When we talk about onboarding what we are really talking about is retention. The first 90 days on the job are acutely vulnerable: managers are under pressure to build productivity as fast as possible whilst boosting engagement, morale and motivation, so as to minimise turnover. According to Bersin research, 4 percent of new employees leave a job after only 1 day, and 22 percent of staff turnovers (1 in 4!) occur within the first 45 days of employment.
Extending well beyond the first day on the job, onboarding should be considered a continuous process lasting anywhere from 3 to 12 months and including employee performance acceleration, performance objective setting, instilling the company culture within the new employee and developing the behaviours that will lead to the employee’s long-term success.
A proper plan for this crucial period leads to:
- Correct communication of goals and expectations
- Accelerated performance
- Heightened morale
- Better decisions
- Employee retention
Consider implementing an individualised 90 day programme to build your newly appointed employee, into an organisational asset whilst measuring their progress.
Week 1. Make sure the new hire is comfortable with their responsibilities and maintain an open door policy. Set objectives/goals, introduce them to team members, assign them a mentor and task them with a project early on to help them get their feet wet. At the end of the week assess their feelings of orientation, motivation, assimilation, adaptation, familiarity with organisational philosophy, and more.
15 Days. Check in on the employee’s progress toward the goals discussed during week one, helping the employee identify and resolve any challenges.
30 Days. During the first 30 days familiarise your new employees with company culture, make sure they have a soild understanding of their responsibilities, what they can expect in their new role and what’s expected of them. This is also the time to review procedures and train on company systems and software as well as products, services and client accounts. Assign a mix of short and long-term projects. Help them get up to speed as quickly as possible and check in regularly regarding their objectives as well as the tasks and projects they have been assigned.
45 Day Benchmark: Sit down with the new hire to assess their familiarity with the company, their role and to see how happy they are. You can assess performance on some of their shorter projects as well as where their mind is regarding their bigger picture projects.
60 Days. The second month on the job should focus on taking their newly acquired knowledge and applying it towards accomplishing tasks as well as taking on bigger responsibilities. Outline how the employee’s role is expected to contribute towards the organisation’s business goals and, where appropriate, give them the opportunity to collaborate with other teams. Continue to review progress and provide feedback.
90 Days. During this period the employee will take a more proactive role in the organisation, working with limited guidance and taking accountability. This is when you should start seeing results from your new employee: a superstar employee will begin making suggestions, implementing new strategies, and addressing strategic initiatives.
New employees want to feel part of your company, but still want to be treated as individuals with talents and objectives of their own. Demonstrate that you value both, and they’ll be far more likely to invest themselves in your company.
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