Maybe you're on the other side now, recruiting people, but you were also a new employee once upon a time. Do you remember how you felt on the first day of your current job? It was probably a strange combination of hope, nervousness, and excitement about what the new job had in store for you.

An employee's first day sets the tone for the rest of their employment and largely determines whether they are quickly productive or not. A bad onboarding experience scares people off and makes them waste time. So an onboarding plan for new employees really is a necessity. Below, you will find a few tips to help your newcomers get up and running quickly in their new job.

make sure the logistics are in order

Preparing a workstation and guaranteeing that a new employee has everything they need to start working seems obvious. Yet, even in 2019, there are still employees who do not have a workstation, telephone, PC, or other necessary things at their disposal on their first day of work and therefore cannot actually get started. Improvisation and a last-minute search for a workstation, and last-minute requests for a PC and a login for a newcomer will cause unnecessary stress. So make sure that you plan all the logistics related to the start-up of a new employee and that you have everything in order well in advance.

give sufficient explanation…

You'd be surprised how many organisations drop their new employees into their new jobs without explaining the rules and processes they need to get through their first day at work. They can go through the less urgent or important cases themselves. It's not a nice feeling to do things 'wrong' or 'differently' on the first day because the arrangements, rules, or habits weren't explained to you.

…but avoid an avalanche of info

People are already going through an important change on their first day in a new job. No matter how experienced they are, every workplace is different and that means they have to adapt. Employers often bury new people in masses of information on that first day. They are introduced to EVERYONE, have to fill in stacks of forms, and watch dozens of company PowerPoint presentations. That could all be a bit too much.

provide a mentor

It is easier to get used to a new working environment if a colleague is available to assist the newcomer with questions or other issues. Or even better, let the new employee follow a more experienced employee for a day.

set clear expectations

Starting in a new job is stressful. No matter how qualified or experienced the new employee may be, each new job is accompanied by a learning curve in order to master the tricks of a new workplace. So, be clear about what is expected, how the newcomer should contribute to your team and, more specifically, how they can do so in the coming days. What are the team's KPIs, what results are personally expected from the new employee? Are there any processes or procedures that must be followed? Which tasks are most important? Where can they go with questions? 

involve the management

Ask management to drop by one of the first days to introduce themselves. During the new employees' onboarding process at Randstad, a member of the management committee visits each time so that everyone can get well-acquainted. This shows a genuine interest in welcoming employees personally and getting to know them.

start with teamwork

One of the best ways to help a new employee integrate is to get them started on a group assignment. By letting them work together in a team, they get to know their colleagues well. Moreover, such a project is an excellent opportunity to make a concrete contribution without having to bear sole responsibility. This way, the newcomer can get settled and acclimatise efficiently.

encourage questions

Make it immediately clear that questions are welcome. New people have to process a lot of information in the first few days. They're certain to have follow-up questions later on. Creating a framework in which questions are encouraged ensures that employees proactively and efficiently follow up on the information they need to do their job well.

ask for feedback

Onboarding is one of the biggest challenges at the start of a new job. Expectations and needs differ from employee to employee. No matter how you refine and improve your onboarding process, there is always room for improvement. Ask new employees for feedback. Did they miss anything at their onboarding? Are they still unsure about certain things? Do they have any suggestions for improvement? That feedback can make you do even better with the next newcomer…

Are you looking for new employees to strengthen your team?