Onboarding refers to the process of inducting or integrating new hires into the company, preparing them for job success and helping them to become productive, committed and engaged employees of the company and also a genuine ‘team member’. Missing out on this vital part of the hiring process can be a recipe for disaster.

Onboarding / Induction programs:
The list below suggests the bare minimum in terms of what an onboarding / induction program should include:

·         Introductions and meet the team

·         Getting to know people and spending some quality time with key employees/management

·         Company structure, knowing who is who in the zoo

·         History and background of the company

·         Company vision and values

·         Review of all lines of business and company offerings to its markets

·         Company policies and procedures, OH&S

·         Review of the new employees ‘Position Description’ and setting expectations

·         Role specific training, including setting out any formal/external training plans

·         Overview of employee annual appraisals/reviews, what to expect.

·         Systems overview including any internal intranet sites or role specific systems

·         Payroll and personal details

·         Site / office tour.

This whole process should not be completed in a few hours on the morning of their first day.  It should be planned and executed over the first few days, weeks and even months of the employee’s tenure within your company. Plan ahead, fill their diary with invites to sessions covering all of the above.

Questions to consider concerning your onboarding process:

  1. Day One – When your new hire heads in for their first day, are they aware of what time, who and where to report to? Are they aware of the appropriate dress code for the job? Have they been told what they should bring with them on the first day?
  2. Does your company make new employees feel welcome? Do you take time to introduce them to the business by having a special sign, welcome messages or a welcome lunch? That first day is a critical moment – it’s important that your employee feels like they are being properly and formally welcomed and valued from the outset.
  3. Have you established who will be responsible for the delivery of the induction for the employee? Is the employee’s manager (you) looking after this or is an HR professional taking responsibility? Or both? How long will the induction last and what will be covered? Have you planned all the parts in to their diary?
  4. Does your onboarding program inspire company pride? – Your onboarding process should make employees feel like they made the right decision in choosing to join the company. Do you inspire pride in your employees? Show off what makes your company great, and involve those individuals who accurately represent all the positives you have to offer
  5. Do you show that ‘new hires’ matter? – Inspiring company pride is not enough. You also need to show employees that they really do matter to your business. Taking an individual and tailored approach to this process will show that they aren’t just on a merry-go-round of new employees, but are individually of value to the company.

Having a solid, structured onboarding program will make a difference and engage your new hires from the start. When you show you’re willing to invest in your employees, you’ll make them feel that they are joining a great team, making them more likely to stick with the job.