Employee onboarding is probably the most important thing you will do in your business. Second only to marketing and creating the ideal customer experience. In this article, we are going to review the key pieces of onboarding. Please note, the IRS defines contract employees differently than full-time or part-time employees. However, if you use contract employees, I would strongly recommend you create an onboarding process for them.
As odd as this may sound, before you start writing the process, ask yourself what you would want to know about the job. This is your opportunity to set the stage, to set your employee up for success.
Clearly define their role
I love detailed job descriptions. I have been accused of wanting to micromanage, but that is not what I am doing. Micromanaging is when you tell someone how to do something. A detailed description, clearly stating your expectations, their responsibilities, their objectives and goals, and outlining basic company expectations is a road map to success. The more you define boundaries, the better your employee will perform. There will be no guessing or self-doubt
Even if you are a company of 1 adding a second employee, take the time to write an employee manual. Create policies and set standards. Tell them how you want them to address challenges, how to communicate with you, and vital pieces of information like when pay days are.
Give them a tour of the office
This is an important step. Not one that can be rushed. Walk them around. Show them where everything is- even the bathrooms. Do not assume anything. And give them the opportunity to talk to other employees.
Take the time to show them the culture. If you have a no cell phone policy, don’t have yours out during onboarding. If Friday is pajama day, tell them. Make sure to cover all the details of what makes up the office culture.
Start off as you want to go
This is not the time to put your best foot forward. This is the time to be honest, authentic, and real. We all know there are challenges or you wouldn’t have hired someone or some people. Be honest. Don’t be a Negative Nelly, but don’t hide them either.
Give lots of breaks
Starting a new job is stressful. Give new hires lots of breaks. Give them time to process. To complete paperwork. To socialize. Trust me, this is an investment in your employees.
The most important piece of advice is to not rush the onboarding process. If it takes a week, it takes a week. Look at this way, if you do a good job, you and your employees wills save time in the long run.