The growing trend of using happy hour and onboarding as a way to retain employees has consistently proven to be less effective than being an active employer.
While external factors can ultimately lead to employee satisfaction, employer actions, especially within the first few weeks of employment, are statistically highly correlated with team member success and onboarding in the workplace.
Despite these numbers, many companies still forgo extensive integration in favor of a sketchy tutorial or flash training.
However, investing in fully integrated ultimately means investing in your people. Research shows that employees tend to form job opinions quickly during their first days on the job.
Indeed, statistics show that most sales occur within the first few weeks of employment.
Ultimately, the more time you’re willing to spend on initial training and orientation, the longer team members tend to stay. To improve retention and create a more positive engagement experience, there are a number of proven recommended best practices.
Find the Right Candidates in the First Place
One of the most effective ways to reduce revenue is to ensure that you hire team members who fit your internal culture and career expectations. In particular, companies tend to perform better when they treat hiring as the first step in the onboarding process, rather than as a separate function.
Candidates benefit when they receive a Real Job Outlook (RJP) as part of the hiring process. RJPs go beyond a list of responsibilities or desired experiences. Instead, candidates get a first-hand look at the job and its day-to-day functions, through tours, Q&A sessions, multimedia presentations, or by meeting or even observing.
current team members throughout their day. Sessions like these prove invaluable in matching a candidate’s personality to the culture of your team.
Don’t Let New Hires Twist in the Wind
The days from when an employee accepts a job offer to when it actually begins are particularly sensitive. Most new hires still decide what they really think about your business; therefore, the rate of job change of new employees in the first few weeks is high. And if they haven’t heard from you in the days leading up to their first date, silence means a lot.
Providing a warm welcome allows you to get the agent past those first impressions and ensures that you stand out from the other companies that new hires are always looking for. Additionally, this action offers the opportunity to form that first temporary co-worker relationship. Especially if you’re asking existing team members to contact the new tenant on your behalf.
Send Paperwork Ahead of Time
New employees are excited to start a new role. Don’t dampen their excitement by imposing a ton of paperwork on them on the first day.
With the variety of built-in dashboards available online today, there’s no reason new hires can’t get started on important documents in advance, from the comfort of their own home.
This allows new team members to easily access important documents, such as their social security cards (really, does it feel really weird carrying a social security card around? Does yours come to the office?).
It also means they don’t spend their first day strapped to a desk filling out forms. And it gives you another chance to reach out ahead of time, helping to set the right tone for communication.
Don’t Forget Smaller First-Day Details
Nothing emphasizes the weirdness of a new job like showing up on the first day without knowing where to park or even when you’re dressed appropriately.
Those kinds of details are easy to overlook by integration managers – after all, you’ve probably been around for a while.
However, the more small details you can bring out like this, the less anxiety you’ll have on Day One, allowing new hires to jump into their new roles without a hitch.
Be sure to give details about parking conditions, appropriate attire, and where you plan to meet staff when they arrive or if you don’t say hello, who and where they will meet.
And if there is access control at the gate, let them know how they can get in.
Work with Recruiters While New Hires Transition
Recruiters have been your new employer’s primary point of contact so far. They’ve naturally built some trust with your new team member.
Here comes the opportunity for recruiters to play a unique role in the transition of new team members to their new roles. However, many companies cut ties too soon, forcing new employees to start over from scratch.
Internal recruiting teams have the unique ability to register new hires and guide them through their early days on the job.
These recruiters should be the ones introducing new team members and giving new recruits their first building tour.
But even outside recruiters can help by staying in touch with team members and checking in often, perhaps even scheduling a coffee date a few weeks after their start date. Gain insight into employee satisfaction and overall perception.