Starting Your New Employees Off Right

A new employee’s first experiences with you can make or break the worker’s success in the position and with your company.
Most people who leave a company within a year of employment tend to do so not because they can’t do the job, but because they don’t fit in. Either they don’t like their coworkers (or their coworkers don’t like them), or they don’t have a good opinion of the company.
Losing a worker in less than a year is very expensive. You have to go through the entire recruiting and hiring process all over again, costing your company time and money that you already spent just a few months ago. What’s more, your firm loses money in lost productivity because the new hire replacing the new hire you just lost won’t be at full contribution for at least three months.
So it’s wisest to make sure new hires have a great first few days and weeks with your firm.
Read below for tips on how to help a employee be successful in his new position:

  • If possible, send your new hire his new-hire packet (I-9, tax forms, etc) a week or two before his first day and ask him to fill them out before arriving. This will help save time in the onboarding process.
  • In addition, if your policies allow it, send him a copy of your employee handbook and ask him to read it prior to starting.
  • Give the new hire access to your company’s internal Facebook page (if applicable). This will allow him to introduce himself to his future co-workers and get a feel for the people with whom he’ll be spending a lot of his time.
  • Make his arrival something of an event. Make sure his desk, phone, computer, or other tools are ready for him. Consider decorating the desk with balloons and a “welcome to the department” type card from the employee’s new co-workers.
  • Provide the new hire with a work buddy: someone he can go to when he has questions about processes, procedures, and who otherwise helps him gain insight into how “things really work here.” This person could actually be two people: one who is a colleague and another person who is higher on the organization chart.
  • Don’t hover over your new hire, but make sure you let him know that you’re available to him at any time. Stop by his desk or workstation at least once a week and ask him if he has any questions (and offer to answer the questions privately, if he feels uncomfortable asking them in a public place).
  • Make it okay for the new hire to make mistakes. And make it okay to for him to make big ones. Too many companies hire new employees with unrealistic expectations from the worker’s first day. Instead, hire talented and flexible people and let them find their feet – and help them do so – without making them feel bad. In other words, make it okay for the flub to happen. (It is wise, however, to have a back-up colleague or a mentor to catch any issues before they become too large.) As the employee makes his mistakes, provide feedback immediately (in a corrective, not derogatory, way) so that the new hire can learn from them.

When looking for employees for your Anchorage-area company, look to the recruiters at the Opti Staffing Group. We look forward to hearing how we can help you find great workers for your temporary, temp-to-hire or direct-hire opportunities.