How to on-board: learn from the best

How to on-board: learn from the best

How to on-board: learn from the best

First morning at a new job: is there anything more stressful? A good induction can make all the difference. A new employee at Twitter gets to choose their personalized email address, starts their day eating breakfast with the CEO, finds a t-shirt and bottle of wine on their desk, and has a briefing later in the day including company history and inside jokes.

The first few days can be key to engaging a worker and incorporating them into your work culture. Compared to some companies, where the full intro consists of showing a new worker the bathroom, the printer and their workspace, Twitter’s full process includes more than 75 steps before the employee ever sits at their desk, including handoffs between recruiting, HR, IT and facilities management, ensuring a new employee knows their team, bosses, tasks and tools.

So what should you be doing for your new recruits?

  1. Introduce them to upper management
    Many workers feel disconnected from the management team. Making sure they meet the CEO or VPs, and that it feels informal and friendly, means they won’t be worried about asking questions or making suggestions later. Surveys also show that workers who feel connected to their managers are more engaged and more productive.
  2. Keep them in the loop, even before they start
    The period of time between offer acceptance and start could still give other employers  the chance to make an offer, and staying in touch gives you time to get to know the new employee and inform them of as much as possible before they start.
  3. A “job-warming” gift goes a long way
    Want new employees to feel welcome and accepted? The Twitter t-shirt isn’t just a gesture – it says they’re part of a team. It doesn’t have to be something elaborate. A personalized mug of their own or a company branded item is perfect. But stationery and business cards don’t count.
  4. Introduce them to your champions
    The first 100 days are key for staff and managers, who often judge someone’s potential in the first three months. Help new employees do their best by introducing them to your top performers so they get an idea of expectations and strategies.
  5. Make it easy for them
    Have all the handbooks, policies, instructions and templates available and accessible so they can start quickly and don’t need to keep asking for help. Training someone for a task only when it comes up slows down the whole team.
  6. Don’t overload them
    Five sets of company guidelines, three recent project updates, a company history, building map and a pile of “how to” guides – if you overwhelm your new worker with information they won’t retain any of it. Start simple and have a plan for them to be taught a new aspect of the role each day.
  7. Give them a buddy
    Make sure someone in the office, preferably sitting near your new worker, is taking responsibility of answering questions as they arise. The experienced staff member can take them to lunch in their first week and make sure the new team member feels comfortable asking for help in their early days.
  8. It’s not all about day one
    Don’t forget to maintain support throughout the first number of months. It’s estimated to take six months for a worker to settle fully into a role so having a weekly catch up will make sure new team members feel supported.


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