The Step-By-Step Guide to New Hire Onboarding

New employees can be vulnerable. Also to be out of their element, stressed, and eager to please. Instead of providing a nurturing environment and offering instant validation, however, many businesses expect their new hires to turn into genuinely experienced employees in a matter of weeks, providing little training coupled with high expectations. Onboarding, sometimes referred to as organizational socialization, is the process of introducing your employees to the expectations, skills, knowledge, and culture of your company. This fact, coupled with how expensive and time-consuming it can be to hire new employees, makes detailed and thoughtful on boarding more important than ever. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you do just that.

Identify Which Type of Onboarding is Better 

The first step to achieving effective onboarding is to identify the two types: informal and formal. Selecting the right approach for your company should be fairly easy, even if you’re a startup. (Hint: You should usually go with the formal option). The scene is a familiar one: a new employee shows up for his first day of work and finds a chaotic atmosphere. He has no designated workplace. His supervisor and coworkers barely introduce themselves.

He sits around for an hour trying to make himself useful because his project manager doesn’t have any work set aside for him to tackle. Then he goes home, hoping the next day will be better. The whole week unfolds like this, and the new employee begins to learn all the unspoken rules of his workplace while figuring out expectations and policies on his own.

A sink-or-swim mentality kicks in, and eventually, he becomes acclimatized to his environment. A month goes by with barely a nod from his supervisor.  A year passes, and by then he either leaves to find a better job. Or becomes part of the system which was so unhelpful to him when he was a new hire.

In this scenario, the employee has fallen victim to informal onboarding.

Instead of leaving your new employees to fend for themselves, organize a formal onboarding plan.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “Organizations that engage in formal onboarding by implementing step-by-step programs for new employees to teach them what their roles are, what the norms of the company are, and how they are to behave are more effective than those that do not.”

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