The onboarding experience is not something that many companies think about after the first week or two of a new hire starting. This is a huge problem because new hires need more time to acclimatize to a company and their new job.
The onboarding experience should take up the first 90 days (or the probationary period) that every new hire is subject to, as it gives your new hire plenty of time to learn about the company, the culture, and what is expected of them in order to succeed.
Onboarding also ensures that you are routinely checking in with your new hire to make sure that everything is progressing smoothly. But, there are also many other things that you need to take into account to ensure a successful onboarding experience.
Have a Plan
Your plan for a successful employee onboarding experience should start before you actually hire anyone. You need to know when you’re interviewing people not only if they are going to be able to do the job, but also if they will fit in with the company culture. You do not want to hire someone who doesn’t believe in your culture or what you’re doing as a company.
Your plan should extend from the interview process to at least the end of the 90-day probationary period. During that time you want to make sure that you have regular check-ins to make sure that they’re enjoying their time with you, and that you are setting them up to succeed.
Orientation is one of the imperative parts of your onboarding plan: and it’s something that lasts longer than the first day when you show your new hire the lunchroom and the bathrooms. During orientation you are able to introduce your new hire to your company culture, what it means, and how it’s practiced daily in your company. It’s also when you introduce your new hire to the team, show them around, and give them a buddy to answer the numerous questions that they are surely going to have.
To help set your new-hire up for success you will want to give them training sessions for any systems, technology, or processes that they will be responsible for, or come into contact with. Training can take some time – especially if there are a lot of new things for them to learn – which is why a 90-day onboarding plan is great because it lessens the pressure and lets your new hires learn everything that they need to know at a reasonable pace.
Formalized mentorship programs are not incredibly common in companies, but they serve as a great way to help with your new hire’s career development. Your new hire and their mentor can check in at a regular interval where they can have a frank discussion about the company, where they see themselves in five years, and what interests them. Many companies hire from within, so it’s a great way to help your new hire’s (and employees in general) career advancement and overall development.
One of the things that only a new hire can give you is a fresh perspective. Ask your new hire what they think about the company, and get their opinion on how something could be better or more streamlined. If there are holes in your processes, new hires are the ones who find them most often (since they’re learning everything from scratch) and when they are encourage to speak up the whole company benefits because things get fixed, and the company becomes more successful.
If you'd like to learn more sales onboarding best practices, check out our webinar "How to Design a Sales Onboarding Program for Faster Ramp."