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How to Get New Hires Up to Speed



The first few weeks on the job are critical for a new hire. It can make all the difference in their first impression of the employer and in how long they decide to stay with a company. According to The Wynhurst Group, "22 percent of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment." Whether the new hire is just starting their career or is a seasoned business professional, everyone needs guidance at the beginning of a new job.


If you are in charge of onboarding an employee, you may feel overwhelmed if your company or department doesn't have an effective process in place. Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to start to create one. Even if you already have an onboarding process, double-check the suggestions to ensure your process is as easy and effective as possible for you and your new hires.


Provide a welcome packet. What you decide to call the folder is up to you, but what is inside the packet is what is really important. This should be a way for the employee to become familiar with the organization, the department and the team members they will work with, and how their job relates to the larger vision and mission of the company. The employee should be able to feel an immediate connection between their responsibilities and the mission statement of the company. Provide any important policies, dress codes or other things expected of employees, including administrative information as well. Try to make it fun by including pictures and trivia about the company.


Action tip: If you don't have an information packet for new hires already, begin putting one together. It may take work but it will be easy to maintain and personalize once you have the key components created. Check with your human resources department for anything critical to include and run it by your boss to ensure you haven't missed anything. If you do have a packet, review it every six months to ensure it is up to date. If the report's name is written anywhere on the packet, make sure it is the correct name and it is spelled correctly. There is nothing worse for a new employee than feeling that the company didn't even take the time to ensure personal details about them are attended to.


Provide goals. While you expect new hires to be motivated, it is helpful to give them some predetermined goals to accomplish in the first few months. Don't assume they already know their goals. This will provide clarity just in case, and will help get them involved in their work right away. Having clear expectations will also boost their confidence immediately. Keep in mind they should be reasonable and attainable goals. For example, if your new hire is working in the social media department of your team, a goal could be to design a new hashtag campaign for your company. Be sure to clearly express what you expect of them, along with a deadline. You could set some basic goals for all new employees and then talk to them about personalized goals as well. This will vary by industry and role, but helping your new hires start their job on the right foot will play a big part in their motivation, regardless of their level and position.


Action tip: Determine five reasonable goals for your new hires based on their position, skill set and department. Keep a running list of goals you choose. This can become your database for future hires so it will be easier to pick later.


Provide support. It is critical to be available for your newly hired employees in the first several weeks. However, this doesn't have to take too much time out of your schedule. Don't just tell them to find you if they have any questions because it's likely that they never will. Take the initiative to check in with them for 15 minutes each week to see how they are feeling with their workload and team and provide sincere commendation. Introduce them to more experienced employees and if you have a mentoring program at your company, make an introduction as well.


Action tip: Include 15 minutes each week in your calendar for your new employee for the first few months after they are hired. They will feel more like a part of the team and will appreciate the personal interest.



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