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Onboarding New Employees: Tips for Success

“Onboarding” usually referrers to the final stage of the hiring process. After sourcing, recruiting, selection, negotiation, and every other aspect of the task, the final candidate will need to be welcomed on the first day and acclimated to the job over the course of the next few weeks.

A successful onboarding process is easy to recognize: Six months into the job, the new employee has found her stride, she works well with those around her, she’s completing her training period and she’s starting contribute to the company as serve as an asset. A failed onboarding process is also easy to spot: Six months down the road, the employee is still a liability. Or worse, she’s already gone.

Here are a few ways to generate the first scenario and avoid the second.

1. Prepare her coworkers for her arrival. Don’t just let them know her start date. Enlist their help in preparing her workspace and materials, explain a bit about her background, and try to generate a sense of excitement about her arrival. If all goes well, her team members will be ready to welcome her with warmth and sincerity. And even better, they’ll help her find her feet and give her the benefit of the doubt.

2. Anticipate hassles and find workarounds before you need to. If the new employee can’t log into the system for a day or two, make sure she at least has somewhere to go and something to do. (And hopefully this won’t happen.) If her direct supervisor will be held up or out of the office on that day, make sure you have a back-up person in mind who can meet the new employee in his stead.

3. Give her a schedule. The schedule should account for every hour of her first day and most of her first week, at the very least. Include the meetings and training sessions you’d like her to attend with clear locations and times.

4. Take her to lunch on the first day, and then again at the end of the first week. This will give you a chance to sit down with her and make sure she’s getting all the help and information she needs. It will also give her a chance to ask questions about the things she’s observing.

For more on how to generate a smooth, welcoming, and trouble free onboarding process, reach out to the staffing experts at PSU.

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