That first day on the job… has the potential to be an employee’s best or worst day on the job. It’s the same for you as an employer. You’ve spent nearly a month or more searching for the right candidate and using a lot of time and money to find them. The last thing you want to do is waste all of this effort by placing the new hire in a poor onboarding program. If it’s bad enough, they might just become one of the 4% that leave the company on their first day.

Whether new hires are timid or outgoing, it’s important to make new hires feel welcome during their first few months to encourage increased new hire productivity. It doesn’t just start – or end – in the course of the onboarding process; it’s a notion that needs to be maintained throughout the first few months of their new employment.

Pre-board new hires to keep them engaged

First things first, the new hires have to be around long enough to make it past their first day. During the pre-boarding process, have your new hires fill out all of the irritating paperwork that’s associated with the first day. With this out of the way before they begin their onboarding ensures they are immersed in the culture and understand their position before they begin. Their first day on the job can be just that – learning the ins and outs of the role instead of (to them) meaningless paperwork. Kevin Sheridan (@KevinSheridan12), Human Capital Management Consultant, said:

New employees experience nearly the same jittery feeling as a person on the verge of a first date. They’re eager to make a good impression, and extra-sensitive to any reaction that seems tentative or unenthusiastic. Go to radio silent after making your offer and you risk making a new hire feel ignored or neglected.”

Make new hires feel welcomed

Many companies have mastered the technical and legal facets of the onboarding process, but few have been able to conquer welcoming a new hire. While the paperwork does keep the company compliant and out of litigation, welcoming a new hire is more than just the paperwork. If you’re one of the companies that has struggled with gracefully receiving a new employee, here are some suggestions:

  • Develop a welcome plan ahead of time
  • Create a mentor or buddy system
  • Express genuine interest in the new hire as a person

Commit to the new hire throughout the first 90 days

You’ve welcomed your new employees… now what? Continuing that welcoming behavior is important for the productivity of the new members to your team. When employees are accustomed to their environment, they are comfortable asking for help or for the tools they need. Katie White (@Katie_Usher), Senior Sales Manager at Naylor Association Solutions, said:

“…Make sure your employees feel comfortable asking questions of you. Let them know questions are always welcome. Any time someone asks me a questions, I want them to know I am glad they asked it and that no question is a silly question. I want our employees to feel comfortable seeking help when they need it.”

Improving new hire productivity levels really boils down to welcoming new members to the team throughout the onboarding process and beyond their official training period. Make new employees feel relaxed in the workplace, and they are more likely to be successful in their new role. Develop a pre-boarding strategy so the onboarding process gives new hires the company knowledge and training they need to flourish.

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