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  • Writer's pictureMike Bensi

Create Discovery Opportunities for New Hires

Trying to organize all the "to-dos" for new hires can be overwhelming for both hiring managers and HR. And when things start to feel overwhelming or confusing to an organization, it can feel the same to employees.

A recent BambooHR survey showed that three-fourths of new hires said training during the first week on the job is most important to them. A 2007 study from the Wynhurst Group found that new hires are 58% more likely to be at the same company three years later if they had completed a structured onboarding process.

Without a strong process in place, employees don't understand their role or expectations. They feel confused or alienated. And then they leave.

Employees want a well-worn path to follow when they start - not a checklist of to-do items. Emphasizing a theme of discovery during your onboarding process allows the employee to experience some of the most critically important activities as an employee. Even before the employee starts, you want to ensure he or she feels welcomed by the culture, but also as an individual. Allow time within your onboarding experience to allow the new hire to discover:

The team. Allow other team members, not just HR or the hiring manager, to be involved in the process as well. Simple ways to do this include team lunches or meetings. Mentoring programs can also work well. Whether it is one person or a team of mentors, creating connection with others can help build relationships and answer questions that might arise.

The employee. During the recruiting process, we look for someone who can bring in a separate set of skills and experience to the culture. But once hired, how much time do we allow the new hire to reinforce those strengths and differences? Probably very little. So don't forget to allow time for new hires to show their individuality.

The impact. Many companies make the mistake of not giving work to the new hire soon after they start. Having the new hire work right away helps ensure he or she is more engaged and productive in the long run. Focus on creating small projects for the employee to own quickly to reinforce the expectations.

The expectations. Managers should make time early to review objectives and goals to the new hire to understand what matters and how they'll be successful. This will let him or her know off the bat what should be important, as well as set expectations moving forward.

The company. Convey your organizational culture, values, and brand. This can include meetings with key leaders about these various topics, and fun ways to reinforce your brand through custom swag (t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.).

New hires will thank you for giving them a path to success during their onboarding experience. And as a leader, you'll see a quicker onboarding of a committed and productive employee.

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