New employees are in a particularly interesting position. They want to prove themselves, look confident, and share their expertise. But for new hires, often, the team and leader are busy. They may attend an orientation class, and then be left reading standard operating procedures with no one to show them around or answer their questions. After too much of this, their frustration levels will rise. The question often forms in the mind of a new hire: “How long should I stay here?”
In my experience, based on speaking with and surveying hundreds of new hires, the quality of onboarding—the process of integrating new employees into the company—is crucial. The more rocky the onboarding process, the sooner new hires will leave the company. You may have heard stories of people at your organization that left after a few days or months. This is a waste of time, money, and morale for your team. The amount of waste can actually be tremendous: with all that time it takes to review resumes and interview candidates, the hours that new hires spend in orientation, the overextension of your current team, and the work that goes undone. Then think of the errors of new hires as they learn their new role, the drop in morale of the team when they leave, and continued overwork by the team while the recruiting picks up again. Research puts this cost at approximately one and a half times the person’s annual salary. Try to avoid a bad impression by putting together a welcoming and effective onboarding process:
- Thank employees for choosing your company.
- Provide an orientation class that ensures new hires know how to work safely: how to evacuate, how to get help, and how to avoid accidents in the work environment. Research shows accident rates are higher for new hires.
- Tell new hires (in class or in person) how they can help the company. Discuss goals, targets, current priorities, and challenges so they know where to focus efforts from the very start.
These suggestions are offered as a minimum, so feel free to add more to your new hire program. For the course itself, you might ask subject matter experts to introduce their department functions, go over the product lines, use web technology to tap in with coworkers or close ties in other sites, meet the general manager for breakfast, lead a tour of the facility— anything that may help the new hires acclimate quickly and smoothly to the organization as a whole.
Also, do not hesitate to introduce fun. Adults like engaging training classes, so make sure your internal experts learn about the basics of instructional design by enrolling them in an excellent Train the Trainer class.
A Death by PowerPoint approach is difficult for trainees and instructors alike. Giving your internal subject matter experts a Train the Trainer workshop can revamp your entire onboarding program from yawnfully dull to engaged and amazing.
Partner with Katy Caselli for a Train the Trainer course that prepares Trainers with a fun and interactive workshop-style course, which gives your organization the tools to certify your instructors, either for classroom training or On-the-Job Training success.
Also, check out her course catalog at www.BuildingGiants.com for other courses in Leadership, Employment Law, Technical Writing and more.