By Ryan Williams
Even in a sluggish economy with a high unemployment rate, employers have a hard time finding really great employees. You’ve heard the notorious breakup line, “It’s not you, it’s me!” but have you ever thought about how that statement might apply to your relationships with your employees? Now, I’m not trying to imply that there’s something wrong with you or your business. I’m simply trying to point out that it might not be a matter of finding great employees, but building great employees. Today’s workforce does not want to be defined by their job; rather, they want to be identified with a company that has true purpose. Companies that focus on creating a workplace that engages employees will, in turn, create a business that engages its customers.
It is absolutely crucial that you start engaging your employees as soon as possible–as in, the day they agree to come work for you. Here are some steps you should follow to ensure an awesome on boarding experience for your next new hire.
No new hire likes the nitty gritty paperwork or endless form filling involved with joining a new company. But you know what they like even less? Having to come in three or four times to fill out paperwork, because various departments didn’t coordinate their schedules. Or having their start dates delayed because someone forgot to send in a request for a background check. What’s even worse for the employer, if any of these steps are overlooked, you could run the risk of hiring someone with a drug problem or criminal record. Make sure you document all of these must have steps and map out who is responsible for what. The more efficient this part of the process is, the faster it will go, which will leave more time for some of the fun stuff I outline below. Here are some basics to get you started.
The new hire will need to sign/fill out:
You’ll also need:
OK, enough of those gory details. Now onto the fun part!
You may have heard of “shock and awe” marketing campaigns. This is where you deliver a prospect an experience that is so compelling, they are almost powerless to say no. You can deliver the same kind of experience to your new employees by showing them a little TLC before their first day. Here are a couple of ideas.
Give your new hire a VIP experience on the first day.
At the 30 and 60-day point, engage the new hire with the following talking points. Gather feedback and use these answers in helping you tweak your employee on boarding process moving forward:
The 90-day mark is typically when a new hire moves from the trainee/probationary period to become an official team member. They need to be officially welcomed to the company. This could be a special lunch, a presentation, or a ceremony that is officiated by your president. It is the recognition of joining the team and the excitement of their arrival. It’s a celebration.
A lot of the inspiration for this post came from two great blog posts about employee on boarding: How to Start an Employee Onboarding Program, from Inc., and Turn Your Onboarding Process into a Competitive Advantage, by Patrick Thean.