The way you introduce new hires to your culture and systems sets the stage for their success, and yours.
First impressions matter. During those vulnerable first 90 days when a new team member is integrating into the workplace, you have a powerful opportunity to train and transition a fresh hire into the work environment. In many ways, onboarding is a make-or-break time. If a person isn’t sure where to go or what to do—and who to ask—they feel an immediate disconnect. Without a onboarding program in place, you risk performance, commitment and energy. That new hire that seemed like a perfect fit for your organization might never align with the team—and it’s not their fault.
Do you have an onboarding plan for those first 90 days? How do you take a person from “you’re hired” through the first few months of employment?
A formal onboarding and training program is especially critical during growth times, when you’re bringing in talent to support expansion. The problem is, many employers are so wrapped up in operations and keeping up with growth that they do not dedicate the time and resources to do right by their new hires and fully integrate them into the business.
So, what does an effective onboarding program look like? How can you build a 90-day ultimate orientation so new hires embrace your culture, learn the ins and outs of your business, and fully join the team? Here are five keys to a successful onboarding experience.
An effective onboarding process starts with making the right hiring decisions. Introduce your culture during the interview process and share how onboarding works at your organizations so candidates know there’s a plan if they are invited to join the team. Explain what new hires can expect during those first 90 days. Not only does this set clear expectations, it can differentiate your business from competitors that do not have a formal onboarding plan in place.
Develop a System
Onboarding needs to involve more than getting a welcome packet and company tour. At Deeley Insurance Group, new staff work through a training matrix and formal onboarding plan that includes mentors from each area of our business. They work through the matrix and plan, getting to know every department so they understand how everyone’s roles contribute to the success of the firm. They understand how they fit into this puzzle and how their responsibilities support others. Before their arrival, our team prepares their new Deeley workspace to ensure they feel an immediate sense of belonging. With a training matrix, onboarding system in place and an area to call their own, they have a clear path for their first 90 days.
Rather than a single mentor who takes a person through the onboarding process, we want new hires to develop many resources throughout the organization. So, we identify subject matter experts in different areas of our business. There are mentors for each major department, and sub-mentors who specialize in certain skills. Mentors share the responsibility of teaching new hires, and this is beneficial for a couple of reasons. One, our mentors do not feel overwhelmed and have time to perform their daily functions while helping out a new person. Two, our new hires grow relationships with many people in our organization, so they know who to ask what. They truly integrate into our team.
Key into Culture
Not only do new hires get trained and introduced to our business through mentors, they meet with our culture champions. Culture is really the thread that ties together every aspect of training and we want to be sure that new hires are embracing it and feel as much a part of our culture and who we are as someone who has been working for us many years.
At the end of the 90-day onboarding period, we recap the training and review the program. Finally, we set annual goals and objectives together so new hires officially launch into the next phase of their employment. They go forward understanding how they can grow in our organization.
Onboarding is a critical responsibility that sets the tone for how new employees will mesh with your team—and ultimately, how they will perform. Don’t miss an opportunity to set the stage for success. Want to learn more about how Deeley Insurance Group onboards new hires? Let’s talk about it! We’d love to answer your questions and share. Contact Michele Hoffman at 410-213-5548 or Kerry Runkles at 410-213-5560.