Last week, I posted about interviewing. Now it is time to bring that new employee in-house and bring them up to speed. This process is called Onboarding and starts when you make someone a job offer. The process ends when the employee is fully integrated.
From the time that you give the person a formal job offer, you are entering a business agreement with them. Many of the terms may be unstated, especially at the beginning. But over time, you need to make sure that the person fits with your business. The way to start it is to make sure that the offer to acceptance process meets your Brand expectations. You need to treat a potential employee with the same courtesy and care that you would a customer. In fact, this form of execution is exactly what you want to demonstrate to an employee. You have to start introducing people to the way you want things done.
The first day is very important because of this. You want to make sure that you have set aside enough time to acclimate them to their new job. This includes any paperwork that you have required plus introductory training. Any information that you can provide to the person about important people that they will be working with – customers, partners, or other employees – will be very beneficial. It is also the time to remind your new employee of your expectations. One great way to handle this is through an Employee Handbook. I know many small employers who do not want to handle a handbook, it seems to complicated. But it is highly recommended to make sure that all the work rules are documented and available in one place.
The next important step is training and mentoring. These are two separate items. Training is basic skills that are required to accomplish the tasks that you assign to a person. It was interesting when I worked on ISO-9000 years ago that one concern was whether people had the right training to do the jobs that they were being asked to do. I actually looked around and found that many times managers assigned people to tasks who did not have the skills to perform the work. That is not the employee’s fault. It is the manager/employer who is not doing the right thing.
Mentoring is different. In many cases this will be a new employee’s direct supervisor, but it can also be a senior person within the organization. This person should be able to help answer questions about the company and the way work gets done. Somebody that can act as a sounding board for issues. It is also a great way to build up employees and create the skills for individual contributors to become managers. This style of on the job training is essential for people to build their ability to lead and coach other people. By giving an individual contributor 1 or 2 people to mentor, they get experience and they are not overwhelmed with budgets and other parts of the job.
This is the starting point of Onboarding. But this is a complex process and there is more to talk about on it.
Have a great day!
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