Small Business: Employee Onboarding 101

Congratulations! Your business is thriving, and you’ve found great new people to join your team. To be sure your relationship with your new team members gets off to a good start, you need to be smart about employee onboarding. Here are some expert tips for making the experience a rewarding one for everyone.

Offer a warm welcome. First impressions count. Be sure new team members know they valued members of a great organization. A welcome packet or other small gesture can foster a sense of belonging.

Get HR paperwork out of the way, stat. Yes, everyone hates paperwork. But the sooner you get it out of the way, the sooner your new employee will be in your system and ready to go. Taking care of the necessary bureaucracy early makes life easier for both of you.

Start onboarding before the first day of work. Completing reams of HR paperwork while trying to familiarize oneself with new systems and processes can be overwhelming. Thus, it’s unlikely new hires will have the time or mental focus to start any serious work on their first day with you. So when possible, complete the initial onboarding and orientation a few days before any new hire shows up for work.

Get the team involved. Introduce your new hire to the rest of your team quickly, and give everyone ample opportunities to get to know each other. Getting everyone together for lunch on your new hire’s first day is an easy way to make a new arrival feel like part of the team. Encouraging them to answer their new colleague’s questions and offer support and constructive feedback is another.

Pair new hires with mentors. New employees will undoubtedly have a lot of questions when they start. Pairing them with experienced mentors in their area is a useful strategy for bringing them up to speed. This support will also give your new hires the confidence they need to succeed.

Encourage questions. Nothing feels more paralyzing for a new employee than not knowing what to do or where to get answers to questions. Make sure your new people know they’re always welcome to ask questions. They’ll climb the learning curve faster and feel like a welcome part of the team.

Ease newbies into their workload. Even if you’ve just hired the smartest guy (or girl) on the block, you shouldn’t expect a new hire to start working at full capacity on their first day. New people will need time to get accustomed to your customers, your team, and your processes, not the mention the background history of whatever projects they’re working on. Start your new people off slowly, and gradually add to their responsibilities as their confidence increases.

Provide ample feedback. Every business has different standards and expectations. To ensure new hires know yours, provide frequent constructive feedback during their first few weeks. They’ll appreciate having clarity about your expectations.

If you’d like a trustworthy partner to provide expert HR support, a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) can help. PEO companies handle all your HR needs, from recruiting to employee benefits. We can match you with a PEO provider with knowledge of your industry. We work only with carefully vetted and licensed PEOs to ensure you get the service you need to grow.

With two decades of experience in the PEO Employee Leasing industry, Mike Burgelin is an expert in helping business owners maximize their growth potential through the outsourcing of human resources and payroll tasks. He is also a fully licensed insurance agent, whose skills and knowledge in workers’ compensation insurance help his clients save over $40 million in premiums each year.

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