10 Steps to effectively onboard a new team member

Posted on Friday, March 22, 2019 by Charlotte HannaNo comments

1. Plan your new hire’s first few days or weeks with the company

This is especially the case with people starting positions that are new to them but also applies to people who are moving from similar jobs within the industry. Planning your new hire’s initial tasks allows you to focus on training them when necessary but also getting on with your own work. But also prepare to adapt to what comes up, maybe the new hire excels or struggles with certain areas warranting more or less time.

2. Make sure to tell everyone about your awesome new employee

Make sure the rest of the team and organisation know about it. Plan times to introduce them to others and allow them to meet new people. There are stories of some companies who place doughnuts or healthy snacks (with slightly less success) on the desk of their new employee, encouraging other team members to come over and introduce themselves.

3. Introduce the new hire to your formal stakeholders…

Giving them the run-down on the structure of the company, who they answer to and where they fit in will only help them understand the bigger picture of the company. Introductions in person are key here as they will help your new hire match names to faces and settle in faster.

4. … and your less formal ones

Of course, the formal hierarchy is only one way of doing things, often the informal routes are “how things really get done around here”.

Try to explain the informal network as much as possible, although these things are often only apparent by actually doing them. Quite often these people are the people that know what's going on before it actually happens.

5. Explain the jargon

Like it or not, your company will have its own internal jargon. To you and your colleagues these things make complete sense but think back to when you first started - was cracking the code so obvious then?

If there is a lot of jargon and technical language (you’d be surprised at how much you have) then it might be a good idea to create a glossary or a dictionary for your new employees to have for their own reference.

6. Do sweat the small stuff

With everything going on it might be easy to gloss over the small stuff. Certain things such as how to work the coffee machine or the process of inputting data into a spreadsheet may be so small you may not even think of it as something worth training your new hire about. Although these things may seem small, or even trivial it's worth you worrying about them and nipping them in the bud early on to ensure your new hire doesn’t waste their time getting dumbfounded by them.

7. Keep things fun

Make sure you bring your new hire up to speed on the less structured side of things too. Have some of your more long-serving employees take your newbie out for lunch. Show them what your company does that your competitor down the road doesn’t do and why your office is such a great place to work. It also helps put their mind at ease and integrate them into the team even quicker.

8. Break your training into smaller modules

Although it might be tempting to try and train your new employee as quickly as possible it can quite often have adverse effects. The sheer amount of information the new hire is taking in and pressure they may feel being new to the role is likely to drain them, at least initially. With that in mind, it’s important to work in smaller increments (think 30/60/90 minute windows) to ensure the new hire is able to take in as much information as possible.

9. Check back in with your new hire on a regular basis over the first 90 days of hire

Whether its a formal discussion or just an informal chat at someone’s desk. Even asking a casual ‘how are you getting on?’ allows for your new hire to reflect on what they know and what they might be struggling within a quick and effective way.

10. Get feedback on how to improve for next time

Of course, it’s customary to have a post-probation interview after 6 months, but it’s also important to focus on how your own procedures, considering what worked well and what didn’t. Ultimately this is something that is beneficial for all parties as the new hire will be likely to train up the next employee, and the next employee will be able to find their feet in the company that bit quicker.

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