First impressions matter, especially when it comes to a new job. And a negative first impression may be part of why up to 25% of new hires quit within their first six months.
Any number of things can be at the root of a poor start.
- Perhaps a new hire’s office turns out to be a retrofitted utility closet that is midway through construction.
- Or maybe a group of new hires get shuttled into a conference room for orientation, and 45 minutes later, they’re still waiting for someone from management to show up.
Early impressions matter
Situations like these may be more likely to happen when you’re hiring multiple employees at once, especially during a busy stretch, or a seasonal upswing in work and projects. While an integrated onboarding program can help smooth over rough patches, bad first impressions can still linger for some employees.
- When you need new hires to jump right into work because of your current workflow, onboarding might get pushed off for a couple of weeks.
- Meanwhile, seasonal hires might not even get a chance to onboard. How do you set these employees up for success?
There are ways you can pinpoint specific parts of your onboarding program to make it dovetail with a new hire’s busy first days and weeks on the job. And, you can use these same tactics to support seasonal hires—especially when you want to leave a positive brand impression.
We’ll uncover three ways below that can support you when you’re adding new names to your employee roster during a busy stretch.
The way you introduce new employees can have a big impact on whether or not they stick around. That’s true even when their first day comes in the midst of busy season. Read the report, “Constantly Hiring,” for tips on helping new hires get up and running with their work and your culture.
Speed up onboarding
It’s vital to have a plan when it comes to onboarding—whether it’s about making things a team effort, finding ways to get more out of the onboarding experience, or following a strategy that builds toward retention.
But when you’re in the middle of a hiring binge, or filling out your employee roster with seasonal workers, it’s easy to overlook some early steps and key pieces.
Here are three ways that can help you set your new workers and seasonal help up for success, even when the workload for everyone is busier than usual.
1. Simplify things.
When new hires need to jump right in, any confusions, no matter how little, can make it difficult for them to find their footing. Perhaps there are specific times when different workgroups take breaks, and your new hires aren’t sure when they should take theirs. What happens if the employees they ask offer conflicting answers?
For seasoned employees, small things from around the workplace can seem like second nature. However, this can create a gray area that’s difficult for new hires to navigate.
You can help avoid confusion by creating a checklist that covers small but essential parts of the workplace, including things like:
- Break times for different groups
- When to involve managers or senior employees in customer issues or disputes
- What type of music is allowed to play in places like the shop floor, break room, or warehouse
Managers, HR, and experienced employees can collaborate to create a big list. Then, you can cut the list down to items that seem most essential to your workplace.
Even seasoned employees can benefit from this type of handout, especially if you notice that things have gotten a little lax around the workplace.
2. Schedule time to check in.
An integrated onboarding experience will often involve things like mentoring, career mapping, and periodic check-ins between employees, managers, and HR. This might not be the case when you’re dealing with seasonal help, or when you need to delay the start of onboarding because of the current workflow. However, it’s essential to keep check-ins on your radar.
- Make time to stop by and greet new hires, or try to catch them for a quick debrief here and there.
- Whether they have lots of questions or loads of feedback, it’s good to find out how they’re doing, and to see where they might need support.
Check-ins like these can shed light on where new hires aren’t 100% clear on specific responsibilities, or workplace norms. You might also discover that someone possesses a skill that wasn’t on their resume, but will come in handy.
3. Where possible, pre-onboard.
Pre-onboarding is a chance to jumpstart the onboarding process. There are a number of pre-onboarding steps you can take:
- Start the new-hire paperwork process using a secure file sharing application. You can send and receive documents like the W-4 tax form, state withholding tax form, and the employee’s direct deposit authorization form.
- If applicable, send access and log-in credentials that new hires will need to set up their company email, as well as any project management tools they’ll use.
- Deliver an electronic copy of your employee handbook, either via link or as a download. This way, your new hires can find valuable information about how your company works, and start answering some of the questions that are bound to come up.
- Be sure to comply with applicable wage and hour laws where employees choose to access these materials outside of working hours.
Anything you can do to help new hires acclimate to work can pay dividends in the end. A few key steps can help make their first few days smooth, and give them a positive start toward a successful tenure.
As your dedicated applicant tracking system, myStaffingPro supports managers, HR, and employees during the onboarding experience. Contact one of our representatives today, and find out how we can help you get more out of the hiring process.