Three tips for successful new hire assimilation

Organisations deploy significant resources, cost, and time in selecting and recruiting the right employees, but often fail at the next crucial step – successfully on-boarding and assimilating them into the company culture. According to the Bureau of labor statistics, 22% of employee turnover happens in the initial 45 days and 16% over the first week.

Effective on-boarding: A key to successful assimilation

While there are no rigid rules, a good onboarding process takes at least 90 days- that’s the time an average new hire takes to understand job requirements and team relationships, and start identifying with the organisational culture. Two to three day orientation programs focused on imparting information on legal and HR policies are more common –leaving new hires ill-equipped to navigate their way successfully through the company.

Follow these three tips to set up an effective on-boarding program, leading to cascading benefits in the form of superior employee performance and company success:

1. Create the ‘camaraderie effect’

New employee engagement with co-workers across departments should not be limited to annual activities such as team off-sites alone. You could also assign a mentor to each hire - a go-to-person who is tasked with making them feel comfortable. Innovative firms do a great job of this by handing out creative on-boarding kits to newcomers complete with restaurant vouchers, branded stationery, a tablet and anything else that helps convey the company’s culture.

2. Make new employees feel like contributors

Have new hires sample your products or services as soon as they join. The benefits of doing this are three-fold – you get fresh feedback on your offerings, new hires feel like contributors, and they get a hands-on perspective of the organisational vision early on. Share both positive and negative customer feedback with new employees so they know how your company stacks up against the competition and the value proposition they should be building on.

New hires typically have an inherent desire to contribute to the bottom-line straight away – capitalise on this by engaging them in short-term projects where results are quicker. Enterprising organisations put employees on the front line from day one, making them feel like they are making an impact right away. Administrative logistics should ideally be completed ahead of time to make way for an interesting first day as opposed to a dull one spent filling out documents.

3. Implement a 90-day performance review

Identify key milestones and track employee progress with respect to these milestones. Assess their understanding of the job role as well as the company culture – communicate gaps to employees to set the right expectations for the future and recommend ways to fill them. At the same time, don’t forget to gather employee feedback. Some companies conduct a 30 or 60 days review which encourages new hires to express their opinions on how the organisation can improve.

Don’t stop with successful onboarding. Move on to effective ‘inboarding’

In an increasingly competitive talent marketplace, how can companies ensure that their good employees continue to stay on and feel as enthusiastic and motivated as new hires? Smart companies tackle this issue by aligning new hires with organisational vision and following up onboarding with effective inboarding. The process is focused on empowering existing employees to realign with the evolving company culture and upgrade their skills to meet diversifying organisational needs. Just as onboarding helps new hires assimilate within a company culture, inboarding empowers your existing workforce to capitalise better on emerging market opportunities.

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