Making new team members comfortable and getting them to contribute as soon as possible is the objective of the onboarding program. This is particularly true of lateral hires or those who join your organization with prior experience elsewhere.
Every newcomer has his/her own anxieties. Common questions upper most in their minds include: Have I made the right choice? Will I fit in to the new organization? What will the work environment be like?
Like any other people process, every organization claims to have some kind of induction or onboarding process. Unfortunately, not many implement them with the importance the process deserves. There are innumerable horror stories of new hires floundering in a new environment or worse made to feel as if they were not expected in the first place.
I have found the first contact with the new hire to be very important to him/her. You may be awfully busy as a manager but make time for the new hire. The first few days are extremely important as you have the opportunity to shepherd the new hire into your organization. If you don’t teach them the right things, you can be sure they will pick up the wrong way of doing things merely because of a lack of guidance or direction.
Induction gives you a great chance to get to know the new hire, their interests, their strengths. It helps you communicate your thoughts and feelings on your team and your organization. It gives pointers to the new hire on the culture you would like to see him/her emulate.
Even if many years have gone by, most of us remember our first day at a new organization, don’t we? The memory may be positive or negative but as they say, first impressions tend to stick.
Make that first impression a positive one. Make time for that new hire.
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