How To Help New Hires Get Settled In Quickly

HR departments are tasked with a lot of things around the office. They have to monitor employee performance and satisfaction. They need to ensure organizational development is, well, developing nicely. They act as a go-to source for regulatory concerns, compliance issues and so forth. And one of the most important roles they serve is to act as a segue for new hires to get situated and familiar with their job.

But what about HR management that’s tasked with overseeing a company of 1,000+ employees? Or what about HR managers who work in a fast-rising company where new hires are being brought on by the handful? How can they enact new hire training methods while keeping in line with the rest of their duties?

Going from the job interview to their own cubicle–that part’s done. Let’s look at what you need to do from here on out to help make new hires feel welcomed and ready to take on the day.

Get Together The Necessary Documents

Paperwork. Paperwork. And more paperwork. Every new process, every new employee brought on board needs to go through it. Sometimes it’s only a few pages of contact information and benefits packages. Other times there are packets upon packets of information to shovel in front of them. The key is to not stress the new hire out. Don’t overwhelm them with too much at once.

And if you’re seeing a lot of instances where new employees are being bogged down by too much paperwork, only to be followed up with even more training documents, then you might want to consider this…

Ensure The New Hire Training Methods Work

Nothing’s worse than having one employee scoff at how “newbie” training is long or dull and distracts them from getting to know their way around the office. HR is tasked with ensuring every new hire that comes along has both the time and appropriate resources to be educated on company culture, workplace compliance and policies, whether they need specific department training, etc.

By putting each employee through a marathon training session, you’re compromising their ability to fully retain everything. And how you decipher which training session is right for whom is another key. Your new accountant doesn’t need to be bored to tears with a packaged training video or lesson that covers sales lessons and creative brainstorming. They just need the regulatory training videos and courses, safety lessons and leadership segments.

Shorten the training, but make it efficient. There are many eLearning options out there that help address that.

Most Important…Make Them Feel Welcomed

Most new employees I’ve come across have seemed timid for the first couple of weeks, or longer. Heck, I was so nervous and shy around new coworkers and management, that it really took a while to get around to meeting everyone. And I regretted that. There was absolutely nothing wrong with any of my coworkers, but I was never really given a full day for just introductions; I had to jump right into the fire and complete a project.

And as HR managers, you must take great strides to ensure new hires are given their chance to meet everyone, understand basic principles of the company and just generally feel welcomed.

Here’s a basic checklist of things to help that along the way:

  • Have their desk prepped and ready. Sounds juvenile, but you’d be amazed at how long it takes some new hires to get everything they need.
  • Spend the entire first day, maybe two, just roaming around the office, meeting other coworkers in their department, as well as everyone around the office. Show them everything they need. Rather than waste time locking them in a room full of documents and project meetings, get them invested in the company culture first.
  • Send out a “Welcome” email, making sure every employee is on board with that email, too. It’s a simple gesture that goes a long way. Whether you’re 1,000 strong or barely shy of 20 employees, it’s all about investing in employee happiness and acceptance from the get-go.
  • Let them know your door’s always open. That’s an obvious trait for most any HR manager, but employees still need to be aware.

But in the end, however you guide new hires to your team, just remember that today’s job environment is much more different than it was 10, 20 years ago. Retaining top talent is becoming harder every year because what drives employees, what really keeps them happy at work is ever-changing. All those old-hat incentives to make them stay are wearing thin. Millennial workers aren’t staying at a job for more than 3 years, and it isn’t because they’re dissatisfied with their job; they want a new challenge.

How you develop and define a company culture is just as important today. You never know, a happy, unified and creative workplace that challenges employees to push themselves to innovate may be just the ticket to retaining your top performers. And every top performer starts off as a new hire.

Are you doing everything you can to help get your new hires settled in? Do you reevaluate your training process to make it more efficient and enjoyable over time? Offer up some answers to these question in the comments below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Victor1558

About the Author: Kyle O’Brien is a Community Manager for an eLearning company, ej4, which provide streamlined e-learning training videos for businesses to help establish new employee behaviors and increase knowledge in the workplace. Kyle has been a frequent author on a range of topics concerning HR, business leadership, employee motivation and other similar topics for a series of business blogs.