The first day of any new endeavor is hard (flashbacks to junior high or summer camp). Beyond these normal anxieties, however, onboarding at a new job comes with a special torture inflicted by all the requirements of corporate bureaucracies, namely: complete, utter boredom.
The start of a new job can feel dreary and uninviting. The first days are filled with paperwork and pedantic instruction on corporate minutia.
It’s a shame, too, because the early stages of a person’s career set the tone for the rest of their tenure. Plus, the first few days mark the time of peak enthusiasm for the new worker … the point they are most impressionable and most excited about the fresh opportunity.
Wouldn’t it be nice to extend that excitement a little longer?
There are tactics that can improve engagement and diminish the dreariness. A little care in how the onboarding process is run and you can preserve that initial enthusiasm – at least until the real work begins.
Make Contact Before the Official Start Date
Don’t wait until the first day to talk to a new employee. Reach out ahead of time and keep in touch during the period before they officially join the firm. You can pass on important information and begin laying the groundwork for a strong working relationship.
Beyond building a connection with the new hire, you can smooth their way into the company. You can alleviate a lot of first-day jitters by detailing what the incoming employee should expect from the onboarding process.
New environments are scary because, well … they’re new. People don’t know what to expect. By providing an outline of the employee’s early tenure, you can prepare them for a pleasant and constructive first day, which in turn sets the stage for everything that follows.
Create a Welcoming Environment
Imagine you’re a new hire, nervous for your first day. You come into a new place, fresh, excited, wound up … and no one really cares.
The annoyed receptionist wasn’t expecting you. You sit around until the right person from HR shows up, gets your name wrong, and hustles you into a sterile conference room where you’ll begin hours of boring lessons and paperwork.
Now imagine an alternative reality: An upbeat receptionist greets you by name, walks you directly to a room where a small reception of your new co-workers has gathered to welcome you to the company.
A little effort on the first impression goes a long way to improving a new hire’s perception of the onboarding process.
Break Training Into Smaller Lessons
You need to communicate a lot of information during the onboarding process. Trying to deliver these all at once can be mind-numbing.
However, if you can find a way to break up the more boring and rote portions of the onboarding process, it can make them more palatable. If you have 12 hours of material to get through, don’t try to cram it all into two days. Break it up into smaller half-hour or hour chunks and spread it out over a few more days.
Mix small portions of the boring stuff in with more practical training and get-to-know-you activities with other team members. The process will feel more pleasant, and the new recruit will likely retain more of the information.
Include Social Activities
Much of the joy of office life (such as there is) comes from other people. The closer you are to your co-workers, the less like work the endeavor will feel. Also, a connection between employees will foster teamwork, eventually leading to a more efficient and more productive group.
With that in mind, take steps to integrate the new employee into the office social life. Set up lunches with co-workers during the onboarding process and arrange for at least one after-hours get together. It will also set the new employee up as a strong team member from the start of their tenure.
Successful onboarding becomes easier when you have the right recruits. Strong employees keep their enthusiasm and quickly absorb the preliminary information they need to become productive employees.
Top-flight recruiters, like SmartTalent, can fast-track that process. Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.