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Five Mistakes Employers Make During Onboarding



After an exhaustive search, you’ve located the right talent for your open position. She has the necessary skills and experience and is an ideal fit for your company’s culture. What you might not realize, however, is that your job as hiring manager doesn’t end when a candidate accepts your job offer. In fact, in many ways, the most important part of your role as hiring manager is yet to come. An often overlooked but vital aspect of hiring new talent is the onboarding process. Effective onboarding ensures that new hires are set up for success; the result is lower employee turnover and increased productivity. How can you improve your company’s onboarding process? Start by avoiding these common mistakes:

Failing to engage. It’s perhaps the most common onboarding mistake that companies make: spending the entire onboarding process focusing on compliance. Of course, new employees do need to learn company rules and regulations, but they also need to feel like they made the right decision by accepting the job offer. Thus, engaging new employees is essential during the onboarding process. How can you help engage them? Make sure to introduce them to co-workers on day one so that they can start the relationship building process. Then, give them a meaningful task to start working on right away. This will help set the tone for long-term engagement.

Neglecting to explain responsibilities clearly. Let’s face it: even the most well-written job descriptions aren’t able to fully convey all of the details necessary for an employee to be successful in a new role. Thus, it’s imperative that managers clearly explain to new hires what exactly is expected of them as a valued addition to the team. What type of information should you include in your discussion? Begin with an explicit conversation about job responsibilities. Then, explain why these responsibilities are important; how are they relevant to the company’s big picture? Finally, discuss how their success in the role will be measured.

Lack of a training plan. A surefire way to set new hires up for failure is to bring them on board without any type of training plan in place. Not only are untrained employees typically less productive, they often have low morale too. So, make sure you have a clear plan in place that details who is responsible for training new hires, what the training process involves, and thorough training materials.

Not considering the company culture. You likely discussed the company culture with new hires during the interview process, so don’t neglect to include it during onboarding! An employee’s first few days on the job set the tone for his experience going forward, so make sure the onboarding process sends the message you want to send about your company’s culture. How can you incorporate company culture during onboarding? Invite new hires to eat lunch with the team. Give them each a desk calendar that includes upcoming events like the company picnic or bring your pet to work day.

Failing to provide feedback. Bringing new hires on board, setting them up with a training program, and then never checking in with them again is an unfortunate yet common onboarding mistake. All employees need feedback, whether it’s positive or constructive criticism. New hires are no different. Likewise, new hires should have a chance to provide management with feedback during the onboardingprocess too. What do they think of the training? What are their areas of concern? What are they enjoying most about their new role? Opening the lines of communication from day one sets the tone for a positive relationship based on mutual trust.

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