There are all kinds of protocols for hiring employees: fact-check resumes, verify degrees and certifications, check with references and then schedule interviews. But, then what?

Once new employees are hired, what type of greeting, orientation or training process are they introduced to? Are they placed with a qualified mentor to show them the ropes or to serve as a sounding board as they learn company protocol? Are you attending to their social needs?

Attention to these new hire details can make or break the way a new employee feels about his or her job, not to mention your company.

Completing Your New Hire Checklist Contributes to a Positive Company Culture

Establishing a well-rounded “New Hire Checklist” is about more than benefiting the employees; your company will benefit too. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review discusses the importance of a positive company culture. Companies described by employees as having a positive culture enjoy:

  • Higher rates of employee satisfaction and loyalty

  • Lower turnover rates

  • Greater overall productivity

The following information can assist you as you put together your company’s branded version of a New Hire Checklist – ensuring that you hire the right people, and then make their transition into your company as positive and supportive as possible.

Step 1: Hire the right employees There’s no point in putting time and energy into any kind of new employee orientation, training and mentorship/team-type program if the employee isn’t going to stick around. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reports that high employee turnover rates can cost you as much as twice the employee’s salary to find and train a new one.

Step 2: Establish a New Hire Checklist That Warmly Welcomes Employees Into the Fold
A  recent study found that out of 1000 respondents:

  • 31% had quit a job within 6-months of their hire date

  • The bulk of these quit within the first 7 to 120-days

  • 54% of respondents said that having a better idea of what their responsibilities really were and receiving more effective training would have been enough to keep them around longer.

In other words, your company has about 90-days to thoroughly orient and train new employees so that they can feel successful and productive in their work life. Here are some of the ways you can do that.

Provide pre-boarding paperwork ahead of time. Don’t use Day 1 as a “paperwork day.” That’s a waste of both your company’s and employee’s’ time. Instead, provide them with necessary forms, documents, employee guides and handbooks as well as quick-guides to the equipment they’ll be using – computers, phones, software, etc. – ahead of time so they’re ready for work on their first day.

Make good use of Day 1. On Day 1, review the forms and paperwork to make sure it’s completed correctly and move on. Provide a tour of the company including introductions to key management and personnel. Make sure employees know exactly where break rooms, restrooms and lounges are located. If you have a larger company or firm, keep the tour isolated to their immediate work area(s) and conduct broader facility/departmental tours in the ensuing weeks.
Remember that while this might be second nature to you, it’s a whole new territory for them. Provide a clear, detailed map of the facility, pre-highlighted with the places and spaces employees access the most. Provide a parking guide as well, if necessary.

Create an inclusive environment. Many employers hire waves of new hires at the same time, and keep the orientation and training days specific to the newbies. This can create a feeling of “us and them.” Avoid that entirely by including volunteer employees who represent a good slice of your company pie. Introduce new employees to their supervisors and immediate co-workers and then plan some type of lunch or “welcome social” that includes relevant co-workers or team members.

List essential tasks and provide a to-do list. Create a daily or weekly “To Do” list that is coordinated in conjunction with a direct manager and/or team members. This provides a means for a well-paced initiation into job responsibilities and duties as well as a reference point for new hires. Include space for notes or questions and have employees review them each day with a manager or mentor so any questions, concerns or mistakes can be constructively clarified.
Plan a check-in meeting.  Keeping in mind that nearly 34% of employees have left jobs within the first month; those first 30-days are critical. Schedule a “Check-In Meeting” with employees, supervisors/mentors and HR staff. This meeting establishes how things are going, if any gaps need to be filled in or where additional support could be provided.

Finally, your company should have an open communication policy where employees – both new and old – feel comfortable sharing any confusion, insecurity, mistakes or concerns. When that level of trust is established, company loyalty and pride become ingrained in your staff.

Creating a new hire checklist can be the a powerful step for your company to take towards creating the type of culture that increases employee retention, ups productivity and profits, and makes your company the place prospective employees want to be.

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