How to Help New Employees Feel Supported During Onboarding

PRemployer on April 13, 2022


New employees need to feel welcomed and supported during their first few days and weeks on the job. With a structured onboarding process that includes training and support, you can get new employees productive quickly.

Whether your business has a straightforward onboarding procedure or you're still trying to put one together, we can help. Below, you'll find a brief overview of the crucial steps needed to support your new hires effectively. 

Create a Welcome Strategy

Before your new employee even starts, you need to begin preparations. Your welcome strategy will require you to speak with colleagues the new hire will work with closely. You need to ensure everyone is on the same page and schedule a welcome event for the new hire's first day to have everyone meet.

That will make your new employee feel welcomed on their first day, personally getting to know their colleagues. It will also support your new hire by showing them the structure they fit into and how their work will impact the rest of the team. This structure is crucial to setting the right tone for every employee, especially the new hire.

Provide a Mentor to Help Train Them

A training mentor helping a new hire onboardWhile you should have a manager or HR team member train the new employee on certain items, consider assigning them a mentor as well. Choose a long-tenured employee who knows how different employees and departments work together. The institutional knowledge they can provide will help the employee better understand how things fit together.

Your new hire should, of course, feel comfortable speaking directly with their supervisor about any questions they have, but a mentor can provide a different perspective. A mentor is more of a peer than a supervisor and can better relate to the new employee. The right mentor can show your new hire the ropes and answer any questions about the company and how to attack their work.

Gather All Resources in a Common Place

The last thing you want when you hire a new employee is to have them constantly come to you with questions. A mentor can help with that, but tenured employees may have questions. Creating a central repository of information can help alleviate all of these issues.

An employee handbook is your company's guide. It explains your company policies like time off and dress code. It also provides details about how to interact with customers and colleagues. A comprehensive handbook can answer every question a new employee might have and lingering questions from senior employees. Not only does this give you precious time back, but it also empowers your staff to seek answers on their own.

Have Tasks Ready for Them to Do

No one likes to feel bored or useless. When you have a new hire starting, you can empower them with tasks on their first day. That can be as simple as preparing a quick bio to share with the rest of the team, reviewing the handbook, or being more job-focused and having them jump in with an easy daily task.

It will show your new hire that you have prepared for their arrival, and it will help keep them busy and productive. Depending on the role you've hired the candidate to do, you may need to train them before having them do job-related tasks, or you could have them jump in on their first day. The best approach is to combine these, conduct some classroom training, and then follow up with on-the-job training.

Immerse New Hires in the Team and Culture

New hires attending a team culture meetingYour company culture is essential. You've interviewed this individual at least once and think that they possess the skills necessary to do the job and have qualities that will help them fit nicely into the culture. But that doesn't mean you can avoid cultural training. You still have to show them the environment and how they can integrate quickly into the company culture and with their colleagues.

On the employee's first day, you should have a welcome event. Even if it's short, have the colleagues the new hire will work closely with present so everyone can meet. Throughout the new employee's first few days and weeks, continue that by having more team social time and individual time between the new hire and their colleagues. It doesn't have to be lengthy - 20-30 minutes is plenty of time to start getting to know one another. But ensuring this continues and is productive will help your new hire better integrate into your company culture and bond with the colleagues. 

Partner with a PEO to Get the Support You Need

Especially for small businesses, this process of building a supportive onboarding experience for your new hires can be overwhelming. You may not have many policies in place, you may not have a company handbook, and you may not be sure how to train employees in different positions effectively. 

Just like you're trying to support your staff, support exists for you. A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is an HR outsourcing company that supports you to help you grow your business. While not intended to replace your internal HR team, if you have one, a PEO supports your existing HR employees and you by taking on the mundane and complex HR tasks.

Your PEO will help you by developing an onboarding and training program, among many other items, like payroll and policy creation. Altogether, this will free up your time to focus on growing your business and supporting your employees to make them more productive and efficient. 


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