10 Ways to Engage Your New Hires and Get Them Productive Fast

Start off on the right foot with your new employee



You’ve done the hard work of recruiting and found the perfect employee. Now you can relax and wait for them to arrive on their first day of work. Pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Stop right there! Don’t be so fast congratulating yourself and moving on to the next big thing on your to-do list. Yes, I know you’ve got lots to do, but you do want that shiny new hire to show up on day one, right? Well, get back to work and cover these 10 thing

1.   Stay connected after they’ve accepted your offer.

Don’t ignore your candidate once he or she has accepted your offer to become part of the company. Start with simple things like sending them some information about their new job and the company: their job description, a copy of the company newsletter, or a welcome message from the owner.

2.   Send them your employee handbook and all those forms.

You don’t want your new hire to sit in a room by themselves reading your handbook and filling out forms on their first day. You want them to get to work. Your new employee is excited about the work they’ll do, not paperwork. Have them arrive on their first day with the forms completed.

3.   Create an experience that makes them feel part of your team.

You want your new hire to feel like they are part of your team. Show them what it means to be part of your company and how their work contributes. This could be an informal get-together with other staff members, a tour of the facility, or including them in after-hours events like happy hours or other social activities.

4.   Pay attention to what’s important to your new hire.

This is where many businesses fail in their onboarding process. Once your candidate accepts your offer of employment, you give them the information they need to understand their new position. This is an important career move for your candidate, and you want to recognize that. Spend the time between the offer acceptance and the start date getting to know your candidate a little better. Find ways to involve them with their work before they start, like inviting them to join you on a customer visit. Your candidate will appreciate it and it will pay off with a shorter learning curve.

5.   Have their work space ready.

Imagine how it feels to arrive on your first day and your workspace isn’t ready. It’s not too difficult to make sure that the basics are set up. Have a desk, chair, computer, phone, and basic office supplies. Maybe even include a nice card or note that says, “We’re glad you’re here.”

6.   Have a plan for their first day, week, and month.

Set aside time to introduce your new hire to their new co-workers, take a tour of the office, and give them a schedule for their first week. Don’t forget that it’s hard to be the new kid on the block. Set up a lunch with a few people. Everyone has to eat and it’s a great way for your new hire to get to know his or her new co-workers.

7.   Connect your new hire with the people they need to know.

Who do they need to meet with both internally and externally? Set those meetings up in advance. Instead of just tossing your new hire out there to figure out who he or she needs to meet, you can have your new hire connected to those people right away. You already know the most important contacts, and you don’t want your most important customers or vendors feeling ignored by your new hire.

8.   Give your new hire a go-to person.

Assign your new hire a go-to person for questions or if they run into problems. This is an opportunity for the go-to person to demonstrate leadership skills, and a way for your new employee to get help and feedback without having to worry about appearing silly in front of his or her new boss.

9.   Help them learn your language.

Every company has its own lingo. Help your new hire understand yours: What acronyms do you use? What industry terms might be new or unfamiliar? You don’t want your new hire going into a meeting with an important customer and using the wrong terminology. Don’t assume that your candidate knows everything. Taking a few moments to make sure your new hire has a clear understanding of the lingo will set him or her up for success.

10. Create a master checklist.

Standardize your onboarding process. Create a master checklist that you or your hiring managers can go through and put all the relevant new hire information in one place. This master checklist documents every single thing that has to happen, and by what day, in order for everything to be ready on your new hire’s first day. Include things from the date your new hire signs the offer letter until about six months into their employment. Document things like performance check-ins, setting goals, salary increases, and benefits eligibility.

With a solid plan, your new hire will be productive and contributing on day one. Your new employee will feel taken care of and part of the team, be more satisfied with their new job, their boss, and the company. You may even find that turnover is reduced. When your new hire experiences this kind of welcome and introduction to the job and the company, they can focus on learning their job and doing their work. And isn’t that your goal anyway?

Can you add to this list or share some insights about how you’ve used these in your business? Got a question?

Feel free to post in the comments below or schedule an insight meeting with me. And, please feel free to share.