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!