Have you been looking for a new employee for your team and hired a suitable applicant? Congratulations! But what’s next? What does the new employee expect from you and what do you have to consider as a direct supervisor when training new employees? We have compiled the three most important steps for you after signing the contract – so that the familiarization process is successful for both parties.
Table of Contents
3 steps to consider when onboarding new employees
1st step: The time before starting work
Your employee has signed the employment contract and will start working for you on the specified date. What happens until then? Surely you can sit out the time and wait for the new one to go into service. But that’s not nice. It is better to use the time to prepare the employee for this day.
For example, provide them with organizational charts so they can familiarize themselves with the team structure or provide them with work materials to help them adjust to their job. However, this does not mean any advertising material for your company! After all, your employee no longer needs to be convinced of your company, but is curious, perhaps even excited, about how the first working days will go. So he wants to know as many details as possible about his future job. For example, send him information about the product you offer or about the company’s philosophy and values. In this way, the new team member can prepare himself internally and at the same time you show
It is at least as important to give him the necessary information for his first day at work. When should the new employee show up for work? Where should he go? And who is his first point of contact? It is essential that you send him this information in good time so that any ambiguities can be clarified in good time before the first day of work.
It is also particularly important when preparing to train new employees that you do not only have the new employee in mind. You also need to educate your existing team so they know what the newcomer’s responsibilities will be, what role they will play on the team, and what you, as a leader, want from team members – this may be for onboarding, future meetings, or upcoming projects. In this way you avoid that displeasure with the new employee arises in advance.
In short, in this first step you should check the following points before a new employee starts:
- Have you sent the new employee all the information about starting work?
- Have you informed your team about the new employee and clarified the roles in the team?
- Is the workplace prepared for your new employee?
Ideally, your company even has a systematic onboarding process by the HR department that automatically takes the things mentioned into account. This process should structure the training of new employees and enable easy integration into the company. While onboarding doesn’t prevent layoffs, it can be a great way to reduce turnover. We will therefore report later on this process separately on our blog. But regardless of whether there is systematic onboarding in your company or not, you as a direct manager should keep the aspects mentioned above and the following in mind in order to make it as easy as possible for employees to get started.
2nd step: The design of the first day
The first working day should have the motto of orientation. In addition to getting to know your colleagues and exploring your own workplace, this also includes introducing yourself to colleagues and taking a first tour of the company building.
In addition, you should conduct a welcome talk with your employee, welcoming them and providing information about what is happening now and what they need to know. It is important that you adapt to the employee who comes into your team. Depending on whether they come from a long-term employment relationship, possibly from unemployment or even fresh out of university, they need different treatment in order to gain self-confidence.
In the welcome meeting, you can give your employee an induction plan. This also serves as a guide and creates transparency – especially in the first few days, when a lot is still new and uncertain. In this induction plan, you can record the most important points that your employee needs to be shown in order to carry out his or her job and list the relevant contact persons and induction dates.
Ideally, one point of the induction plan can already be carried out on the first day. If this is not possible due to the points to be discussed organizationally, you should at least tell your employee which first task he will tackle in the coming days. This means that the employee knows what to expect and does not grope in the dark.
At the end of the day, ask the employee what their impression is. How did the process affect him? Was it too many impressions? Is something important still unclear? In this way, you can adapt the induction plan at an early stage and thus make the induction of new employees as effective as possible in the future.
Be sure to check again at the end of the day to make sure you’ve really thought of everything:
- Have you had a face-to-face interview with the new employee?
- Did you introduce the team, supervisors and the company building?
- Have you shared important security information or access codes?
- Have you handed over and explained an induction plan?
- Does the new employee know what their first task is?
- Did you ask the employee for a short feedback at the end of the day?
3rd step: The end of the probationary period
Use the first few months, typically the contractually stipulated probationary period, to give your new employee as much information as possible and to hand over the first tasks. Don’t let that take too long. These first few months should help you and the employee to find out whether the cooperation works – both professionally and collegially. You can only achieve this if you transfer tasks and responsibilities to the new employee at an early stage. You should therefore also talk to your employee during the probationary period, as this is the only way to make the best possible use of the time and gather as much knowledge as possible.
At the end of this time, conduct an appraisal interview in which you look back on the first time together and give each other feedback. If everything fits and the employment is continued, you should define the expectations and associated goals in this conversation.
So, as the final step in onboarding new employees, ask yourself these questions:
- Did you have an appraisal interview after your probationary period?
- Have you formulated your expectations and goals for the employee?
- Have you informed the HR department how the employee will proceed?
- Have you possibly initiated further training aids?
- Do you have any further training measures planned?
If you follow these three steps when onboarding new employees, you will actively support new team members as a good leader in making them feel welcome and comfortable – which is essential for successful cooperation!