welcome new employees

Onboarding New Employees: 3 Steps for Success

Blog #210

Finding and keeping quality employees is one of the biggest challenges most growing organizations face, especially in our booming economy. There are numerous books and articles that explain how to best attract and retain talent, ensure a culture fit, and select the best compensation plans. Without a doubt, these are all important factors; however, I believe there is an area with the potential to massively impact the process of building a quality team: onboarding new employees.

It never ceases to amaze me how often organizations do a great job hiring to a cultural fit, or how they invest countless dollars in compensation plans, yet when it comes to getting new people integrated and up to speed, it is a train wreck. This can be a key place of challenge for the revolving door of employees.

It doesn’t have to be this way. I am going to share with you three steps that can help reduce your employee turnover rate:

  1. Share the vision. Let new employees know you have a plan and where you are going. This can involve who you are, your values, your BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal), a vision of the future, and the organizational goals. Help them understand that you want them to be part of something and not just work there to collect a paycheck. They must first know there is a plan and that you are going somewhere.
  2. Provide simple, crystal clear direction. Explain how their tasks contribute to the success of the common vision and success of the organization. This is achieved by ensuring they are aware of their accountabilities, how you want things done, and the impact it will have. In other words, help them understand why they are doing what they are doing. Show them how it needs to be done and the process you will use to hold them accountable. I have found this step to be extremely important for younger folks. Even if they are on the front lines of a business, they need to know the “why” and “how”.
  3. Train, coach, praise, follow-up and repeat. And repeat and repeat. Yes, I know I said that multiple times – it is on purpose. You need to say and do things over and over until the employee can teach you. This mantra applies to every seat in your organization (although, possibly excluding the president of the company). In my experience, this is the main area where  organizations fall short; most organizations do everything else well, but they tend to drop the ball with training and integration. This lack of attention is like tossing the keys of your car to a 17-year-old and saying, “Drive it like you stole it!” Rarely, if ever, does this work out well. We have to trust, but we also have to invest the adequate amount of time to ensure success. The same applies in business. You may stress out the new employee, creating a rough start for everyone. The new employee might even be ready to submit their two weeks’ notice. Or the team may stress out and then intense conflict may occur. When you train and integrate new employees properly, this can be avoided. If you are experiencing a high turnover, I would strongly urge you to first look at your onboarding plan. Issues and goals can be addressed through consistent one-on-one meetings with new employees. Begin with having daily meetings then transition to a weekly basis. You can set up a mentor program, an accountability partner, simple KPIs, training programs, and more.

If you have gone through all the effort to hire the right people, yet you seem to have a high turnover rate, it is worth reviewing your onboarding process. Success isn’t only about getting the right person hired – it is about ensuring that the new hire is properly welcomed to your organization. If your onboarding is done well, you will have a great employee for a long time. Done poorly, you will have a revolving door of employees.

Next week, I will outline some specific ways you can invest your time when empowering your new hires to thrive.

Are you interested in learning more about simplifying your onboarding process? Do you want to attract and retain quality employees? Then reach out to us today to find out how!


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