Employee onboarding programs are essential to the overall health of your company. The stronger your program is, the more likely your new hires are to be engaged right from the start.
But when’s the last time you gave your employee onboarding program a face lift?
If you haven’t revisited your onboarding program in quite some time, chances are you’ll need to make at least a few tweaks. Need some help? Here are five signs it’s time to overhaul your onboarding program right away:
1. You treat new hires like doormats
When you hire a new employee, you’re either replacing an old one or creating a new position. If you’re short-staffed before the new hire starts, you might be tempted to dump every single project and responsibility on that person just so everyone else on the team can get a breather.
This, of course, is unadvisable. Think back to the last time you started a new job. Everyone needs at least some time to get acclimated to their new environment and familiar with processes before they’re able to survive an avalanche of work.
2. You think one week of training is enough
Maybe you were able to pick up all the tricks of the trade in five short business days. But the average worker — and even the above-average worker — won’t be comfortable in their new role after one week.
According to TalentWise, it takes an average of eight months before new hires become fully productive. For this reason, 76% of companies have extended their onboarding programs beyond one month.
Just remember, the more time you invest in training your employees up front, the less time you’ll have to spend helping them on the back end.
3. You don’t check in with new hires to see how they’re doing
How can you expect your new employees to reach their full potential if you’re not checking in with them to see how they’re handling their new jobs?
You can’t expect your new hires will learn the tricks of the trade if training stops the moment you finish telling them how to do something. Instead, you need to start a conversation with your new employees and check in with them regularly to make sure they’re actually picking things up — and not just nodding along despite being unsure.
4. You expect new employees to be able to do everything right away
It’s reasonable to expect an employee will be able to send a couple of emails or be a silent observer on a few client calls when they’re just starting out. It’s unreasonable to expect they’ll be able to slide right into their roles and knock it out of the park on the first day.
Don’t force your new employees to bite off more than they can chew before they’re ready for it. The last thing you want to do is discourage them by assigning them a large project before they’ve had time to get comfortable in their new surroundings.
5. You don’t think about onboarding in increments
As previously mentioned, many companies are creating onboarding programs that are considerably longer than their more traditional predecessors. Lots of organizations are moving to 30, 60, 90-day training programs that are designed to ensure employees get their feet wet at a comfortable pace.
In these programs, companies should expect their new hires to learn the ropes — like understanding tools, technologies, major projects, and workflows — during their first month on the job. During the next 30 days, new employees should begin collaborating with their coworkers and take on more responsibility; they should focus more on the doing than the training. Finally, during the third month of onboarding, employees should start tackling larger projects on their own.
Thinking about onboarding incrementally is a surefire way to ease new hires into their positions. They’ll gain a little more confidence every step of the way.