Do you remember when you started with your current employer? How was your onboarding experience? Did it help you to have a smooth start in your new position, or was it bumpy and felt like more of an afterthought?
First impressions are crucial when it comes to starting any new relationships, and the employment relationship is no different. As any new employee joins your team, it should be an integrated learning experience for the new hire. Your focus should be to connect new hires to their role, team, and the company. So how can you make sure the new employee feels included and connected?
Here are a few ideas of what you can consider doing to create an inclusive environment for your newest team member:
Let New Hires Know Inclusion Matters
If you are fostering an inclusive culture, please showcase it to your new hires. Let them take part in the process and listen to their feedback. It is important to let them know what steps you take towards inclusivity. Share how your methods connect to the company values and why it is important.
Imagine yourself as a new hire in a new role, what are the things that you would need to learn? New hires can be more productive if they know the context of what they are doing. Share with them the company’s goal and strategy. Let them know how the various departments report to one another through a formal organizational chart. It is always helpful to have a visual chart, so they know where they fit in. *Make sure to update the chart showing the new hire’s name so they feel included.
Help them understand the history and the story of how the company started. Stories will stay with them. Help them understand the inside language, every company has its own. If they have come from a different industry or city, learning the acronyms and short forms will help them take part in conversations.
Explain How the Team Works
Help new hires understand how the team works. Try explaining with examples of how decisions are made, who makes the final decision and what the approval process entails. Is it a participative environment or does only one person make the final decision?
Also, help them understand the preferred communication styles within the teams. Should they be sending colleagues an instant message or an email, or stop by their desk? Is frequent communication preferred? How are follow-ups done? These tips will make a new hire feel less intimidated about navigating their new environment.
Assign a Mentor
Assign a mentor to help them navigate the culture and coach them in the company’s norms. Also, consider onboarding in batches if you can. If a new hire starts with a peer group, it creates shared experiences between them. Connect your new hires with people who can help welcome and integrate them. These can be individuals who share their interests or who have similar professional work experience.
Do Not Forget the Existing Team
Preparing your team for how the new hire is important. Do not wait until the hire date to announce a new hire. Prepare them in advance. Address questions like, what are their responsibilities? Who will they be working with or reporting to? Are they taking on any work from other team members? What does that handoff process look like? Assign time with each member of the team to spend with the new hire explaining what they do. Encourage them to be inclusive and welcoming.
Feedback is key to creating an inclusive onboarding experience for your new hires. Gather feedback both formally and informally and ask for it so they will know it matters.
Remember, you have invested time and money in hiring a new person. Making them part of the team is important to get the results you expected. Inclusion impacts innovation, employee engagement, retention, and recruiting. All that affect your bottom line and have the potential to improve your business results.
If you need help with your onboarding process, please contact HR Admin for a free consultation.