When a candidate accepts your job offer, the work isn’t over. You need to make sure new hires are happy and adjust well in the environment. New employee onboarding is an important part of acclimating new hires.
The employee onboarding process can be stressful for both you and new hires. New employees need to fill out paperwork and familiarize themselves with their duties. You need to stay on top of your employer responsibilities, like collecting forms, adding new hires to your payroll, and providing instructions. Learn how to improve your current onboarding processes.
What is onboarding?
Onboarding is the process of familiarizing new hires with your company, its culture, and their responsibilities. This is the time employees fill out paperwork, receive office materials, get to know coworkers, and learn the ropes of their new jobs.
One-third of new employees leave after six months, which could be due to poor onboarding processes. To retain employees, you need to focus on onboarding.
Ways to improve new employee onboarding
After the hiring process, new hires are excited about starting their jobs. You need to make sure you continue that excitement with a strong onboarding program.
With a successful onboarding process, new hires should feel comfortable with their fellow co-workers, willing to ask questions, and eager to dive in. Follow this five-step onboarding checklist to get started.
1. Create or improve your plan
To stay consistent and organized, you need to strengthen your new hire onboarding program. You may not have had a written plan when you brought on your first employees, but it’s not too late to learn how to improve onboarding. Write down what you plan on doing with each hire.
Make sure you have an orientation for new hires. An orientation is where you talk about your company’s history and goals, as well as how your new hires fit into the company. You can have orientation a few days, weeks, or months after an employee starts at your business.
In your onboarding plan, you should include information like:
- When onboarding starts
- Length of onboarding
- How involved the workforce will be in onboarding
- When new employees will do paperwork
Your plan might vary from position to position, but you should try to stick to it as much as you can. Having a plan means you will be more prepared and able to help new hires.
2. Pass out new employee forms
When employees start at a company, they need to do paperwork. What forms do new employees need to fill out?
All new hires need to fill out Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, and Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Depending on your location, employees might also need to fill out state tax withholding forms.
If the employee wants to sign up for payroll direct deposit, they will need to provide their bank account information. Many employers also distribute emergency contact forms, employee handbook acknowledgment forms, and benefits forms.
To ensure things go smoothly, gather up all the necessary paperwork. Then, make sure employees fill out the paperwork before they begin work. You can send paperwork to employees before their first day or have them fill out paperwork at the beginning of their first day.
Keep new employee forms organized. Make sure employees know what paperwork they will fill out and what materials they will need to bring in. For example, employees need identification and employment eligibility documents for Form I-9. Tell them ahead of time, so there are no setbacks.
3. Incorporate your workforce
Introducing new hires to your current workforce is one of the most important parts of your new hire onboarding process. Your current employees should be available to welcome new hires and help them learn their responsibilities.
When you bring a new hire into your business, introduce them to each employee. Camaraderie is a necessary part of fostering a healthy workplace. One Gallup study found that employee satisfaction improves by 50% when employees have friends at work.
Your current employees are essential when it comes to helping with training. As a small business owner, you might not have time to answer every question new hires have.
By encouraging your current workforce to help with training, your new hire will have more people to turn to for help.
4. Start slow
When you do the onboarding process repeatedly, it can be easy to fly through it. But, you need to remember that this is the new hire’s first onboarding process at your business.
When you go overboard with information, new hires might start to feel anxious, frustrated, and confused about their jobs. Instead, give them a little bit of information at a time. Avoid flying through the onboarding process.
5. Sit down with your new hire
Even though onboarding new hires can be a whirlwind, you should take the time to talk with your new hire one on one and gather their first impressions.
Sit down with new employees during the first week of onboarding to find out if they have any problems or concerns so far. A small issue could escalate into reasons employees leave, so make sure new hires know they can come to you.
Work on fostering relationships with your new hires. Let them know that lines of communication are important to you. And, spending time with new employees can help them feel more comfortable in their new setting.
Touch base with new hires frequently. Even after the employee is acclimated, let them know that their job satisfaction is still a priority.