Onboarding New Hires: Tips for Success

A new hire’s experience starts from the day they accept their offer. How you manage this transition sets the foundation for your new employee to grow, thrive, and give their best to your organization. To create an onboarding experience where people can quickly go from being “new hires” to empowered members of your team, consider how to engage, enable, and elevate them throughout the onboarding process

Engage your new employee so that they feel like a welcome part of your team from day one, with an important role in the company and meaningful ways to contribute. Enable your new hire by giving them all the resources, tools, and information they need to hit the ground running, and ensuring that they understand the ways of working, and know where to go with questions. Elevate their growth by providing a clear understanding of their role and priorities, with ongoing training and learning opportunities, and consistent feedback conversations with their manager and teams.

When your employees are engaged, enabled, and elevated, they are empowered: capable, confident, and high-performing. So, how do you get there? Here are some of our tips and best practices on creating an employee experience that makes new hires feel welcome, gives them the tools they need to succeed, and helps them take their performance to the next level.

Engage

An employee’s first day can be overwhelming, so it’s important to do what you can to make them feel at home. When new hires feel connected, they’re more engaged, and can thrive in their new workplace. To start employees off on the right foot, consider these tips:

  • Take new hires out to lunch on their first day with others from the company to help them feel connected to their fellow team members.
  • Announce new hires have joined with an email to their team on their first day or a shoutout on the company’s intranet, to allow other employees to learn more about their background and welcome them to the company.
  • Implement a buddy system that pairs new employees with someone from another team who has been at the company longer, so they have someone to check in with, learn from, and go to as an additional resource for questions or concerns.
  • Make it an accountability of both the new hire and your current team members to connect with each other. Implement a “Welcome Wagon” — a group of people who will take turns reaching out to your new hire to get to know them and see how they’re doing. On your new employee’s list of “onboarding to-dos”, suggest that they reach out and schedule 1-on-1 meetings with anyone they’ll be working with closely.

Enable

Successful employee enablement is a mix of guided and independent learning, and emphasizes interaction, support, and training. Establishing deep trust and authentic partnerships within the company is key to enabling employees to truly understand their value to the organization and how they can do their best work. Consider these tips to enable your new employee to grow and achieve:

  • Have conversations about not only the “what” of the work, but the “how” and the “why.” Explain the culture of the company, the operating norms, and the expectations of how to show up as a strong team player. Ensure your new hire knows how they fit, and understands the importance of close collaboration with others. Make time for context conversations before diving deep into the work, so that your employee truly understands the company values, the history of the organization, how the work has evolved, and the nuances of the relationships there.
  • Ensure they have all the technology and tools they need to get started, whether that be a laptop, email address, access to the company intranet, filing systems, software, etc, from day one — so that they can focus on getting ramped up to the work, not stuck on tech hiccups. Ensure they know who to go to with questions as they come up.
  • Create an onboarding checklist for new hires that contains information about the tools and systems, the culture of the company, and the details of their role. Ask new hires to read your website content to help them further understand the company, the work, and the customers.
  • Use a personality assessment tool, such as Insights Discovery or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to not only help new employees understand their own personality and work style, but also how to foster effective relationships at work and improve communication and collaboration with other team members.

Elevate

Make sure your new hire doesn’t just see their job as a means to an end, but that they feel their new workplace is one where they can truly grow and develop. Consider these best practices to support your new hire’s growth:

  • Implement regular feedback conversations. If your company doesn’t already have a feedback process or tool, use a survey to collect feedback from three to five people who work most closely with your new hire — at their three-month and six-month mark. Also, have your new hire complete a self-assessment to reflect on their contributions, projects, and areas where they want to learn and grow. Then talk about the feedback — discuss where they’re excelling and how the team can support their continued growth.
  • Encourage regular check-ins beyond formal feedback conversations. Make sure your new employee knows they are always welcome to reach out when they want to discuss their development, needs, and goals. If you’re not in the same geographic location and can’t get face-to-face time, make sure you’re connecting virtually as much as possible.
  • Support your employee’s personal and professional growth beyond their day-to-day work. Encourage them to read, participate in workshops, watch webinars, and attend conferences that will further support their learning and development — and to share their learnings with the rest of the team.
  • Give them stretch assignments. Find ways for employees to not only contribute in their areas of expertise, but to go outside of their comfort zone to grow new expertise once they have some momentum going with their day-to-day work.

You only have one opportunity to onboard each new person to your team — it’s important to do so in a way that makes them feel welcome, gives them the tools they need to succeed, and supports their ongoing learning and development. When your employees are engaged, enabled, and elevated, they become empowered members of your team — bringing their best selves and best work to your organization.

For more on the benefits of engaging, enabling, and elevating your team — take a look at our eBook The Secret to High-Performing Teams: Understanding When and How to Invest in Your Team.