The Importance of Planning for New Employees

March 8, 2022by Jennifer Murray0

In a recent round table discussion, the ice breaker topic was, “describe your worst onboarding experience.” The responses came quickly. Naturally, people vividly recall the extremes – both negative and positive examples.

 

Given the value organizations place on employee retention and the ongoing challenges they have had to recruit new employees, I would like to share some experiences that surfaced instantaneously.

 

More than one participant arrived at the correct work location at the scheduled time and discovered no one was expecting them. The Hiring Manager was off-site or the Hiring Manager was in a meeting and hadn’t set up a delegate to welcome the new team member. The lack of planning or structured program imposed other employees to try to identify resources and the orientation plan, while it gave the new hire time to relay the first impression of this organization to friends or follow-up on other job prospects that had been in development!

 

The experience I recalled occurred early in my career, but left a long-lasting impression. I started a job as an Inside Salesperson. The company scheduled large groups on the same start date and had a robust training program for inexperienced salespeople. Over the course of several weeks, our trainer prepared us to prospect for the ideal client, make phone calls to qualified prospects, uncover needs, discuss product features and benefits, overcome objections, close sales, and leave compelling voice messages. We learned how to use the phones and the Customer Relationship Management platform. After we completed a series of role plays, we were ushered to our new cubicles to put our training to the test! The Trainer was available during our first weeks on the phones to assist us with unexpected responses and coach us with constructive feedback. We met our new Inside Sales Managers. I was bursting with excitement!

 

The excitement quickly fizzled when I discovered that I didn’t have a computer to follow the process that we had just learned – prospecting, calling, recording notes, and scheduling follow-up phone calls. Eventually the computer was delivered, but the first week out of training was full of idle time and boredom. The huge investment in training had built up momentum that quickly diminished. Under the current market conditions, lack of preparation creates a risk of early turnover and opens the door to another potential employer.

 

Given the present supply chain constraints, it is even more important to plan ahead of the next new hire. Forecasting and planning for additional headcount should include the resources each employee needs to start the job. Whether it’s a short orientation or a multi-week curriculum, the key to a successful onboarding program is preparation: documenting the plan, utilizing checklists, automating processes, developing the required training, engaging resources, setting expectations, and procuring resources.

 

When individuals were asked about their best new hire experiences, we heard about efficient pre-boarding processes, a warm welcome, receiving credentials to enable systems access on day one, and receiving clear expectations.

 

One woman raved about receiving a bouquet of flowers with a greeting card a few days prior to her start date. This unexpected gift sent a strong signal that the new team was happy she accepted the opportunity to work together. Another individual received a photo of her teammates holding up a sign, “Welcome Julie.” She was working in a remote office, but instantly felt a connection with the people she with whom she would meet virtually during the upcoming weeks. One of the men shared that he received a hat and shirt with the company logo, along with an encouraging note on his first day. He proceeded through a checklist of activities with the Human Resources Manager, followed by introductions, and a team lunch. These employees highlighted simple and relatively inexpensive gestures that generated an instant connection with the new team.

 

We meet with organizations across a wide range of industries. Regardless of the job, size of company, or geographic location, employees are seeking a position that meets their financial needs, as well as feels comfortable culturally. The early career engagement- first few days, weeks, and months helps to establish their connection to the organization.

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Headquarters
230 Hampton Woods Lane, Suite 101 Raleigh, NC 27607
Satellite Office
2929 Breezewood Ave. Suite 101, Fayetteville, NC. 28303
Where to find us
https://onboardwithus.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/img-footer-map1.jpg