Make Onboarding a Team Effort

In an era when many employees consider company culture and an employer’s brand when choosing a job, the idea of work is more than just clocking in, filling out a time card, and collecting a paycheck. Many of today’s workers want jobs where they can make a difference in the world. Others want to follow a track that will open doors to future opportunities. And plenty of workers at all levels want to understand their place in their new company’s future vision.

A key part of an effective onboarding experience is about validating a new hire’s decision to say yes to a job opportunity.

Traditionally, onboarding has been a function of the HR department. You’re the ones typically tasked with setting up new-hire orientations, making sure employees review and complete new-hire paperwork, and partnering with hiring managers to create learning opportunities throughout a new hire’s first few months.

But when it comes to actually validating a new hire’s decision to say yes, other members of the company play a key role.

How does your company grade the effectiveness of your onboarding program? Are your new hires becoming key contributors? Our recent Spotlight, “Build and Effective Onboarding Strategy,” provides insight into ways you can help your newest employees transitions into their roles.

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Today, many companies are taking an integrative approach to onboarding, and seeing it as something that’s always happening, rather than just sticking an “onboarding” label on periodic learning events. But doing so can require getting support from coworkers, managers, and senior leaders in order to make sure new hires find their footing, and understand how they fit in the big picture.

Make Onboarding a Team Effort

3 Ways to Get Your Team Involved in the Onboarding Effort

Here are three questions to ask as you consider how integrated your onboarding program is: 

  1. Who’s on your welcoming crew?

Showing new hires around, making sure their work station is set up, and helping them jump into work can all make a difference when it comes to leaving a positive mark on the first day. But what about days two, three, four and five? What about their second week? While a great first day is an excellent start, it’s not the sum of the onboarding experience.

  • Before your new hire’s first day, have the hiring managers assign a couple of seasoned co-workers to volunteer as a welcome committee. Over the new hire’s first few weeks, they can take turns helping them get acquainted with the workplace and their coworkers, and make sure they have answers to their questions.
  • Encourage the welcome committee to keep things creative and fun when possible. For instance, perhaps they can set up group lunches with workers from other departments. This can help new hires discover more names and faces. As an added effect, doing so can help break down work silos, and even spur collaboration.
  • Be sure to communicate with your welcome committee how valuable this will be, and make sure their schedules are covered. Perhaps your company can reward them with things like gift cards, or even PTO accrual.
  1. Do you have a mentorship program in place?

When a company invests time and money in recruiting, one of their goals is to make sure their efforts pay off where retention is concerned. However, as many as 25% of new hires leave their jobs within the first six months, often because they don’t understand their role or their place in the company. That’s where in-house mentoring can make a big difference.

  • With a mentoring program, new hires can meet with trusted team members as they continue to learn the ropes, or sort out places where they’re confused about day-to-day workflow.
  • Mentoring can be especially helpful when a team, or the entire company, begins to transition early in a new hire’s tenure. If they’re still getting accustomed to the culture or workplace dynamics, it can be tricky to suddenly switch gears. This is an opportunity for mentors to step up and help them build a foundation.

Mentor roles aren’t only for your most seasoned employees. Often, recent hires can become successful mentors, especially when the onboarding experience is fresh in their minds. As you build your mentor program, check in with managers. Ask them to help you identify employees who might be a good fit. They can talk about the program with employees during check-ins, and you can follow up with the employees with more information.

  1. What does follow-up look like?

As your new hires complete training modules, connect with coworkers, and get advice they need, keep in mind that a successfully integrated onboarding experience is a two-way street.

  • Make room for follow-up conversations and feedback after a training or learning experience. These can take the form of scheduled face-to-face check-ins with their boss, or even quick sit-downs during lunch.
  • As conversations move beyond specific trainings or experience, consider having the hiring manager ask their new hire what their impression of the company is, or if they see how certain experiences support the big picture going forward.
  • Make sure your new hire has a chance to voice their concerns, and express areas where they could use a little more support.

Remember that the onboarding process is a social one. Each new hire’s experience will be unique. Be open to what they share, and look for ways that you and others can encourage them to build their connections and find their place in the company, especially when it comes to long-term goals.

myStaffingPro helps you stay organized during the onboarding experience, especially when it comes to sharing access to essential onboarding forms and documents. Contact a representative today, and find out how we can help you get the most out of the entire hiring process, from requisition through retention.

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