New Employee Aboard… Now What?

Posted on July 16, 2018

Brandi Leos, City of Tigard, OR (LinkedIn, Twitter)
What I’m Listening to:  NPR’s songs of the summer for 2018 (spotify playlist)
What I’m doing:  Developing a new website for the IPMA-HR Oregon Chapter

Onboarding is an important part of a new employee’s experience at your workplace, but whose job is it? Some will say human resources, They are partially correct. Others will say the hiring manager for the position. They are also correct.
Onboarding is more than the paperwork a new employee completes their first few days of work. HR will tell you this is extremely important (that’s because we’re here to make sure the organization stays out of regulatory trouble) but onboarding goes way beyond forms, and even beyond the first few weeks of work. Onboarding is how your organization welcomes new employees and integrates them into the organization’s culture. Onboarding lasts at least six months and maybe up to a year, depending on the job.
For HR folks, I know I’m preaching to choir. An onboarding process should include the regulatory paperwork, benefits and policy orientation, and maybe a more formal orientation event, and periodic check-ins to make sure things are going well for the new employee.
For hiring managers, onboarding a new employee is one of your most important tasks. It doesn’t stop with the job offer.  Making new employees feel welcomed and engaged is the key to retention. For you, onboarding should include making sure your new employee has what they need to do the job:
Have you connected them with others in the organization? 
Do they have the tools and supplies needed to get the job done? 
Did you give them something meaningful to work on during their first day or week? 
Please please please do not sit your new employee down with a policy manual to read, because you have a busy day scheduled! Bring them to meetings with you, make introductions and connections, explain where they fit in the organization and how they interact with the people they are meeting. Additionally, follow up on a regular basis to ensure you’re on the same page and expectations (both ways) are being met.
Teammates, how new employees feels about the organization is up to you. Show them your work, explain how you’ll work together, introduce them to others in the organization your manager overlooked.  Take them to lunch or invite them to happy hour and find things you have in common.  We’re not at work to make new best friends, but everyone should have a friend at work.
ELGL’ers – what are your favorite tips for welcoming new employees into your organization?

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