When you need to fill a position, the first step is always attracting top talent, but what do you do to ensure new hires stay? 

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This week we focus on integrating new hires into your existing company culture.  Losing a new hire in the onboarding phase is expensive for all facets of your organization. Having a solid integration plan is the all-important “first impression” which can make or break your retention rate.

After months of searching for the perfect candidate, you finally found someone that fits the bill. You’re anxious to get him/her on board and get started. Now the real work begins. Onboarding is crucial to the success of new hires, particularly in remote locations or cross-cultures.

Onboarding sets the tone for a mutually beneficial and rewarding career.  Providing a clear vision for what success in the role looks like after 6 months, 1 year and 3 years will ensure everyone is on the same page. A focus on desired outcomes vs responsibilities will inevitably lower the risk of turnover.

Treat your new hire like a tourist considering a move to your city. What should he/she know about your “city” that would normally take months to discover on his/her own. Who are the key contacts to make? Who should you call on when you want to know the best restaurants in town? 

To be successful, a new hire requires a deep understanding of organizational purpose, vision, and values. Onboarding should help a new employee:

  1. Comprehend the context of his/her role as it applies to the bigger picture
  2. Understand the expected outcomes of his/her role and
  3. Know who key team members are and where close alliances should be formed.

Company Culture

The inner workings of an organization goes far beyond knowing what you do, where you do it, and what you’re trying to accomplish. Successfully integrating providing new employees with insight into how each person at the company is implicated and contributes to organizational success. Some companies do this with shadowing or short onboarding interviews (opposite of exit interviews).

Organizational Alignment

Ensuring new employees are pointed in the right direction and are clear on both team goals and organizational goals are imperative.  Understanding how each piece of the puzzle fits together, and what each one brings to the table, gives employees vision and a sense of value knowing the importance of their contribution to the overall mission of the company.

Roles

How does each role depend on the other- in a team and within the organization? Knowing how team work plays into the success of the company is vital to a new employee’s success.

Performance

Part of the onboarding or integration is ensuring that new hires understand how their success is to be measured, and what key performance indicators (KPIs) have been implemented. Clearly outlining expectations and objectives reduces frustration from miscommunication for all parties involved. Set your new employees up to succeed! Define KPIs from the onset.

Cooperation

Cooperation is only possible when those working together are all aligned and working toward the same organizational goals. All it takes is one bad apple, one negative attitude, one naysayer to sway the culture of a company and ultimately the success of a new hire. After the huge cost in both dollars and time of hiring and training has been invested, you don’t want an unstable culture to foster doubt or uncertainty in new employees.

Success is a joint responsibility to make sure that everyone is working toward a common goal. Planning training and onboarding of new personnel is worth the investment.

How do you ensure the success of new hires? Is employee retention high on your list of priorities?