Study after study points to the numbers reflecting that a great new hire onboarding program is directly tied to the retention of your workforce. When you engage them at the start, connect them to your company culture, and provide them with the tools to be successful, you’ll have a higher retention rate than your competitors who have either no onboarding, or a jumbled, disorganized hodge-podge of a program.
Here are a few simple, yet key, components of new hire onboarding for technology companies that many companies inadvertently forget to include. These little things go a long way in the eyes of your new hire.
In the onboarding meeting
Provide an overview of key company goals and the strategic direction of your organization. Let them know who the key members of the management team are and their roles – I always try to provide photos alongside the manager’s name so your new employees recognize them as they pass them in the hallways or attend their meetings. Better yet, ask a couple members of the management team to swing by for a quick hello during your orientation. The CEO poking his or her head in the meeting for just two minutes to say welcome to the company has a big impact.
Even if formal training is to follow, a brief overview of the company’s products or services is of great value to new employees, particularly if they won’t be working directly with them every day. Giving them an understanding of your company’s value in the market can help in ways that never occurred to you.
Introduce them to their co-workers
Who are your new associates going to be working with on a day-to-day basis? Managers should take it upon themselves the first day to introduce any co-workers their new hires will be interacting with on a regular basis. Be sure to tell them what each person’s role is as you make introductions. Trust me, your new employee will be so thankful they weren’t left on their own to ramble through the office awkwardly introducing themselves while trying to figure out who people are and what roles they play.
Take them on a tour
You’d be surprised how many people forget this simple step. A quick tour of the office not only helps your new hire get the lay of land, it helps put them at ease with their new surroundings. Show your new hire where the office supplies are kept, the location of the conference rooms, and where the restrooms and break rooms are located. Let them know where the various printers, scanners and fax machines are. Introduce them to their IT support person and let them know how to contact him or her in case they have an issue.
Computer and Systems Access
I always have a document waiting for new hires at their desk the first day that gives them their email address, phone number, fax number and passwords to access their computer and systems. If your company has shared folders or a company intranet, provide those links to them and show them how to access them.
One on one time with their direct manager
Make sure each new hire’s manager is available to spend time with their new associate on the first day. If Monday’s are crazy at the office, have new hires start on a Tuesday. If your hiring manager travels frequently, try to arrange a start date when you know they will be in the office.
Remember, these are just a few tactical pieces of what should be included in a much more robust and comprehensive onboarding program for your employees. Designing and rolling out a successful program takes time and input from all levels.
For additional resources on what makes up a great onboarding program, SHRM has several tools for your reference: http://www.shrm.org/about/foundation/products/pages/onboardingepg.aspx.