You made the offer and the candidate accepted. Now it’s time to bring on your newest employee.

Your new hire is understandably nervous. After all, he’s entering a new environment with unknown personalities and new expectations. The introduction of your new employee into your business can go either of two ways:
1. You can throw your new employee to the wolves and hope he survives; or,
2. You can carefully lay a foundation for your new employee’s career to build confidence and skills.

While the first option might initially seem less resource intensive, it ultimately costs the business money due to higher employee turnover, mistakes that must be fixed, and annoyed clients who rightfully think that your employees should know what they’re doing. Survival of the fittest might define business in general, but it shouldn’t define how you treat your employees.

Take the time

New employee orientation takes time and effort, but benefits the organization in the long run. A new employee who feels uncomfortable in his new position will take longer to reach his full potential. Orientation, says Oregon State University:
• Provides the new employee with the information necessary to make him comfortable in the job.
• Builds employee confidence and helps him adapt more quickly to the job.
• Facilitates better communication and productivity among staff.
• Improves employee retention.

Forbes magazine advises focusing the new employee orientation process on the employee, not the company. They cite a 2013 paper published in Administrative Science Quarterly that found “shifting the focus to an employee’s personal identity leads to an increase in both employee retention and customer satisfaction.”

Create a process

Bringing on a new employee is at least as crucial as bringing on a new client. As with most things integral to the running of your business and the satisfaction of your clients, a well-designed, thoughtful process benefits everyone.
According to Chron, the employee orientation program should create a positive first impression of the company. The orientation process helps employees acquire an understanding of corporate expectations with regard to attire, behavior, performance, and more. The process allows new employees to gain an in-depth understanding of benefits, especially those that require a certain waiting period before they become available. Finally, a new employee orientation program helps new hires to engage with staff and project work so they can hit the ground running. Assigning a mentor who can quickly establish himself as the friendly, go-to resource worthy of trust expedites this process.

Sink or swim

The cost of a poor new employee onboarding process can be difficult to quantify. If the new hire’s skills don’t match the job or the new hire’s personality clashes with the company culture, you’ve got an expensive problem. Dice.com lists the potential costs companies incur simply during the interview process: “travel, hotel and meals, training and orientation, employment testing, termination costs such as Cobra, unemployment and potential litigation expenses should the candidate decide to sue you for wrongful dismissal, plus relocation costs and outplacement or career transition costs.” Costs that are more difficult to assign dollar amounts to can prove lethal to a business that fails to properly integrate new employees: “lower employee morale, customer dissatisfaction, lost customers, lost sales, reduced quality of products and low production.” That doesn’t include speculation among remaining employees as to why the new hire left, the resulting doubt about their own job security, and the resentment of having to shoulder the additional workload that person’s absence causes.

The Heggen Group can help your company design a process that takes new employees by the hand and guides them through integration into their new jobs. We help you lay the solid foundation for new employees to learn the policies, procedures, and culture of their new workplaces to facilitate a better understanding of company expectations and become valuable assets to the company.