Onboarding a New Employee? Don't tie yourself in knots!


Are you sure you’ve covered all the why’s and wherefore’s and how you’ll nurture your newbie in the first few weeks of employment with you?

It's really easy to make assumptions that because a new employee may have the skillset that you are looking for to jump to conclusions, hoping that it will all work out fine. It’s almost guaranteed that they’ll have superficial knowledge of who you are and how you do things.

We’ve found that the number one reason why an employee will leave your company is due to poor performance management, not getting the best out of an employee from the get go.

Getting this crucial, first few days wrong, could see an employee switch off, become demotivated and leave, ultimately creating big costs for you as you seek a replacement.

According to the CIPD the average recruitment cost of filling a vacancy is £4,800, increasing to £7,000 for a manager and professional (CIPD Survey, Recruitment, Retention and Turnover 2004).

So we are going to give you some great tips which you can start using right away.

Plan Plan Plan

First impressions work both ways, each time a new person joins a team, and is introduced to colleagues, it is an opportunity to provide motivation support and leadership. You may have seen photos online of a pristine desk with brand new laptop, pens, t-shirts all sorts of things supporting the assertion that your new person joined a progressive, future thinking and high delivery organisation.

So you've recruited your new starter and they and you are very excited about them coming on board. Try putting yourself in their shoes. They are completely new to your organisation. If you are going to performance manage them well and they are going to integrate quickly into your organisation and start delivering, they need to be introduced to their key contacts, they’ll need time to read and understand, operational procedures, eg, an employee handbook, HR policies and procedures, meet the team, health and safety, First Aid, emergency procedures and so on so forth. The best way of doing this is by getting them to 'sit next to Nelly' = a seasoned employee who can show them around, introduce them to people and tell them what they need to know. A properly briefed and competent employee is an essential component to this.

Performance Management

Don’t just tell them what their objectives are, define a collaboratively agreed set of measurable (deliverable) objectives. Make sure that the employee clearly understands their role and their individual priorities and how they fit into the grand scheme of business objectives.

Make absolutely sure that you both regularly review performance and reset priorities as the business demands change. Do everything you can to understand employee feedback so that they and you can stay focused.

Training and Development

You’ll of course have a training needs assessment prepared for the role that your employee is undertaking, agree from Day 1 (or maybe day 7) to identify and provide personal development training, write it down and make sure such training is provided. Nothing is more demotivating than the failure to provide promised training.

Regular Reviews

Make sure that you meet with the new employee regularly - off site works best. Why not weekly for the first couple of months, to "see how things are going" and whether they need any help. Your key management skills of listening come into play here! You have the opportunity to address any issues from this new pair of eyes before they become stumbling blocks for you and the employee.

Recognise Performance

If the employee is doing well then tell them, put them loud and proud on the company achievement wall, Employee of the month? You do have an employee recognition process don’t you? If you don't, feedback to them in a positive and supportive way.

Would you like to have peace of mind? It is absolutely crucial when recruiting and onboarding your new starters that you get it right first time and we'd love to tell you more about how HR Pulse can make this simple for you so don't delay, give us a call on 07951 356700 or email sue@evergreenhr.co.uk.

We love the photos shown in our blog posts, we’re very pleased to recognise the following photographers from unsplash.com, thank you all. Harry Knight, Fabio Bezerra, Thought Catalog, Jonathon Simcoe and Orgollusa.