• Valerie Groce

Adrenalize your onboarding process


Tips to get your new hires contributing faster!

Bringing on new hires and getting them “ready to work” has its own package of expenses, which makes it that much more crucial that the process be efficient and effective. There are required activities that cannot be delayed, but on top of that, we are sizing up the new employee while trying to put on a great first impression at the same time. One might compare it to an encore presentation of the interview dance. For now, the new hire is an active participant in the team culture.


One benefit of a strong onboarding program is realized employee retention, but that is not where it stops. Here are some additional real costs advantages from a study by the Aberdeen Group and iCMS of having a an efficient onboarding process:


  • 60% year-over-year improvement in revenue

  • 63% year-over-year improvement in customer satisfaction

  • Onboarding improves company ROI by more than $79,000 per year


These are direct, tangible advantages to the bottom line! So now, where to start? Here are some ideas to get things moving in the right direction.


Send out required signatures ahead of time


This is one of those requirements of the first few days of employment. Everyone must get the proper paperwork completed, including I-9, tax paperwork, benefits, and policy handbooks with everything in between. Instead of locking a new employee in a room for the first few hours of the day, send the required paperwork to them in an email the week prior to their start date. This gives them the opportunity to completely review and complete the paperwork at their own pace without any rushed decisions. They may then bring the completed paperwork with them on their first day. Another alternative is with e-signature technology to eliminate needing a hard copy of the majority of paperwork at all.


Web-based one-stop shop for key information


Replace the gigantic employee handbook with a single location to find all Human Resources documentation and resources. This not only eliminates a significant cost, but enables one location to post updates whenever necessary, knowing that employees will always receive the most up-to-date information whenever they visit the site.


This resource does not need to stop with Human Resource efforts, either. Teams can do the same thing at their own levels by publishing the most current process and resources for team members to refer to on details specific to their role.


These resource collections can be as robust as content pages on the company web site or as simple as a couple of folders on the network. Something in-between might be using a common document sharing application like SharePoint as a repository.


Record standard orientation information


A one-time investment in a quality video that provides key information about the corporation, culture and what to expect can prove itself cost-effective when compared to the time spent by an employee conducting a meeting for new hires each time. This can be sent along with the paperwork the week prior and will help get the new team member to their team faster. In a comfortable, home setting, your new team member will be able to give more attention to the video and replay any parts that are missed.


Having a designated person to answer questions is equally helpful as the new employee reviews what they receive prior to their start date. This person might be the recruiter that has been working with them already, or this is a perfect opportunity to transition their relationship to the Human Resources team. Whichever resource is selected, the new employee should be ready for their first day with paperwork completed, benefits enrolled, and having a good understanding of what to expect from the company and culture.


With all of these details accomplished before the new employee’s first day, a few introductions and a quick tour can now get them working with their team right away.


Have a plan


Now that the new team member will be making their way directly to their team right away, this accelerates the team manager’s need to make sure that they are prepared to receive them. A strong onboarding plan should be initiated and engaged before the employee’s first day. Given the timing of the corporate culture, some tasks (like equipment procurement) may need to be started when the job requisition is posted.


What is needed at the team level for a new member about to arrive? Here are some common necessities that an employee requires to do their job effectively.

If there is no checklist yet, these would be a great start:


  • Work space needs to be assigned (Facilities)

  • Desk supplies, such as chair, pens, stapler, legal pad, etc. (Purchasing)

  • Phone for desk including direct line assignment (Telecom)

  • PC or laptop (Purchasing or IT)

  • Necessary applications and software tools (IT)

  • Security credentials (Security or Risk Management)


Some of these items may be quick to accomplish, however other tasks such as purchasing equipment and setting it up by IT may take extra time. Start working ahead of time to get all of the gears turning so new team members can integrate themselves to the job as soon as possible.


Next comes the cognitive preparation. Think along the lines of what the employee needs to know and understand before they can be a contributor to the team. Put together a training plan to list all of the tasks, processes and resources to expose the new team member, and the method of delivery.


Train team members to be effective mentors


A designated mentor who does the same job is an effective way to immerse the new team member into their new role and what to expect. Not only does it expose them to their job duties, it also introduces them to their colleagues as a peer in the team’s social circle. This raises the team engagement at the same time as the new employee.


It has also been suggested to bring on two or more new team members at a time for the purpose of enhancing engagement and knowledge sharing between them as well as with the rest of the team. This expanded effort maximizes the time and enhances learning by sharing together.


A crucial game-changing step in this process is training team members to be effective trainers. Setting clear expectations of what they are expected to teach (a checklist is good) and expose new team members to, is the first step. The next step is making sure that information is not only transferred, but understanding is able to be demonstrated. A good process for ensuring this is:


Tell me

Explain the process, tools, and steps verbally.

Show me

Demonstrate the task while the new employee watches.

Show you

New team member does the task themselves as the mentor observes.

Feedback and correction

Mentor provides feedback to the employee as they perform the task.


IT Efficiency Consulting accelerates onboarding productivity


Onboarding efficiency and cross-training are some of the key improvements that ITEC brings to their software development clients. Our team pairing method gets new team members familiar with their systems, tools, team processes and preferences so fast that they can be productive contributors on their first day on the team. Yes, their FIRST DAY!


Contact ITEC to learn more about how to accelerate the onboarding process at the team level.

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