How to Create A Winning Onboarding Program for Team Success

Posted February 17, 2019

As companies grow, hiring is a natural next step to help maintain the forward momentum--or perhaps to fuel it.

But know this.

Hiring a good fit doesn’t necessarily spell success. So before you hit the job boards and start the interviewing process, ask yourself this: do you have a foundational system in place to equip your new hires for success?

Your new employees might be the most awesome people in the entire world. But if they can’t gain a proper footing in your company or know what’s expected of them, they’ll never be able to achieve what you envision--or what they’re capable of.

A good onboarding program is an absolute must. Lack of proper onboarding can leave your new hire lacking a proper purpose and mission.

Benefits of a good onboarding program

Onboarding programs are meant to increase employee engagement and retention. And that’s exactly what you want when you’re running a business, isn’t it?

The onboarding program helps shape a new employee’s view of your company and give them a picture into how it operates. It can give them a sense of ownership as they approach their new role and define goals and what they should expect on the job—along with what’s expected of them.

Too often onboarding falls to the wayside or gets lost in the shuffle of HR requirements and forms to fill out. But with the right techniques and pillars in place, you can give your new team members what they need to start to build their (and your) success.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the 6 elements you should include in your new, stellar onboarding program.

Pre-onboarding

Reaching out to your new employee a few days before they officially begin with some information can minimize stress and first-day jitters. Including parking information, things to bring, and names of key people they should turn to for questions or assistance upon arrival can do wonders for making a good first-day impression. They’ll be able to feel more confident stepping into the office from the very first moment.

Mentorship

Pairing your new employee with someone in the department who’s further along in their career can provide an opportunity to shadow and learn as much as possible to succeed early on. It gives personal access to someone who can answer questions and address any problems that might arise.

Introductions

Rather than welcoming your new employee to the office, seating them at their desk and expecting them to do the rest, take the time to walk them through the office and introduce them to the rest of the team. This will make them feel more comfortable and do away with the awkwardness of being the stranger in the midst. For a company focused on building a solid company culture and team (note: all business owners should focus on that), helping new hires feel a part of the team from the start is vital.

Cross-functional insights and training

Help new hires be more self-sufficient and less reliant on other departments by providing some cross-functional training. Task a welcome committee of peers, directors, and HR and IT folks, and anyone else you’d like to include, with sharing information on how to handle day-to-day tasks, as well as situations that will inevitably arise.

Business training

Ongoing learning is the bedrock of success. Give your new team member the upper hand by leading them through a variety of trainings about the company itself and the projects they’ll be involved in. Providing a weekly reading assignment of leadership, industry-related or development books can also help jumpstart their success.

Set expectations

A majority of companies fail to set goals and milestones for their new hires. The eager new employees are left to wander aimlessly, never knowing how they’re doing until a performance review smacks them upside the head. If you take time from the start to establish the guidelines for performance and success on the job, your new hires will have the knowledge they need to move full-steam ahead and be the awesome people you hired. Defining milestones and key performance indicators for them will ensure that those are more likely to be met. After all, as the saying goes, “what gets measured, gets managed.”

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