New hire training, orientation and communication tactics can help you get staff up to speed as soon as possible. Managers often want to “on ramp” staff quickly, whether they’re new hires or inter-departmental transfers. However, starting a new job can present an array of challenges and the learning curve can vary depending on the individual. Not only do employees have to learn the responsibilities of the position, they may also need to adapt to a different corporate culture and set of business procedures. By investing a little time and guidance up front, you can help ease this transition, allowing new workers to hit the ground running from their first days on the job.
Tips for new hire training and orientation
Offer an orientation. It can take a few weeks to adjust to an unfamiliar environment, particularly for someone moving from a very relaxed atmosphere to one with more restrictions on professional conduct or attire. A worker’s experience during this formative period can significantly influence his or her job satisfaction and desire to stay with the firm over the long term. You can ensure the experience is a positive one by offering a well thought-out orientation program.
At a minimum, an orientation should include a company overview, details of compensation and benefits and a tour of building facilities. A review of the technical and administrative resources available to employees — such as computers, fax machines, copiers, voice mail and email — should also be part of the process. Include a summary of these topics in your company’s employee handbook for future reference.
Arrange for the “meet and greet.” On day one, introduce the new employee to his or her coworkers, explaining team members’ roles and how they will be working with the newcomer. Be sure he or she also meets key people from other departments.
Set clear expectations. Misunderstandings are a primary cause of employee dissatisfaction. Be sure to sit down early with new staff to ensure they know exactly what their jobs entail and what it takes to be a peak performer. Explain any preferences you have for how your staff should communicate with you, such as email, face to face or otherwise.
Provide mentors. Pairing company veterans with new hires can help them adapt much more quickly. Mentors can share their experiences in the company and provide insight into the best way to interact with management and coworkers. They can also be an additional resource when questions arise.
Check in regularly. According to a survey of hiring managers by our company, not asking enough questions is one of the biggest mistakes made by recent hires. They may be hesitant to speak up for fear of appearing uninformed. Make an effort to check in with employees frequently — preferably informally — to see if they have concerns or are encountering any difficulties.
Maintain an open-door policy. Making yourself available to your staff whenever possible is always important, but it’s especially critical with new members of your team. Let them know they can always come to you if they have questions.
You may think you don’t have enough time to offer new employees extra attention when they start their job. But helping workers get off on the right foot from the beginning is a good investment. It has substantial payoffs down the road in terms of team morale, productivity and creativity, not to mention employee retention.
Accountemps, a division of Robert Half International Inc. (RHI) , is the world’s first and largest specialized temporary staffing company for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps has more than 350 offices throughout North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and offers online job search services at www.accountemps.com.
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