Get Set for Success: Five Tips for Unlocking the Potential of New Hires

Your new hire has signed their contract, watched the required onboarding videos, and maybe even gotten some cool company swag. Now it’s time for you to show them to their desk.

So what’s next? Do you just walk away and leave them there to figure things out? That’s not exactly what you’d call a plan, never mind a strategy. Just how do you set your new hires up for success?

Getting onboarding right is no small thing: According to research conducted by HR consulting firm The Wynhurst Group, “New employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years.”

We all want to retain great talent. Let’s take a look at five tips for unlocking your new hire’s potential during those critical early days, weeks and months at your company.

1. Before they start

Onboarding doesn’t begin on the first day, it begins before your new hire even applies.

Top candidates have their pick of job opportunities, and they will compare your company to others based on what they see and read online. So communicating your employer brand and culture clearly and effectively from the start is essential if you want to attract people who’ll be a good fit.

Nowadays there are lots of ways to educate “talent in the wild” about your company. You can tell your story on your site, through social media, video or even via in-person events.

But the picture really becomes complete when you use Company Pages. Here you can combine most of those channels with the power of employee reviews, giving interested candidates the full sense of what it’s like to work at your company. The more informed your candidates are about your company before that first day, the better equipped they are to hit the ground running. 

2. The first day

Everyone knows what it’s like to be the “new person.” Feeling awkward, unsure or insecure on the first day of school or work is as natural as feeling cold on the South Pole. And studies have shown that anxiety in new situations, such as starting a new job, can come in part from not feeling confident about introducing ourselves.

Research has shown that social ties at work improve productivity and keep people engaged, so empower your hires to develop them from the start. Don’t just leave them at their desks and hope for the best. Help them nix anxiety and make those connections by introducing them to colleagues and teammates.

An introductory email is a good start, but it’s also the bare minimum. Encourage team members to stop by the new hire’s desk and be the first to say, “hello”. Establish an expectation on your team that everyone is welcoming, friendly and ready to help.

A team lunch on the first day isn’t a bad idea either. It’s a quick and fun way to break the ice and make new hires feel welcome (and you’ll enjoy it too).

3. The first week

Use the first week to set expectations and clear up any confusion a new hire may have about their role in the company.

Take the time to carefully define deadlines and deliverables—this will set a solid foundation for a good…

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