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Friday, 19 February 2016

Do your new employees have to sink or swim?


Recruiting a new member of staff can be time-consuming and costly – so you want them to settle in and start working productively as soon as possible.
But frequently people complain that their start in a new job left them overwhelmed and confused, or bored witless, or abandoned to sink or swim on their own. The result is a demotivated new employee who takes a long time to become productive, or who quickly starts looking for another job. 14% of employees leave in their first year.

How can you make sure that each new recruit settles into the team and turns into a real investment in the future for your growing business?

1. Involve the team

Before your new recruit starts work, tell the team about it face-to-face. Explain the role and how it fits into the bigger picture. Be prepared to answer questions about how the change could impact on existing roles.

Involve the team in providing a good welcome, to demonstrate that everyone has an important role to play. For example you could ask what their own first impressions were when they joined and what was missing for them. Brainstorm together and come up with improvements.

Consider asking a more experienced member of staff to take care of the new person coming on board over the first few weeks– buddying up by showing them around, taking them to lunch, making introductions and offering support.

2. Have the workspace ready

If your new employee shows up bright eyed and bushy tailed on day one and discovers that the company isn't technically ready, it doesn’t exactly make them feel valued.

The new area should be organised, clean and equipped with everything they'll need to do their job. Make sure everything works – a disconnected PC will only embarrass everyone.

Give one of the team responsibility for organising the workspace and for assembling a welcome pack for new employees.

3. Being sociable

Ideally whoever recruited the new person - as a familiar face - should greet them on arrival on their first day and then introduce the immediate co-workers.

Lunch can be a critical moment for an impressionable newcomer – plan so that new employees never eat their lunch alone on day one.

Making sure that someone in the team invites them to lunch will make them feel immediately included and help in the first steps toward building new relationships. This could be a great time for a team lunch, giving your employees time to get to know one another informally.

4. Provide job training

Some jobs can be learned “sitting next to Nellie” – by observing part of the job being done as it’s explained, then practising under supervision, then moving onto another task. For other jobs, training may need to start by painting the bigger picture before moving on to the detail.

Give the new person plenty of time to do practical and constructive tasks in between absorbing new material, to allow time for the knowledge to sink in and to start building self confidence.

The better structured the job training is, the more quickly the new person will be able to make a real contribution: and that’s motivating for them.

5. Check-in regularly with your new employee

Getting to grips with a new role can be a big challenge and your new employee will have a lot to learn over the coming weeks and months. Support the newcomer through this with regular check-in conversations and listen to their thoughts and concerns. Develop an action plan together so that, over time, they’re able to do what the company needs them to do.

Companies that handle onboarding well bring new people up to speed faster, have better alignment between what new people do and what the company needs them to do, have happier employees, and have less people leaving.
We can help you get these things right and build an engaged and productive workforce: give us a call today on 07884 475303 or email enquiries@thehr.co.uk.