National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

Onboarding Tips for 2021

Originally published in FleetOwner

A new year is always a good time to start fresh. I was reminded of that the other day as I was reading a blog by Chelsea Verstegen, content strategist at Hireology. She suggested starting the 2021 by reviewing your onboarding process to get new employees off on the right foot on their very first day of employment. She cited research that said organizations with effective onboarding processes retain 50% more of their new hires.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for new hires to feel connected to an organization and that sense of belonging is one of the things that keeps an employee tethered to your organization for the long term.

Verstegen suggests rolling out the red carpet on an employee’s first day. That could include making sure they have company logoed merchandise. You also might consider asking other team members to send a short welcoming message to the new hire congratulating them on joining the team. Make sure to schedule time for the new hire to chat with other team members and also make a company-wide announcement that you’ve added someone new to your staff.

No one likes filling out paperwork, yet it is necessary for a new hire to do so. Instead of loading their first day with the drudgery of paperwork, send them paperwork digitally so they can fill it out prior to their first day of work.

Get your whole team together to meet the new hire. Given the fact that many employees are still working from home and many states have restrictions about gathering, an in-person meet up might not be possible. Instead hold a virtual meeting and begin with a fun activity or ice breaker question to help the new hire get to know the team and vice versa.

Assign a mentor to the new hire to make it easier for them to get to know your company. It also provides the new employee with someone they can feel comfortable asking questions to — questions they might be hesitant to ask the boss for fear of looking foolish for not knowing.

Set up a regular time to chat with them to see how they are handing their workload and to reinforce the fact that in addition to their mentor you are always available to answer any questions.

Set 30/60/90-day plans and objectives and set goals with the employee. Then check in with the new hire to see how they are doing against those plans and goals.

Onboarding is also a great time to reinforce your company culture and to talk about career progression within your organization.

A positive onboarding experience makes a new employee feel welcome from the first day and is likely to lead to them staying with your company for the long term.