Research by workplace thought leader Society for Human Resource Management reveals that it costs businesses up to 9 months’ salary (on average) to recruit and train a new employee. On top of this, it may take new employees up to two years to achieve the productivity level of an existing employee.
One way you can keep employee turnover low is to make sure that new hires go through a proper onboarding process. “The first few weeks a new team member is on the job are some of the most crucial because you’re setting expectations and building their personal investment in your organization,”says Kana Takahashi, MindNation’s Chief Executive Officer. “When you have an effective onboarding program, new employees feel right from the start that they are part of the team, will work harder to achieve the company’s goals, and will stay for a longer period of time.”
Onboarding begins as soon as an offer is accepted and typically lasts through the first year of employment, at a minimum. If you already have an onboarding process in place, here are some things you can add to the activity to make it more engaging — and possibly even fun — for the new team member:
“One of the purposes of onboarding is to acclimate the employee to the organization, to make them see how their role fits into the organization, understand the mission and vision of the company, and what the work culture is.”Kana Takahashi, MindNation CEO
- Get everyone in the company involved. The onboarding program used to be solely the purview of the Human Resources department, but for Kana, it’s important that all departments — and their heads — take time to welcome and talk to the new hire. “One of the purposes of onboarding is to acclimate the employee to the organization, to make them see how their role fits into the organization, understand the mission and vision of the company, and what the work culture is,” she explains. “This is achieved by having them interact and socialize with as many people as possible.”
At MindNation, Kana starts the onboarding process by taking the new hire through the necessary paperwork. The person is then introduced to the leadership team, where they receive information about the company’s values, goals, and culture. Afterwards, an announcement formally welcoming them to the company is posted on the company’s Slack channel.
“Then for the next few weeks, they go through the different departments, talking to the heads and members so that they get a grasp of the working dynamics and understand everyone’s role more,” Kana explains.
- Have a get-together to welcome the new member. Colleagues can also participate in onboarding. Before the pandemic, it was customary to take new employees out to lunch or dinner to help break the ice and allow them to get to know their new colleagues in a relaxed environment. Today, these teambuilding sessions can be done in a virtual set-up and are no less effective. “When an employee feels valued by their team on both a personal and professional level, they are more likely to stick around for the long haul and be happier,” says Kana.
- Provide consistent and clear communication. New hires will want to jump into their role quickly, but make sure their enthusiasm is tempered by clear expectations and parameters during onboarding. Otherwise you might end up receiving output that does not meet your needs, while the employee will feel disappointed that they failed you. So assign projects and set goals, and be sure to guide them to the resources they need and the people they can turn to for help.
- Then create avenues for giving (and receiving feedback). This is another crucial part of onboarding because it ensures that the new hires are settled in and have everything they need to be successful in their work. “All departments in MindNation have weekly alignment meetings to determine that all tasks are delivered and to ensure that the employee’s workload is enough and does not burn them out,” Kana shares. “If they are struggling, we adjust timelines or give more guidance — anything that they need to make their working experience better.”
Additionally, new hires at MindNation have weekly or bimonthly one-on-ones with their line managers; these are not for project updates, but informal conversations centered around the employee’s mental health and well-being.
First impressions matter, and you can start off your relationship with your new employee on the right foot by treating the onboarding process as a part of your business’ success.
Taking care of a new team member’s well-being is part of an effective onboarding process. MindNation’s holistic well-being program ensures that everyone from new hires to veteran executives become happier, healthier, and more productive. Our services include 24/7 teletherapy sessions with psychologists and WellBeing Coaches, Group Sessions, virtual webinars, and surveys and analytics. For more information, visit www.mindnation.com or email [email protected].