How to Successfully Onboard New Employees

You’ve found the perfect new person to fill a role. So, what now?

According to research, the first 90 days of a new job determines an employee’s success at a company. Onboarding is the crucial springboard to that time. Below are some of the top practices to ensure a successful start (and a bright future) for your newest employees.

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Start with culture.

Experts like Michael Watkins, author of The First 90 Days, agree that cultural assimilation is a strong indicator of an employee’s success. So, when you onboard new employees, it’s as important to communicate how their team and the company function formally and informally as it is to help them understand their specific role.

“Joining a new company is akin to an organ transplant — and you’re the new organ. If you’re not thoughtful in adapting to the new situation, you could end up being attacked by the organizational immune system and rejected,” writes Watkins.

Set up key meetings.

Give new employees a chance to meet and speak with their new colleagues by providing a list of the people they’ll interact with regularly as well as other stakeholders in their work.

This serves as a quick “who’s who” and lets them put faces to names. Include people who will be valuable resources for cultural know-how.

Jump right in.

Allow new employees to shadow other employees, and then let them start working right away. Start with any specific training they need so they get a chance to work out the kinks on their own and can see the impact of their presence immediately. Bonus: It never hurts to have a fresh pair of eyes looking at current processes and practices.

Create a reference point.

Chances are, many new hires have the same questions. Create a reference doc for them on everything from cultural hints to great places for lunch and where to find the stapler.

A map of the office or workspace and your employee handbook could also be included to help them feel at ease right away.

Lay it all out.

Be up front about expectations of new employees. They should understand what their goals and responsibilities are at the company. Putting it all on the table ensures that there won’t be any questions about expectations later on.

This guide by the Society for Human Resources highlights the importance of clarity for expectations in a new employment situation.

Set new hires up for success.

Have a laptop or any other technology new employees need prepared upon their arrival. It’s an easy way to make them feel comfortable and ready to get to work.