure you set up some time to have your new employees not just meet your executive team but ask them questions.”
A new hire will be interested in everything that you’ve got to say. It’s important to be clear and consistent when you’re outlining what you’ll expect from them. It pays off to go over their job description yourself before the onboarding begins.
Make sure they understand it’s okay to ask questions during any part of the process.
Line Up Your Resources
A new employee can have questions even after the onboarding process is over. Having a team of people who can be available in key departments is invaluable. Setting up a social meeting or activity with this group and the new hire for the first few months can pay off in the long run.