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How The Right New Hire Onboarding Can Help Drive Retention

Posted by Early Growth

April 28, 2015    |     5-minute read (843 words)

This guest post was contributed by Justworks.

The new hire onboarding experience is crucial for employee retention. This is the moment at which you can set someone up for success within your company. And hey, you probably just spent a good chunk of time and money to find this person in the first place and get them to take the job, so not onboarding them correctly would be a total waste.

Onboarding is difficult for a new company because: a) current employees don't normally feel like they have time to do it, and b) the people doing the onboarding have typically been at the company for a while and may be a bit unaware of what new hires know and don't know. It’s easy to forget how confusing being new in a company can be; sometimes relevant details slip through the crack. The checklist below will help to make sure that doesn’t happen and that you’re introducing your new employees to a successful career with your company.

Group New Hires Together

Starting a new job is intimidating, even for the most confident of us. If possible, schedule multiple new hires on the same or similar start dates so you can train them together. This will save you time as well as give new hires a friendly face or two with whom to learn.

These employees don’t need to be in the same department to learn about the brand voice, vision and values. This is a great opportunity for people from different teams to meet, making it easier later to build cross-functional relationships.

Personalize Everything

We don’t have to say here that you should send an email out to the entire company, or at least the new hire’s immediate team members, to introduce and welcome them. Be sure to include fun, random details too. Work isn’t just about your professional talents, but also about the shared connection each of us has as human beings.

Ask new hires to share their most retweeted tweet, their favorite food, their favorite astrological sign — anything, as long as its random enough for people to remember, and therefore make the new hire memorable. At Justworks, we make everyone share their first concert at the new hire's first all-hands meeting.

Details Matter!

OK, but for real, we promised you a checklist. Here it is:

Before the new employee gets to the office, be sure to let him or her know:

  • What to bring — i.e. two forms of ID, a computer, etc.
  • The office address and how to get there (Will he or she have a parking spot? Is it close to a subway stop?).
  • Send out an email to everyone in the office one or two days ahead of the new hire's start date, so they're prepared to welcome the new hire.
  • Assign a buddy or go-to person the new hire can turn to with questions. If possible, ask that person and a few other team members to grab lunch with the new hire on the first day.
  • Get the new worker a security badge if he or she needs one.
  • Set your new hire up on your payroll and HR system. You should plan on collecting their bank account information as well as paperwork for healthcare plans.
  • Provide a nameplate on his or her desk or office door as a tangible sign that you've prepared the space. If you're in an open plan office, there are other things you can do to prepare the space. At Justworks, everyone gets a company computer and a welcome mug.
  • Give the new hire a tour of the office: pointing out the restrooms, kitchens, meeting rooms, copy rooms and other essential office space.
  • Set up the computer. If you provide employees with company computers, make sure they're set up and that new hires have the necessary software for the job, or that they know how to get it.
  • Configure the new employee's email account.
  • Set up his or her phone system and provide instructions for using voicemail if necessary or needed.
  • Have a stack of business cards waiting — this one would be particularly impressive!
  • Schedule meetings in advance for 30, 60, and 90 days out to talk about how the new hire is adjusting and go over any problems they might be having.
In all, your goal is to make the new hire feel as excited as possible to get started and set your people up for success by making sure they understand the company basics and have a few new friends to lean on in case something comes up.

Proper new hire onboarding reduces churn, increases retention and provides a fun, valuable experience for all.

Justworks is a technology platform that helps entrepreneurs grow and manage their businesses by offering a comprehensive one-stop-shop approach for self-service payroll, compliance, and benefits (including health insurance, commuter benefits, and 401k).

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