Editor’s note: Cordell Riley is owner and president of Tortal Training, a training development company Charlotte, N.C.
The days and weeks after employees start at your company represent a time of unique opportunity. Can you teach them new systems and skills? Of course you can. But have you stopped to consider all the other important goals you can reach during the onboarding period? To name just a few, you can:
Those are only a few of the opportunities you have during employees’ first weeks at your company. But how can you take advantage of them? Here are eight approaches that work.
1. Start by having a well-defined onboarding system.
Many companies just wing it, with negative results. Still other companies see onboarding as little more than filling out forms, setting up company e-mail accounts and showing new employees to their desks. Because new hires start their jobs without a deeper understanding of what is expected of them, they make mistakes that quickly become costly habits that must be corrected later on.
Many problems can be avoided if you set up a structured onboarding system that functions as high-level training. On their start days, new hires can meet individually with HR representatives to fill out forms, for example, and then meet as a group to watch videos and learn about your company, its brand and its values. After lunch, they can be trained in the basic skills their jobs demand; watching training videos, engaging in work simulations and working alongside current employees can work well to reach those goals. And after day one, they should attend regular follow-ups to address problems and reinforce basic concepts and skills.
The operative strategy is to clearly define ahead of time exactly the skills and behaviors you need, and to create a concise mini-curriculum that tracks to them.
2. Set up genuine mentoring relationships between new hires and successful c...