Today, creating and maintaining great company culture is top of mind for many firms, and is one of the highest reasons for candidates to select one company over the other.
Developing a strong onboarding plan is one way to communicate company culture with new hires and potential candidates. However, some companies mistake orientation with onboarding. While they are clearly linked, they serve different purposes and are two sides of the same coin.
Onboarding vs. Orientation and Training
Most companies have an orientation system and training in place to help candidates learn the nuances of their specific roles and meet team members during the first week.
Onboarding is an on-going plan that continues long after the initial orientation period has ended. It’s intended to help a candidate’s long-term success to continually grow in their role.
An additional component of a successful onboarding plan is to give your new hire the chance to talk to their manager about opportunities, challenges, or concerns they might have at the 3 and 6-month points in their new role. Creating an open dialog allows for a safe space to discuss the job from their experience, and share lessons learned and best practices to make them more productive.
Often, unless given an opportunity, a new employee will keep to themselves, fly under the radar, when in actuality proactive communication could improve the situation for everyone involved.
It is also a good opportunity to communicate company expectations, vision and core values, and create clarity around setting short and long-term goals and understanding as to how and when they will be evaluated.
Tips for Onboarding:
- Develop a real plan–Don’t assume that new employees will find a way to get what they need or want. Make a schedule to meet with new hires at regular intervals and stick to it.
- Tell them about it–Make sure your new hires know that they will have chances to talk with you about how things are going for them. Ask them to compile a list of questions to discuss together during your meeting.
- Follow through–Don’t let your onboarding plan fall through the cracks if a new hire is doing well. Even if it’s just get together to share how great it’s been so far, you can take the opportunity to let your employee know that they are valued and that you recognize that they are doing well at this early stage.
New hires need to know how they’re doing, how they are contributing to the team’s success, and that they’ve made the right decision to join your company. Give all your new hires a chance to feel great about their role and you will reap the rewards of a happy and productive workforce.