The first few days and weeks at a new job can lay the foundation for a positive work experience, with lasting effects on your employee’s engagement, retention, and productivity. “On-boarding” is an initiative aimed at creating a positive foundation for new employees as they enter into the organization and launch relationships with their managers and colleagues, and it is designed for the whole employee. Throughout this process, it is important to maintain awareness of the employee’s needs in the context of his/her new work environment. Here are some on-boarding steps that will help you to ensure that your new employee performs better, sooner, and is able to integrate into our unique culture and way of doing things at BWH.
This is the time for you to make preparations that will enable a smooth entry. Some items, such as arranging for equipment and systems access, require lead time; taking steps prior to the start date will help ensure that your new employee will have access to the resources, people, and information that will help him or her to be comfortable, stabilized, and productive as soon as possible.
Allow the new employee time to become familiar with his/her new equipment, systems, processes, and colleagues. Make it clear that you are available to answer any questions or concerns.
Be present to welcome the new employee upon his/her arrival. Provide an overview of the first day and week, including a printed agenda.
Initially, a key consideration for each day is to provide the employee with a few tasks, so as not to overwhelm him/her. If the time seems limited, set aside an item or two to address another day, and let the new employee know your plans (for example: “Let’s meet at 10:00 tomorrow morning to go over some department procedures and to visit some other staff you’ll be interacting with.”).
As the first month proceeds, reduce the frequency of your check-ins with the new employee, while continuing to be available to him/her. Focus on building a solid relationship with the new employee, as this relationship with you is one of the most significant in his/her work life. His/her productivity, loyalty, and commitment begin at this personal level. At the same time, your focus should turn, increasingly, to the employee’s performance. You may find it helpful to review the 90-day Performance Evaluation Form to help you assess his/her performance.
Throughout the remainder of the new employee’s 90-day probationary period, be aware of the strengths and challenges reflected in his/her performance and work product.