You’re a small-business employer, and you’ve finally found the right job candidate to fill the position. What’s the best way to get them oriented and integrated?
For new hires, day one usually means “orientation,” which is shorthand for lots of paperwork, plenty of forms to fill out, and an avalanche of general information like where to park and where to find the restrooms and vending machines. But integrating your new employee should be more about getting them ready to succeed and not just about satisfying company paperwork requirements.
Hence the term “onboarding,” which has come to mean a structured process for providing new employees with the training and tools they need to become a productive member of the organization. It includes the opportunity to begin building relationships with co-workers, and especially to begin performing their duties in a productive way more quickly and dynamically. It is also focused on learn-as-you-go as opposed to “training classes.”
Onboarding is also about introducing your new hires to the organization’s culture. Every entity has its own personality. Who are we as a company? What do we stand for—beyond just our products or services? The onboarding process is your opportunity to tell them your story, which includes the entity’s history and people and growth and progress, the things that made it into the unique organization it is today.
Make a comprehensive new plan for onboarding your new hires, and get a jump on building their enthusiasm and productivity in their new role. —Beth A. Marsh, CEO