by Michael Holland    

How effectively are you integrating new employees into your company? Into your team?

To be honest, orientation programs usually suck.  From an employee’s perspective, being loaded down with hours of mind-numbing data and stale presentations on the vision-mission-values of the company sets the stage for personal soul searching regarding whether or not they have made the right decision.  A new employee can often spend their 1st week on the job not seeing their boss, not knowing where to get a good lunch and not knowing with whom they will be sharing blood, sweat and tears with for 8 to 10 hours a day.

Onboarding new employees should be focused on how quickly you can acclimate them and bring them up to full productivity.  The assimilation process starts before they arrive and should continue for several months.  Onboarding should be flexible. Does the newly-hired, single, 25-year-old woman desire the same depth and breadth of information as the newly-hired, 35-year-old father of four?  How about the new hires who will be working in IT versus the new hires in customer service?

Do one thing better:  On the morning your new employee arrives, invest 15 minutes in personally saying hello, welcoming them, and letting them know you are very excited to have them on board.  Setup a specific time within the next 24 hours that the two of you will get together to talk about expectations for each other.

But if you can’t seem to spare time from your back-to-back meetings that morning, no worries.  I’m sure the new employee will fully understand.  Why should he think this company would be any different than the one he just abandoned?  He’ll have ample time to ponder this and the organization’s vision-mission-values as revealed on slides 18 through 67 of the PowerPoint presentation viewed — alone — at 2:30 pm that 1st day on the job.