Induction. On-boarding. Orientation. They’re all commonly used but awkwardly cold terms used to describe the initial experience of a new starter.
We’re talking about the moment they accept your job offer, to their start date, right through to the completion of their probation period.
While these terms won’t disappear any time soon, the team at Davis Bibby & Co have a view that it’s a useful mindset shift to think about this process as being more about how you welcome a new person to your team. Why? This period of time is really make or break for new employees. Having a welcoming mindset when planning out their first few months can make all the difference in their first impressions of your organisation and improve their experience for the long term.
Perhaps you’re thinking that a structured and thoughtful plan for every new starter is a lot of hard work for very little reward? While it certainly takes effort, we believe that the return on investment is worth it.
Consider these statistics:
- 22% of turnover happens within the first 45 days of employment (The Wynhurst Group)
- It can cost 33% of an employee’s salary to replace him/her (HR Dive)
- 90% of executives said keeping new hires is an issue in their business (Korn Ferry)
- New employees who had a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organization in 3 years (The Wynhurst Group)
The impact of not having a plan to welcome your new team member into the organisation can be very significant. Not only negatively impacting your new hire, but also colleagues, the manager and of course the broader business.
The good news is, a fantastic new hire experience is achievable with a bit of forward planning and effort.
- Be organised
Before your new team member starts, create a plan that covers the things you need to organise before they start (example: training, equipment, IT access, desk space, safety inductions. Then plan their first day, week, month and even broaden that out to 3 to 6 months. Consider what information you can provide them ahead of time so that they arrive feeling prepared.
- Keep in touch
Give your new staff member a call in the lead up to their start date and let them know what to expect when they arrive. Send them important information about upcoming events, perhaps offer to connect them to their team mates ahead of time so that they have a chance to get to know who they’ll be working with.
- Be thoughtful
It’s often the small things that have the most impact and can make people feel genuinely welcome. Send out an email to the rest of the business letting them know you’ve got a new team member starting and encourage people to say hello. Make sure their desk space is clean and there isn’t a drawer full of old filing from their predecessor. Organise a coffee break or lunch with the team on their first day so they have a chance to relax and get to know each other properly. Is your business big on acronyms? It might be helpful to provide a list of explanations ahead of time so they don’t feel they’re speaking another language.
It’s so important to take the time to make sure new team members have a positive first impression of your business and that you ensure they have everything they need to be successful. If you’d like more in depth suggestions about what to include in your plan, Roy Maurer has a great article which you can read here .