Onboarding is all about firsts. In fact, if you can engage your new hire by executing a successful series of firsts, you just might be able to make it last. According to the SHRM, this critical period of firsts in the employee life cycle is more important than ever. Here’s what your firsts should look like.
The First Day
The two main goals on the first day should be setting expectations and introducing objectives. Employees need to have crystal clear ideas about what their job duties and responsibilities are and have a clear sense of what is expected from them. They should also have social interaction with their co-workers. Consider taking a group out to lunch. Aligning expectations is critical. You want them to come back on day two, right?
The First Month
It’s important for HR to have a one-month check in to make sure that that the new hire is comfortable, happy, and engaged. Get and give thoughtful feedback. If they haven’t been matched with a mentor, make sure they get one. An Aberdeen Group report found that high-performing organizations are nearly two-and-a-half times more likely than lower-performing employers to assign a mentor or coach during the onboarding process. Sounds like a pretty easy step to take, doesn’t it?
The First Three to Six Months
HR should check in again between three and six months, depending on the employee and the role. Unfortunately, only 15% of companies continue onboarding after six months, the Aberdeen Report revealed, yet 90% of employees decide whether to stay or go within that first six months. Your onboarding can make or break you during this time period. Are you still with us?
The First Year
Finally, only 2% of companies extend onboarding beyond one year, according to the Aberdeen Group. An employee’s performance at the end of the first year will prove if they’re fully productive. Now, it’s time to plan for future development. Show them what their career looks like at the company. Give them the ability to provide input, too. Exciting times are ahead.
The end of the first year is when onboarding transitions into retention and employee growth. That means a shift from on-the-job training to continuous development—which is the key to keeping employees motivated and engaged.
Your new hires will thank you for setting them up on the path to success, and your company will be well on its way to turning those new hires into seasoned employees.