Employee onboarding is a process that should always keep progressing. Yet, it’s also something that tends to get overlooked and shouldn’t. It’s the best opportunity that you have to make a positive impression with new hires. Instead of overwhelming them with endless orientation materials, onboarding should be a time when emotional connections are made. If you’re struggling to attract and retain the best project managers and account executives, then you really have to take a closer look at improving your onboarding process using these tips.

Building a Structured Onboarding Process

The value of a structured onboarding program is significant. Recent statistics even suggest that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with companies for at least three years when they experience great initiations. It can also improve new hire productivity. The good news is that it doesn’t take a huge investment to add some structure to onboarding. For instance, small gestures often make the biggest impact when new hires are going through the transition process. When a candidate accepts an offer, send a handwritten note to their home congratulating them on the new opportunity along with a welcome kit (water bottles, coffee mugs, clothing with brand logo, etc.). Here are some more structured onboarding basics:

  • Providing new hires with the tools and resources to be competitive. From trade magazine subscriptions to technology needs, ensure that they have everything to complete their job from day one.

  • Show that you are taking an early interest in their professional development. Modern onboarding is both interactive and personalized.

  • Communicate with candidates early and often. Involve the entire team to promote cultural connections.

  • Keep candidates excited about the new partnership. Don’t forget that this time is a major adjustment to their family members too.

  • Take the intimidation away by providing small details. New employees need to know where to park, building access information, dress codes etc. It removes natural fear of the unknown.

Turning New Hires Into Productive Employees

Hiring managers are responsible for building momentum and keeping to going throughout the initiation process. The primary goal is to decrease the time between hiring a candidate to becoming a productive employee. Although there is always going to be a learning curve, and some employees will take longer to adjust than others based on their experience, you can still improve it by aligning realistic expectations based on existing skills. Next, determine what responsibilities are different now than in their previous roles. Then, create a checklist of accomplishments during the first 90 days on the job and review it on a regular basis. Finally, remember that it is a two-way partnership and everybody has to be comfortable giving and receiving feedback for it to work. Establish credibility sooner rather than later because it is the best foundation for achieving long term goals.