New Hire Onboarding : What not to do

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Organizations often spend a lot of time and effort in finding the right candidate. However, what companies do from then on, is sometimes a sketchy picture. While the new hire is rather excited to join the organization, companies often don’t show the same excitement they did while making the offer. Research by Harvard Buiness Review says that, nearly a quarter of new hires are already scanning new opportunities less than half a year into the organization. And if your company has more millennials in it, that number is going to much more.

So one wonders, what makes this new hire’s enthusiasm wane so quickly? What can companies do to keep the momentum up, tap into this new source of ideas and energy and help propel teams and achieve targets? Let’s try and see what scares the new hires, and what helps keep them enthused.

Here’s what not to do, after you hire a new resource.

  • It’s the HR’s work

    Yes, maybe HR got you the resource. And it maybe the HR’s work to tie up some of the loose ends of induction. But onboarding cannot be viewed as the Human Resource teams sole responsibility. Line managers and team members play a fundamental part in taking the new hire in, and getting them started.

  • Let them do the Paperwork on Day 1

    Day one is a deal breaker. Make it memorable. Don’t let it be one that a new hire has to move department to another, filling out forms and completing paperwork all alone. Much of this can be done, way before the first day at work. New hires can be given access to employee portals so that, all paperwork, if possible, can be done at their homes, before they even step into office. Leave the first day, for sessions of meeting key people, establishing connections, and making it a personal welcome.

  • Get things ready once they are in

    Its good to let your new hire know that you were expecting them to join. And the best way to let them know that is keeping their allocated workspace and equipment ready. There isn’t any justification, in waiting for them to come in and then set things up. So be it their laptop, work station, accesses cards, logins and IDs, parking space – keep it ready on day 1.

  • Let them figure it out

    Leaving the new hire with a set of powerpoints and documents to go through, and then expecting them to figure it out on will quickly lead to disengagement. Keep the learning focused and precise. Training should be suite of methods, including job shadowing, connecting with a buddy, traditional methods, on the job and e-learning.

  • The bad cop talk

    While feedback is good, make it constructive. The bad cop approach of aggression and intimidation would quickly lead to the employee looking out for his next job. Keep the talk focused on the goal, push them towards it, but keep away the scare tactics. Mold them, but don’t break them or shut themselves out. Build on the relationship with the new hire, let them know you’re there for them. This builds a foundation of mutual trust and respect; which would prove more productive.

    High performing companies ensure that onboarding is not just a first day or a first week exercise. Many companies follow a 90 day process, while others review and calibrate six months upto a year. While this may depend on the organization and the job at hand, it is best to view onboarding as an on-going process.

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