In this week’s Power Idea, Senior Strategic Partner, Laura Dillingham, continues her series on Onboarding and explains what should take place during the first week to ensure a successful onboarding process for a new employee. Enjoy!

Many times a new employee will arrive in the middle of a busy work week. This should never keep the onboarding process from happening or delay it in any way. Always ensure the supervisor and mentor have scheduled the time and are available. This sends a strong message to the new employee that they are not only wanted and welcomed, but that they are an important asset to the organization.

The new employee should be met by the assigned mentor. The mentor will be responsible to use a pre-determined schedule and the onboarding checklist to begin the onboarding process with the new employee. They will:

1. Take them to meet the supervisor who will welcome them to the team and to the organization and cover the items listed in Roman Numeral III of the previous Power Idea.
2. Ensure the new employee receives a tour of the office, facilities, etc. either by the mentor, supervisor or both.
3. Ensure they meet with the supervisor who will explain their expectations.
4. Ensure they are introduced to the company culture.
5. Ensure either the mentor, supervisor or both eat with the new employee or take them to lunch on the first day.
6. Take them to Human Resources to ensure all paperwork and documents are completed and pick up any information.

Welcome the new employee and introduce them to the team. Make sure you talk about their role and why you selected them (qualifications, personality, good fit for the team, projects they’ve worked on, accomplishments, etc.). This will help the rest of the team meet them and remember them better. Notify the team in advance with the date the new employee will be starting and request that they schedule some time in their schedules to get to know them.

Always make sure the new employee is given a tour around the office. It’s important that they know where all the important and common areas are and are able to find:

* Kitchen
* Reception
* Bathroom
* Their workspace
* Support Desk
* Human Resources
* Their mentor’s workspace
* Their supervisor’s workspace

If you want your new employee to perform well it’s essential you share with them your expectations. Outline the general skills and areas of knowledge that are required to ensure the new employee is successful. Also let them know where they can get questions answered, information, and support. Think about things like organizational values, processes, methods or means, interaction with clients, colleagues and supervisors, the impact, as well as, goods and services. Remember, knowledge is power…power to make decisions and do a better job.

Also important is to have a conversation about the organizational culture (the unwritten rules of behavior and norms) and explain details such as:

* When they must arrive at the office
* Or if they’re telecommuting what the expectations are for log-in time, etc.
* Where they park
* How they will access the building
* If there is a dress code, what it is

No one wants to eat alone on the first day of work, much like school. They may not know if there’s a place to keep their lunch or if they don’t bring a lunch where they can go for lunch. Going hungry on the first day of work is not a good start, either for the new employee or the company. Having lunch with the supervisor and/or the mentor is a chance to get to know one another. It’s not about work and work shouldn’t be discussed. It’s to make them feel welcomed.

Using your checklist, make sure to check in with Human Resources to ensure all of the paperwork has been completed and documents turned in so the new employee gets paid and their benefits start on time. Make sure you also share this information with the new employee. Communication sets the stage for a long-term relationship based on earned mutual trust and respect.

In the next Power Idea we will look at what should take place during the first month to ensure a successful onboarding process for a new employee.