A Guide To On-boarding Your New Employee

A former colleague recently posted that he was retiring after 22 years at the same organization. This kind of tenure is rare in today's business world. With mergers, acquisitions, start-ups and more entrepreneurs than ever before, many people don't stay in their jobs for more than two to three years, much less remain with the same organization.

With this environment, it's important to get new employees on board as quickly as possible and keep them engaged so that you can optimize your time and investment in that person. This practice leads to business continuity.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share a summary of a step-by-step onboarding guide from Cord Himelstein, head of marketing for Michael C. Fina Co., Inc., a New York-based recognition company.

Pre-Boarding. Before the employee arrives on their first day of work, consider sending a personalized welcome kit with a letter, information on the company and some branded promotional items, like a pen, notepad and a t-shirt. Make sure their new workspace is set up and equipped with their laptop and any other equipment they'll need. Work with your IT department to configure the email account, and provide network access and security clearance ahead of time so they can be productive right away and feel a part of the team.

Day 1. You have one chance to make a great first impression. Treat the new hire to breakfast or lunch with coworkers. Give them a customized tour of your facility and make introductions, providing names, titles and how they'll be working together. Make sure they have a schedule to follow that first day so they are not left alone, and give them an initial priority list of tasks or projects to begin working on.

Day 7. Establish a positive foundation for your manager-report relationship by setting up regular one-on-one meetings and set the expectations for these meetings. Make sure they know that as a manager, you are there to support them.

Day 30. The first month of employment is a crucial period during which a new employee often decides if they'll stick around. When an employee hits this milestone, acknowledge and celebrate the achievement to reassure them that you're glad they're a part of your team. Set up a special touch-base with the new hire and include other close team members to ensure the transition has been smooth.

Months 2-3. Hold regular one-on-one meetings to ensure the employee understands the responsibilities and is meeting performance goals. Use this time to answer questions and continue to educate them on the cultures and roles in your organization.

Months 4-5. Since the new hire is still getting settled into the new position, use this time to implement an onboarding survey to assess how well your company does with the new-hire process. Use the results of the survey to address any issues or concerns, such as barriers to first-rate job performance.

Month 6. Provide recognition for the employee who has reached the sox-month employment milestone. Show your appreciation for the contributions far made to the team.

Months 7-9. Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost U.S. companies $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity. Therefore, make sure each employee feels appreciated and part of the team—not just a number in your company's headcount. Get feedback from others who interact with the employee. Also encourage some professional development opportunities.

Months 10-11. Engage with the employee on a personal level. For example, invite them to breakfast or lunch. Some people are more likely to candidly share concerns or barriers to their jobs outside of the office setting. It is important to tailor management and feedback style to how the employee best responds.

Month 12. Honor the employee's one-year anniversary with the company. Send an email to the team. Have your boss stop by the employee's desk to recognize their achievement. Give the employee recognition at a team meeting, or even a special gift. Make recognition for one-year employees personable.

By taking the first step to build the bridge and forge the personal connection with a structured onboarding experience, you tell new hires that your company is one worth staying with.

Source: Serving as the head of marketing for Michael C. Fina Co., Inc., Cord Himelstein has helped the firm become one of the leading providers of employee recognition and incentive programs.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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