Employee Onboarding: Why Is It Important And How To Go About It?

Employee onboarding is a critical part of the hiring process, although it fails to be a priority for most organisations. Some barriers to this include – tight deadlines, last minute hiring or merely the lack of time or planning.

Employees are hired and expected to hit the ground running; immediately being assigned to a multitude of tasks. It needs to change, especially, in the impact sector, where employees not only manage several responsibilities at once but also work with tight budgets. An exciting onboarding process can help in setting the right expectations for the new candidates as well as the organisations and ensure that the association begins on the right note.

Let’s begin by understanding what employee onboarding is?

An employee onboarding process helps new hirees understand the work culture, the long-term plans of the company and share theirs with them.
It helps them comprehend the requirements of the company and how they can be more effective with their performance.

An onboarding process/ system should be in place.

Onboarding system can include a checklist, work plan for next two-three months, a goal-setting activity, introduction with the team and a session on suggestions from the new hiree. All these activities will help the new employee transition smoothly into the workplace.

It is also a good idea to take feedback on the onboarding process and understand what helped the new employees and what didn’t. The suggestions can help enhance the onboarding experience for future employees.

Interestingly, Twitter has a program called “Yes To Desk” which focuses on things that need to be ready from the time an employee accepts the offer to when the day of joining. Ensuring their computer, emails, and any tools they will need are set up, their work table has goodies such as t-shirts, and something to welcome them to the team, like a bottle of wine.

Successful onboarding begins with an inspiring day 1

Most new joinees are nervous about Day 1. A few things to do on the first day can include – a stocked workstation with new stationery, a cupcake (as done by our sister concern Arthan Foundation), scheduling a team lunch and providing a game plan for week 1. Additionally, a tour of your workplace and an introduction to different teams/departments can help them get to know the company and their colleagues.

Prepare a work plan and include them in the same.

A structured, outcome-oriented work plan is essential for the employee to know their responsibilities as well as the rationale behind the work.

The plan should focus on both, developing the employee as well as achieving company targets and goals. Often, companies focus more on the latter, forgetting that the former is essential to keep employees engaged. In the beginning, a week-by-week strategy can help. Additionally, regular meetings should be scheduled to ensure that the employee has the assistance they may need early on, or if they wish to share any feedback. In case of many social sector organisations, especially those with roles that need an entrepreneurial mindset, while a detailed structured plan may not be feasible, a broad understanding of, and agreement on goals is helpful.

Assign a mentor/buddy

Having a mentor helps the new employees share any problems they face or areas they need a sense of direction in, without hesitation.

Start the onboarding process before the joining date.

A welcome email or a call from the supervisor can help an employee feel motivated to join the work. Some companies take this part of onboarding quite seriously. For example, At Warby Parker, ‘The night before the joining date, new employees get a call from their managers or direct supervisors to make sure they know where to show up and when.’

Share some relevant reading material with the new employee

It may be helpful to share useful reading material with employees before they join. It can include resources about the work, team or the organisation as a whole. However, be careful not to overwhelm them.

Do you have any suggestions about an exciting onboarding process? Let us know in the comments below!

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