First Impressions Matter: 5 Tips For Successful Onboarding

First impressions only come once.

And in those early few moments of meeting a new face or trying a new thing, we usually judge fast and hard, whether we want to or not.

You’ve exerted all your effort into finding, courting, and finalizing your newest hire. Now, cross your fingers and [verb], hope, pray that it’s a good fit, both for you and your new employee.

But really, you don’t need to hope or pray — your employee’s smooth landing in your company is entirely within your control. And it’s your job to as a manager to build long-term motivation, engagement, and satisfaction — basically, it’s your job to give a good first impression of your company.

Our first days at a new job greatly influence our overall satisfaction at the company. Employees are overwhelmingly influenced by their onboarding process — 91 percent of employees will stay at a company if they’ve experienced an efficient onboarding process. Sixty-nine percent will stay if they experienced a well-structured and programmed onboarding process.

Onboarding is a key predictor of employee longevity. If you want to invest time, energy, and resources into one company process, onboarding is the obvious way to go.

But what makes onboarding efficient? How do you onboard successfully? Where do you start?

There’s a lot to think about, and it’s overwhelming enough without considering the pressure of a first impression. So that’s why we’re here to guide you down the right path.

We’ve highlighted a few of the most important aspects of your onboarding process. We’ll give you the lowdown on what you should focus on and why, so you can keep your new hires happy and working at your company.

 

  • Deliver the right information. You have the rare and valuable opportunity to curate your first impression. Just imagine if you could present the social media version of yourself at every networking event you go to, instead of being that awkward girl standing in the corner talking to a cupcake. In onboarding, you get to do exactly that for your company — show off its best qualities and in a flattering light. You actually get to choose the first impression that you want to make. Each individual organization is different, and hence, approaches this presentation differently. Some emphasize culture, while others highlight vision, and still others focus on goals. But consider the following: what kind of atmosphere do you want to create? Who should welcome the new hires? How will they be trained? Who can they approach with questions? All of these seemingly small details make an immense difference.
  • Prepare for your new hire. Supporting the newest member of your team starts days before they enter the building. You want to make sure that they feel welcome from their first moment on the job, and that means being fully prepared for their arrival. From the basic logistics — desk, chair, computer — to an introduction to their first day’s work, to anything else that will help them start their first day off on the right foot. To make sure that you don’t miss a beat, you should create an onboarding to-do list that includes everything that must be done before an employee’s official start date.
  • Use the buddy system. Assigning buddies to new employees is an important way to foster their adjustment. It not only makes the social aspect a whole lot more pleasant (nobody wants to eat their first lunch alone), but will provide a source of knowledge. A veteran buddy can help new hires understand the office routine, norms, and policies and introduce them to other teammates. On top of that, as the company’s HR, this system has double the impact — not only will this help ease your new hire into their new surroundings, but you’ve engaged the buddy, allowing them to take on a leadership role.
  • Onboarding is ongoing. Onboarding doesn’t end with the official process. An employee’s first few months at a company are crucial to their happiness and success. Your onboarding flow should include a follow-up feedback session with employees 30 and 90 days after their official hire date. You should use these meetings to learn about their adjustment, interpersonal relationships, understanding of the role, professional expectations, and goals.  
  • Get feedback. It’s as simple as asking your new hire, “So, how was the onboarding?” Find out what went well and what could have gone better. Set aside a dedicated time to chat about this. This will help you improve and measure your success over time.

 

We hope this helps you onboard better! Do you have any tips of your own? Feel free to reach out and share it with us!

 

I am Y generation! How did I stay 7 years in 1 company?

Everyone seems to have an opinion about millennials and the employment market.

The media calls them narcissistic, their parents call them lazy, the media calls them, and employers characterize them as impatient, disloyal, flighty, self-centered job candidates.

But even millennials grow up. Now, these “self-centered,” “lazy” “narcissists” make up 25 percent of the US workforce. By 2030, that number is projected to rise to 75 percent.

Yet generational gaps have existed for as long as generations have. And the things that Boomers hate about millennials also happen to be the things that give them an edge in the job market. It’s only that a different generation comes with a different mindset, and maintaining these ambitious young adults means adopting a modern way of management.

And I would know.

I’m one of those flighty Generation Y narcissists. But contrary to the stereotype, I’ve spent seven years at one company. So, speaking from personal experience, here are a few ways that you, the employer, can create high engagement and retention amongst your Generation Y employees.

Upon completing my bachelor’s degree in business and East Asian studies, I went straight to work as a junior clients account manager at an online media company. It was a small startup made up of 60 ambitious employees, where I had the opportunity to grow with the team and learn directly from my manager.

In fact, my manager (and ultimately, mentor) was an integral part of my experience here. He never told me how to do my job. Instead, he exposed me to industry trends and business models, guiding me toward my own method of managing my client’s portfolio. I learned a lot, grew professionally, and developed a new skill set.

Luckily, both my manager and the HR team recognized my management skills early on. They actively challenged me by increasing my responsibilities, involving me in solving complex problems, and assigning me to support and mentor new employees. They boosted both my confidence and my abilities during this pivotal, early stage of my career, helping me thrive.

The company appreciated my motivation, and I was promoted to managing a small team of media buyers. While this was an obvious win for me, it was also a big win for the company: by nurturing internal talent, they were home-growing their very own future managers. Plus, I became even more loyal to the company, aligning more closely with its goals and missions. After all, their success directly benefited me — the more the company grew and diversified its business models, the more I could grow professionally.

Though autodidacts and self-learners are commonplace amongst millennials our company’s HR team deliberately worked to foster the talents of today’s young manager, helping them grow into tomorrow’s leaders. For instance, I had the benefit of a monthly mentorship plan, as well as a six-month course in leadership and managerial skills, all of which strongly influenced the type of manager I am today.

This taste of success further motivated me, and I searched for my next challenge. Suddenly, leading five people was no longer enough — I wanted to challenge myself, to learn, to evolve by managing a much larger team, and when the opportunity came along i was well prepared for it. My last job at the company I’ve ended up leading a five-team department, including client success, business development, M&A, sales, and marketing.

My managers and the HR team identified my strengths early on, helping them understand the best way to lead me. The realized that to succeed in developing my career, I needed to be constantly challenged, yet I need to constantly deliver results. Plus, they made me feel important: they asked for my opinion, my ambitions, and how I gauged my own success within the company.

Of course, not all millennials are the same. But we are ambitious, hungry, and driven. We long to be challenged, and we need to be heard.

  1. Understand what matters to us. Generally, millennials are high achievers. But they may define success differently: to us, personal growth and development often outweigh financial rewards.
  2. Let us know how we’re doing. We crave constant feedback, good or bad. Provide recognition for good work, and constructive criticism on points for improvement — we’ll up our efforts in return 🙂
  3. Define goals, but don’t micromanage. Since Generation Y treats all of a company’s roles (from CEO to the most junior employee) as equal, expect to be treated that way. We appreciate leaders who mentor and are inspired by those who lead by example, are professional and experienced.
  4. Involve them in creating their work environment. Feedback is a two-way street, and employees should always have a voice when it comes to company activities, management, or anything else company-related.
  5. Don’t limit them. Millenials are multitaskers who like to get their hands dirty and try out new things. They don’t want to focus on just one area of responsibility — they want to learn. This can be a huge attribute to your company.