Congratulations, You Hired the Superstar Employee! Now What?

You’ve done your job well – created a fantastic job description, identified viable candidates, conducted interviews, extended a strong offer of employment and hired the absolute right person for your open position. Congratulations! Your job is done, right?

Wrong. SO wrong.

Successful recruiting is just the beginning.

ctd blogYou must bring your new hire into your organization and give them the tools to do their job in a thoughtful, meaningful way. Effective employee onboarding is absolutely essential to the success of your employee and your business. Here’s why:

In a recent article entitled, “Onboarding Best Practices That Benefit New Hires and Your Business”, Zenefits HR Services outlines the benefit businesses derive from the investment in employee onboarding:

  1. It boosts productivity. Studies show that a strong onboarding program can boost new hire productivity by 70%.
  2. It helps your employee retention rate. Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82%.
  3. It increases employee engagement, which has been shown to contribute to employee happiness, retention and productivity. In fact, highly engaged employees had 147% higher earnings per share than their competition.

So what does a successful onboarding process look like?

Every company is different, and every culture is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all formula. The onboarding process requires thought in its development, preparation in its execution and commitment for the long term. Consider the following areas:

Proper paperwork should be provided and completed so that your new employee is assured of compensation, benefits and insurance enrollment. Consider providing this packet of paperwork in advance so that the employee’s first day isn’t entirely spent filling out monotonous forms. Call it pre-boarding, if you will!

Tools and Resources
Computer systems, workspaces, passwords, office keys, login credentials. Make sure it’s all set up and ready to roll. Your new hire needs to feel taken care of, right off the bat.

Welcoming a new hire is the responsibility of your entire team, not just HR. Consider your company culture and design a welcome that gives new employees a feel for what is in store for them. Have some fun with it! Some ideas, courtesy of Greenhouse:

  • Send an email to the company introducing your new hire. Don’t just limit it to their education and work history—include some additional information about their hometown, favorite sports team, go-to karaoke songs, spirit animal, etc.
  • Make a welcome sign and get everyone from the department (or company) to sign it. Decorate the new hire’s desk.
  • Offer a catered breakfast for the entire class of new hires, team, or office (depending on your company size and budget). Encourage employees to properly welcome and get to know the new hire.

Ongoing Assimilation/Connection
Onboarding isn’t just a first-day event. It’s a process. Foster long-term assimilation of your new hire into to your business, and connectivity with your employees and clients on an ongoing basis. More great ideas from the Greenhouse article, “Think Outside the Box—19 Fun Ways to Onboard New Employees”:

  • Hold a Q&A with a class of new hires and one of the company co-founders to address all questions about the company’s history, vision and direction.
  • Start a buddy program that partners new hires with current employees to give them a familiar face around the office and an opportunity to learn how things work beyond your department.

And lastly, don’t disregard the human factor. Starting a new job can be overwhelming, and everyone processes and acclimates differently. Pay attention to your new hire and the cues they give you. Take the time to get to know them, and guide them through the onboarding process accordingly.

Take the time to successfully onboard, and a happy, productive employee will be your result. Time well spent, indeed.