Onboarding can begin before a new employee’s first day. Remember the last time you started at a new workplace? There were a lot of unknowns on the first day. You can help a new employee get acquainted with their new workplace and the corporate culture before they start by giving them a welcome package – this could be mailed or given to them before their first day. The package could include information on where to park, what to expect on the first day, the dress code, and the names or titles of the people they’ll be working closely with. You may also choose to include the employee handbook or some paperwork so that the employee can complete it in advance. While creating the package does take time and effort for a current employee, it will be well worth it to make the new employee feel welcome and prepared.
Another task to complete before the new employee starts is to prepare their workstation. An unfinished workstation reflects poorly on a company; it will make the company look unprepared or even uncaring in the new employee’s eyes. Make sure that the workstation has a functional computer, necessary equipment, and furniture. The new employee should have a company email account created right away, as well.
The first day is a doozie: there are a lot of people to meet and a lot to take in. The employee should be given a tour by their supervisor or, in the case of a small business, the business owner. Make sure that the tour includes all departments so that the employee can get a better understanding of the company as a whole. While the new employee should be introduced to all other employees, they should get to spend more face time with the people with whom they will work closely. Consider scheduling time for the new employee to meet with their team.
Because there is so much to take in on the first day, onboarding must continue past day one. Check in with the new employee at least once a week for the first few weeks to see how things are going and to ask if they need any support. Remember that it’s never too early to include a new employee in company matters. Include new employees in meetings or on business trips so that they can get to know and understand the inner workings of the business.
You have one chance to get onboarding right with each new employee, so make sure to plan it out carefully. Great onboarding can lead to a productive business relationship that lasts for many years to come!