You’re probably familiar with your onboarding process. Chances are, you go through it pretty often. But the first day on a new job probably feels to your new hires a lot like entering a foreign nation rife with strange cultural rituals and a technical language that sounds nothing like the jargon they studied for the interview. Landing a new job is exciting. I remember my exact reaction when I landed this job.
But excitement can fade quickly if the first day on the job isn’t handled well. In fact, keeping your employees excited about their new job is vital for the first couple of months as 22 percent of turnover happens within the first 45 days. Here are a few questions your employees will likely have on their first day and some ways you can help things go a little more smoothly during the onboarding process:
What am I doing?
Your new hire is probably the best and brightest (of course they are—you’re the one who did the hiring!). But that doesn’t mean your new hire knows how to jump right in. Over 75 percent of people agree that the most important factor in getting an employee up-and-running is on-the-job training.
A great way to help your new employees feel like they have an ally in their strange new environment is by giving them a mentor to work with. More than half of employees feel that being assigned a “buddy” or mentor would help them be productive more quickly. Not only can a mentor help your new employees become acquainted with on-the-job processes, but mentors can also welcome them into the culture and introduce them to coworkers.
Who are you?
New hires are feeling a lot of pressure! They are meeting a whole slew of new people all while trying to create a great first-impression. And meeting their coworkers is important. It is so important that 90 percent of best-in-class companies incorporate socialization into their onboarding process. So encourage your employees to take a minute to introduce themselves.
Consider holding a meeting so the new hires can meet those they will be working with. If your company is too big for a personal introduction to everyone, consider sending out a “Welcome Email” that introduces the new employee. Hopefully your company’s culture will encourage employees to be welcoming. Your employees will decide whether or not they feel at home within their first few weeks on the job. And if employees don’t feel happy in their new office environment, they aren’t likely to stick around for long.
Where am I?
My first college job was a pretty sweet office gig on-campus. I was a lowly college freshman from a 400-student high school. I quickly realized that navigating my new campus was about as easy as navigating a corn maze in the dark with a blindfold on. So, it wasn’t that surprising to me when I couldn’t find the bathroom at my job. I thought I would figure it out. I didn’t. I had no clue where the bathroom was for a month. That was miserable (I finally found it by desperately tailing a co-worker to it after they had announced that they were taking a bathroom break—that was kind of awkward). Don’t do that to your employees!
At some point in the day, your employee is going to be questioning where they are. Almost 60 percent of employees listed reviewing administrative policies—specifically touring the facility and setting up their computer—as contributing to a quick transition into productive work. Take a little time to physically show your new hire around the office. Make sure to also spend some time showing them how to use the equipment available to them. Don’t leave your employees feeling lost.
Chances are, your new employee’s head will be spinning after the first day. There may not be any way to avoid that. What you can do is make sure you have done your best to help them navigate—both physically and mentally—their first day.
Photo by Michael Beck/CC BY