They Accept And We Forget … The case for starting New Hire onboarding early.
Congratulations! You just made a new hire and you as well as everyone else on the team is pretty stoked about it! After a lengthy search and many rounds of interviews you are confident you made the right choice and, most importantly, your top pick candidate said Yes! to your offer. You all mark the date your new team member will be joining, and you all go on with business-as-usual until that day arrives.
Your new hire is equally psyched right after saying “I accept.” After tendering their resignation and before they start their new job, the new hire’s excitement is starting to be tempered with some doubts and a bit of anxiety over the new journey ahead. Questions can range from the existential such as “Did I do the right thing changing jobs?” “Did I make the right choice joining this company?” “Will the culture be a fit for me?” “Will I work well with my boss and my teammates?” “Will I be able to excel in this new role?” to the more basic logistical ones such as “What should I wear on my first day?” “What office should I go to when I get there?” … And the list of questions often continues to grow during this transition period while you go on with business-as-usual.
If you really want to set the stage for a new hire’s success, this is one of the prime opportunities most companies miss out on. According to Gallup, only 12% of U.S. employees say their company does a good job of onboarding, with nearly one in five employees reporting that their onboarding experience was poor or non-existent. Leaving our new hires with unanswered questions at this early stage of their employee journey slows down their ability to add value quickly to the team and increases the likelihood of new hire turnover.
Just imagine how different your new hire’s experience would be on Day 1 and beyond if you had a plan for information sharing and staying connected with your new hire during this transition period! At a minimum, providing them with information on some of the below and identifying who is the best person to deliver this information and how, it will go a long way in easing their anxiety and setting them up for success.
- What should I expect on my first day on the job? (How do I dress, where do I go, when do I arrive, who do I ask for, what will I be doing on my first day, etc.)
- What paperwork needs to be filled out? (Day 1 would be so much more engaging if most if not all the required new hire paperwork was completed in advance!)
- How do things work in my new company? (What are the observed holidays, how do I ask for time off, can I work from home, what will be my email address, is there standard language I can use for my social profiles, who can I contact about specific topics, etc.)
- How do I fit in the company? (What is the company’s history/visions/mission/values/structure, who is on my work team/department, how does my role contribute to my new company’s objectives, what behaviors are expected of me, etc.)
By having a simple yet meaningful series of touchpoints and information to share with your new hire before their start date, you will be effectively snuffing out any doubts and managing any anxieties by continuously reinforcing why they made the right decision to join your company and team. It’s an upfront investment that will pay dividends in terms of your new hire’s engagement and time to productivity.
If you would like to discuss how to best engage your new hires before they start or build a pre-onboarding process that is best-suited for your specific business context, reach out to connect with one of our expert staff.