3 Ways To Onboard New Employees During Your Busiest Season

Many of today’s top employers have developed a comprehensive onboarding program that helps new hires get up to speed, acclimated, and feel welcomed and wanted at their new employer. According to TalentWise, a background screening company, 91% of employees stick around for at least a year when organizations have efficient onboarding processes, and 69% of them stick around for at least three years when companies have well-structured onboarding programs.

But the reality is, sometimes employers with the best of intentions and best onboarding programs, simply do not have the time or resources to slowly onboard new employees. When business is booming, and work needs to get done sometimes new hires need to just get down to the business of doing the job they were hired for, while HR and managers focus on interviewing, hiring and quickly training new staff members.

How then, do employers properly onboard new employees during your busiest season?

Greg Barnett, PhD of the Predictive Index, an organization whose goal is to make it easy for leaders of all business to decode the human element of their organization, provides these tips:

1. Use Social Networking Resources
When onboarding a lot of people at once and with limited resources, one of the best approaches to consider using social technology to bring everyone together at once.

“The idea is that it allows for mass communication and a chance for new people to ask questions and learn from each other as they go through the new job experience,” says Barnett, who is responsible for setting and executing the scientific agenda for The Predictive Index. He leads all Research and Development for Predictive-Index’s science-based behavioral, cognitive, and skills assessments. “It also helps people to get to know other new people who are just stating the journey which can turn into longer lasting relationships or at least expose new employees to other functional areas in a company beyond their own.”  

When using social to onboard new employees, it doesn’t have to be fancy. If a company has an internal social network, then that can be terrific, but a lot of companies use things like company-focused LinkedIn groups or Facebook groups to bring people together.

2. Make Sure They Have The Tools To Do The Job
While you can slowly on-board people around softer things such as the company history, values, and other lines of business, it’s important to make sure the core needs of new employees are taken care of on day one, no matter how busy your business is. Those basic needs, according to Barnett, include:

  • Security: Make sure proper paperwork is complete so they are assured they are getting paid, their benefits/insurance needs are taken care of, and they are ready to work, without worrying about the paperwork.
  • Tools and resources: Do they have computer systems in place? Workstations? Are they ready to hit the production floor? Do they understand your software systems? What are the basics they need to know to be successful?
  • Set up a shadow system: Even if things are “busy” Barnett recommends setting up a shadow system between new and existing employees. With shadowing, new hires are paired up immediately with others in the same role so they can learn the job, have a relationship, ask them other questions, without really getting in the way or causing others to have to stop and take time for more formal onboarding.
  • Make it clear that more formal onboarding will be a part of the process: You want to have a very clear message and plan around when they will learn the other onboarding intangibles, says Barnett. The message should be “We want to get you up and successful in your job first so you feel you made the right choice of jobs, and then little by little we will show you why you made the right decision about our company.”

3. Use Technology To Your Advantage
Hiring busy season requires smart process and the use of technology. A well designed on-demand/informal learning curriculum can also help employees to learn key things that are needed early on (the history of the company or the current product line) and will allow employees to access this material at their own pace.  

Hiring a new employee requires a big investment, and that isn’t always possible during your busiest season, but by incorporating these steps into your onboarding process, you’ll be rewarded with a great new hire who is engaged and highly productive from the start.

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Matt Krumrie is a career columnist and professional resume writer who has been providing helpful information and resources for job seekers and employers for 15+ years. Learn more about Krumrie via resumesbymatt.com, connect with him on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/mattkrumrie/) and follow him on Twitter via @MattKrumrie.

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