The final step in hiring employees is to make sure you bring them on board and get them off on the right foot. Many of today’s workers make decisions on how long to stay with an organization within the first two weeks of employment. A solid onboarding program goes a long way to getting those employees working towards goals quickly and keeping them for the long term.

Onboarding today starts before the candidate starts work. Making sure everything is ready for the individual before they arrive is critical to making them feel a part of the team right away. Workstations, email addresses, equipment, name tags, etc. should all be put in place before the person arrives on their first day.

For that first day, have a plan. If orientation is part of the process, be sure everything is ready to go and it doesn’t feel last-minute. This is your opportunity to reinforce your culture and how you want work done so be sure orientation reflects that. If you don’t have a formal orientation, be sure to have the employee’s paperwork ready to go and have someone designated to go over expectations, company policies and paperwork with them.

Once the employee is through the required paperwork, etc., be sure there is a plan for how they will spend the rest of that first day and the first week. Have people designated to make sure they have the tools they need, provide appropriate training, and check in regularly. You want your new employee to feel like they are part of the team and productive.

Another feature of many onboarding programs is the assignment of a mentor. If you don’t have someone internally in your company, business organizations like your local Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation can help you find someone to fill that role. A mentor is someone who will regularly talk with the employee and help them work through challenges they may not feel comfortable bringing to the owner.

Onboarding can go a long way to keep an employee engaged and on your staff. For more information on onboarding, check out these resources:
Onboarding New Employees by SHRM