I Hired Someone, Now What?
- BY AHA!
We put so much work into finding the ideal employee that will make a huge difference in our business, but we don’t put as much effort into the onboarding process. Proper onboarding is essential if you want your new hires to succeed, which will ultimately reflect back on your own success as a company. Andrea Hoffer discusses how we can get away from the paperwork aspect of onboarding and focus on the things that really matter. The things you do now to make the newest addition to your team feel welcome and safe will pay you off multiple times at the end of the road. Join in and learn what you must do on your part as an employer to set your new hire up for success.
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I Hired Someone, Now What?
Our topic is one that’s near and dear to my heart. The reason for it is because often, we put so much work into finding the right person, finding this ideal employee that we know is going to make a huge difference in our business and in our lives but we don’t put as much effort into helping this new hire become successful. That starts with onboarding. This episode is called I Hired Someone, Now What? I often hear this question in many different forms from our clients and colleagues. “I found this great person. Our onboarding process basically includes paperwork. Is there something else we should be doing?”
The new hire paperwork is important. You have to stay in compliance. However, that is a small part of setting your new hire up for success. You want to get as much of that paperwork as much as that dull thing that has to be done. You want to get that out of the way as soon as possible even before their start date. That way when they’re starting, they’re excited. They’re going to dive into something a little more meaningful than getting some paperwork done. You want to get them excited right away. There are many great systems out there that’s easy to get the paperwork done. It isn’t even paperwork anymore, it’s electronic through online portals. That’s one of the best ways to get everything done. Let’s spend more time on what true successful onboarding looks like and get away from the whole paperwork aspect of it.Don’t wait for the start day. Get your new hire excited about the new role as soon as they accept it. Click To Tweet
What does it take to have a successful onboarding experience for your new hire? The first part is simple. It’s a welcome. The welcome starts as soon as they accept that offer. They may be starting tomorrow, in two weeks. They could be starting in two months. What you don’t want to do is then let everything sit until the start date. You want to start that excitement and get them ready to join your team and already picturing themselves in the role as soon as possible, as soon as they accept that offer. How do you do that? You send them a welcome email. You express to them on the phone how excited you are that they’re joining your team. Not because you’re filling the position but because you’re excited about them as an individual is what they’re going to bring to the role and what they’re going to bring to your team, to your company.
You want to share that excitement with the rest of your team. You’re composing an incredible email that explained why you made an offer to this person and how excited you are. You send it out to your entire team and you copy your new hire. You encourage your team to now that they have your new hire’s email to send them a welcome themselves. You’d be amazed at how many people will reach out to your new team member. They’re excited about them joining as well especially because you put it out there. You share why you’re bringing this person in. Other things you can do, send them some swag or have this swag ready for them when they come to the office. It could be a mug with your logo, a planner, t-shirt, anything that represents joining your team and you can get creative with this.
We all have different things that represent our company. It’s not just a logo slapped on something. Sometimes it’s something specific that represents who you are. Share that with them right away. Give it to them as a gift because you’re excited that they’re joining with you. If there is some delay in them starting for whatever reason because they have to give notice at the previous position, they’re taking a vacation, or you’re not ready for them yet, make sure you continue to check-in with them. Don’t forget about them for two weeks or two months. You want to keep checking in, seeing if they have any questions, letting them know that you’re thinking of them, and you can’t wait for them to start.
If there is some lag, you’re not continuing that relationship, continuing their excitement, and they’re picturing themselves in your role, something else may come along. Whether they were looking for another role or not, sometimes because they had feelers out there before they found your role, things may start to come into their purview. You want to make sure that they are still focused on joining your team that they don’t even consider any other options that might be out there. Keep that conversation going. When they come in on their first day, make sure they know what that day is going to look like. Let them know beforehand. Make sure they know that they’re going to have an opportunity to eat lunch and where those options are going to be. Make sure they know who they’re going to meet with that day and what they’re going to learn, even what they should wear. Especially in our world now where casual has become fairly accepted, people don’t know what’s always appropriate for different types of businesses. It is different for each organization and each culture.Set up systems and a safe space for your new hire to create a foundation for their success. Click To Tweet
I’ve seen everything from jeans or even shorts and t-shirts to three-piece suits. You want to make sure that your new team member knows what’s expected of them when they come in on that first day and what time to arrive. Don’t wait until the last minute to let them know that. They want to prepare. They want to show up 150% so give them the information that they need to do that. Be ready for them that first day. Make sure there’s a welcome on their desk and they have a nameplate if that’s what most of your team members do if you always have nameplates. Make sure their computer is ready. Do not have them come in and have to search for her seat. Make them feel like they’re already part of the team.
If you want to put balloons up, put balloons up, anything to make them feel welcome but more importantly than all of that is it shows you’re ready for them. They have all the tools and resources ready to go so that you’re not waiting to get that while they’re there supposedly working. I always say it’s important to have at least the first 90 days scheduled out. It doesn’t have to be detailed for the whole 90 days. The first two weeks, it is important to have their schedule fairly worked out with the different aspects of who they’re going to meet, what they’re going to learn, where they need to be. It gives them a sense of structure and it gives them a solid foundation to start their working relationship with you.
The next thing we want to talk about is sharing expectations. You want to make sure you do a very good job of this and it’s a two-way street. You want to do a few different things in this area out. One, you do want to make sure they know any policies and rules that they need to know. If you have an employee handbook, make sure you share it with them and review it with them to see if they have any questions. Make sure they know the simple things like even where to park, where to go to the bathroom, things like that. At the same time, you also want to share with them what success looks like for somebody in this position. What are the things they need to accomplish and do in order to be successful in your eyes?
You want to explain to them how they can contribute to the mission of the company, why their job is meaningful, and how it contributes to your overall purpose. Everybody wants to know how they can make an impact, how they can truly add something to the results. This is where you want to share with them how that happens. You also want to talk to them about communication expectations. How do you expect to be communicated with? How often? What method? What types of things do you want to hear from them? You want to ask them the same questions. How did they like to communicate? If you have feedback for them that may not be something they want to hear. It’s constructive feedback. Sometimes, we all have trouble in receiving that feedback. What’s the best way to share it with them? Talk about it so that you can have that communicated out, raised that you have a good sense of the best way to communicate with them and work with them before you even start.
You can pull on that knowledge as you go forward in your working relationship. Sometimes, that’s going to change. You always want to check in, make sure and say, “I have a specific type of information you wanted to hear by email but I’m starting to get the sense you would rather I come and talk to you.” It has something changed there. Keep that conversation going. Talk about what they’re looking for in their career. How do they want to develop professionally? What type of resources and training would they love to have the opportunity to pursue? Where are they looking to go long-term? If they share with you ten years from now that their career focus might not keep them in your organization, that’s okay.
If they give you 3 to 5 years of something that contributes to your organization and you also help them to develop career-wise so that they can go where they want to go ten years from now, you’re going to have a solid team member for that time. You’re going to have somebody who’s going to speak highly of your organization and encourage other people to join your team. Thirdly, you want to help them to build connections. Help them to get to know their team members as soon as possible. Do some team get-together. Take the whole team to lunch and help them to all connect on a personal level as well as a work level. Encourage the team to share the core values of the company with this new team member, how it shows up on a daily basis for them, and how it might show up for this new team member.
Bring those connections together so they’re not only getting to know their co-workers but they’re also getting to know the culture of the organization, how you do things on a daily basis, what is important, how you make decisions. Help them to learn that early on especially from their co-workers because the co-workers can help them to understand how it truly shows up. Again, this gives them a map to being successful. Sometimes while it’s the simplest, it’s often overlooked. That’s helping them to create a foundation. That means giving them everything they need on a foundational level. I mentioned making sure they know where the park and making sure they know where they can go to lunch. Answering any questions for them that may be on the top of their mind that they may think sounds silly to ask on the first day but encourage it. Get all those things out of the way because they may be things that are important for them to know so they can relax and be comfortable.
Everybody brings something different to the table. The important thing is you want them to feel safe. In order to feel safe, there are things that come up for each person that is important. It may be, how do they even find the office that they go to on their first day or how do they find the office for a specific meeting that they have to attend regularly? These things can be something that can bring up some stress in the beginning if they’re not addressed and if people are not made comfortable to ask those questions. You want to make sure that foundation of feeling safe and feeling like they belong and have the basic things that they need in order to move on and be successful. Those are the four main areas that we recommend that you are constantly addressing in those first 90 days and beyond the 90 days.
Especially in those first 90 days because you want to set your new hire up for success. I want to end by sharing that whether an employee is the right fit and successful in the role and stays a good amount of time, more than 50% of that is on you as the employer, as their leader. They may be an amazing team member but they need to feel welcome first and they need to have the tools that are important to set them up for success. I have seen too many good candidates who have left jobs fairly quickly because within those first few days they were not made to feel welcome. They were not given the resources they needed to be successful. I see them go on to other positions and thrive.
You constantly want to be checking in and making sure that you’re giving your new team and, for lack of a better word, old team everything that they need to be successful. That doesn’t mean lower your expectations, not at all. You want to ask them what you can do to help them to be even more successful because people love to be successful. On the whole, there are a few people who don’t care. The way that not caring comes up is when people feel the person on the other end doesn’t care either. I leave you with truly think about how you’re going to structure your wonderful, successful heart-based onboarding program for your next new hire so that you give them everything they need to be successful in your role. Thank you for reading.