Like the changing of the guard, every business will have certain moments that come around once but every 5 years or so. A mass hiring or new employees can happen less than every 5 years but this is due to your growth, expansion to new territories and possibly recovering from an economic shock.
Otherwise, you’re going to be hiring a new wave of employees only after a few things have occurred in your business which also happen to take approximately 5 years. There could be an outgoing wave of retirees that have worked for as long as they can and now want to run with their money and retire. There could also be an unfortunate amount of people that have not proved themselves to take your business further. This could be managers and even c-suite rank employees that have not lived up to your expectations. It might also be that you simply want to hire a newer younger generation of employees to grab a hold of the current consumer climate such as among millennials. Regardless of the reason, here is how your business should integrate this new wave of employees.
First Week Is Observation Time
New waves of employees could number in the tens or even in the hundreds. Usually the number is between, with 50 to 100 employees being shown around the office, various assets like the manufacturing facility, storage facility and so on. The first week should only be about observing what is going on in these areas. Bear in mind they might have come from a totally different company culture. Therefore they need time to absorb and observe the day to day life in your business. Throwing them in at the deep end is not going to help make them feel welcome and could possibly make them feel they are just a quick hire to plug a hole. If you have gone through amazing due diligence then you won’t mind taking your time to introduce your new employees to your business for they could be with you for many decades.
Who should walk them around the office? Usually it’s a manager but it can also be a nominated employee of a junior rank. If things are busy and you don’t have people to spare, then someone who has been with your company for months or years can go ahead and explain to them what is going on. Show them the different departments, walk them around the office and show them who is doing what, where different ranks are sitting. For example, the marketing department has its own space and the Director of Marketing might be sat in a specific place. The same should happen for your manufacturing facility and storage units if you have them.
Making It Official
Once they are comfortable with what they experience in the first week, they should be integrated into your database. This will include things like your task management software, your payroll, team management software, department list of employees and any kind of HR groups such as health insurance plans etc. For this you can use a crew scheduling software where you can track and store the profile of your most recent employees and join them onto the various schedules, projects, teams and roles.
You also have control over the application process so if an employee is being tested and or trained to move up in rank, you can customize their experience and tasks to your own business requirements. The employees will also be able to securely upload their profile pictures, documents and resumes. You get streamlined alerts and updates as to when something has been updated or changed so communication remains fluid and constantly in real-time. It’s vital you check up on their onboarding process and experience thus far, so any hiccups and issues can be resolved quickly for a smooth transition.
Absorb the Department Culture
Every employee will be settling into their new departments and absorbing the culture. Marketing departments have a much more creative atmosphere than in sales. In sales you’re dealing with hard numbers and speaking with people trying to interact with them and convince them to buy. In marketing you’re trying to persuade consumers to pay attention to your business and also be relevant in the current social and cultural events. The research and development department will more so be focussed on the engineering aspects and design. So, each new employee has to get used to these environments in your business. It allows them to get over the shock of being around new people, different techniques and standards.
The first week or so, the employee should be given the menial tasks in their particular role. For example, if you have hired a new manager in the accounting and finance department, they should be given the basic task of accounting for a project. This could be just to check that the money is being well spent, to give a small report on the expenses of the month in a particular department. Alternatively the new employee could just make sure every employee is being paid for the month as well as helping to finalize the tax amount for that month. Small tasks like this should be given before they move headlong into their permanent role.
Supporting Their Individuality
This next topic goes up into very deep discussion circles in the more academic side of business and sociology. The question is, should you introduce the culture of the business and the way you do things first to your new employee, or simply ask them to introduce themselves to your business? This can be done in a simple two side question, such as asking the employees how do their values and your business’ values match up? The other side is asking them, what would make them work at their very best while being in this new environment? The danger of the second question is that individual employees might shake and disrupt the culture of your business. This would mean that every employee interjects their own values into your business, eventually diluting and destroying your business culture that you had built.
However, if you introduce your own values to the employee and ask them to think about how their own values merge or match the values of the business first, then this sets the tone. It means that they understand they are interacting and working in an environment that you want, that you have set up to achieve your most ambitious aims. Then and only then can you ask them to think about what would make them work at their very best. This allows them to understand the framework within they are in but still allow them to express themselves and remain a unique individual.
Let Them Take the Reins
After about a week or so, the next phase will be to integrate new employees into their intended roles. The first month of any new hiring is crucial.it will determine whether or not the employee will stay with your business over the next 3 to 4 months. This is the average amount of time that employees take to make up their minds. They either like your company culture, fit in properly and like the standards at which they are working, or they don’t. So the quicker you can get them oriented into their roles, the faster they will be able to smoothly integrate into their new professional lives. One way to do this is to give them the reins but also give them some added support. Get them into their new roles, demand a higher standard from them than the first week or so, but have another far more experienced employee watch over and help them.
How do you go about doing this? Try to include them in the daily tasks that you are doing in each department. If the employee has entered into the business when a new project is just about to start, then assign their role as per their job hiring. If they are entering into your business at a time when you are in the middle of completing a project, then things have to go a bit differently. For example, someone may have already taken their role and is working in the project. It would be rude to suddenly ask them employee to stop doing their work, and give it over to the new employee. Hence why, instead you should fix the new employee and the covering employee together and allow him or her to be filled in on what is going on. From then on, the manager and or director of the department should check in on them and answer any questions while they fit in and get the hang of things.
Onboarding is a very complex set of integration tasks that a business must do to allow the new wave of employees to be as good as the previous. Use a software that will allow you to track the progress of each individual and also, spread them around the various tasks and departments evenly. Give them time to absorb your company culture, allow them to sit and observe the daily activities and get to know the workers around them.