Tips for HR Professionals to Help New Employees

HR professionals play a pivotal role in helping new employees and a talented human resources department can minimize stress, anxiety, and other overwhelming feelings for a new hire when first starting the job. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that, "up to 20 percent of turnover takes place in the first 45 days." This means that one in five new hires are quitting — largely due to subpar HR onboarding processes.

Losing an employee, new hire, or otherwise, can be extremely expensive, so your company's onboarding process is crucial to employee retention. However, it does not stop there. Sure, your HR department can have a stellar onboarding process, but you will need more during the first 45 days (maybe more) to make your new team member feel like they want to stay. HR and management alike must help their new employees adjust to their new role(s) and workplace environment to have an employee that is appreciative and wants to stay with your company.

Onboarding

Although new employee orientation isn't the only thing, it is a fundamental process when it comes to setting a new employee up for success. Onboarding should start directly after a new employee's start date to introduce them to your company, fill out the necessary paperwork, and inform them of company policies. A new hire most likely won't know exactly what to expect when first starting, and it is your job to answer their questions and concerns and facilitate them through the starting process.

It can be overwhelming for a new hire to try to understand the sea of paperwork and forms they need to fill out. To accommodate your new team member — relieving a sense of anxiety — HR should carefully layout paperwork such as I-9's and W-4’s, as well as thoroughly explain company policies so that they get a comprehensive understanding of compliance.

If an employee understands what is required of them, including dress code, safety procedures, and especially their hours and attendance policy, they can better prepare and schedule for things such as mapping out their sleep schedule if they have a night shift. Being able to gear up and organize their day outside of work will relieve feelings of anxiety for a new hire.

Additionally, give them a tour of the company and introduce them to people they will be working closely with. It is best to provide a copy of your signed employee handbook for your new team member to be able to have these policies and forms on hand to refer back to — as it is an enormous amount of information right out of the starting gate. An employee who is not fretting about paperwork, understands the do's and don'ts of the company, and knows simply where the bathroom is or who to talk to for help in their first days will be content and ready to fulfill job responsibilities.

Training

A good HR department will make a new hire feel confident while going through all of the bureaucracy and red tape above. An excellent HR department will make them feel comfortable about knowing their responsibilities in their new position. Many feelings of nervousness for a new employee stems from them not knowing exactly what their future job will entail. Whether formal or informal, a period of training should be undertaken by management and/or HR to clarify what is expected of them while fulfilling their new job duties.

Training is necessary for complex job roles or learning a new software program. However, it should be invested in for any new employee to talk with them about their job and ensure that they understand their responsibilities. For instance, understanding company policies on how to deal with a difficult customer will help a new employee become more self-assured and more confident in successfully doing so.

To gain a better grasp of their position, it may help to go over the history, vision, goals, and organizational structure of the company to see where their job and responsibilities fit in. In many ways, it helps an employee to understand their position better if they know how their duties contribute to the company as a whole.

Make Them Feel Welcome

Getting an employee through orientation and ensuring they understand their job roles is only half the battle. A significant factor determining if a new employee will leave your company or not is if they feel they are included in the company culture. An HR department should already know that negativity in the workplace can cost you financially, and losing an employee due to a negative company culture will cost you even more time and money.

Introducing your new team member to your company culture should start at orientation and training. Appoint a coworker to show your new hire around and eat lunch with them, and make sure to introduce them to the people that they will be working with. This is a good start, however, these initial introductions and small talk may dwindle in the first weeks of a new hire's starting date. To really make a new team member feel welcome is to make sure they are engaged with the happenings around the workplace.

A collaborative company culture that engages your new employee will inspire them to want to stay part of the culture. In fact, as Villanova reports, highly engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave the company, reducing employee turnover. So, make sure management and coworkers get to know your new employee, command and recognize them for their achievements, and includes them on teamwork inside the office as well as activities outside of work.

Having a plan in place for your new hire is not only crucial in employee retention, but it also will show your new employee you care for them. Helping them overcome the many difficulties that are included when starting a new job will make them a very appreciative and want to become a notable employee within the company. Losing a new hire is expensive and time-consuming. An HR department can save time and money while developing a happy and productive employee by merely helping them through this overwhelming process.

About BrookeFaulkner

brooke-faulkner-bio

I'm a people-person through and through. When I'm not elbows-deep in the inner workings of small business retail, I'm negotiating the mesmerizing world of online community-building and dreaming of new, creative ways to help people connect through the written word. 

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