Best Way to Onboard New Hires

March 31, 2015

The walkaround intros for a new-hire are sort of like a receiving line at a wedding. A nice way to ensure you get to see everyone, but a little awkward and slightly painful. Still, some people respect the etiquette and formality, and that’s great. If you don’t, that’s OK too. Covering a new-hire’s desk in candy and making anyone in the office who wants a piece introduce himself in order to get one is an interesting approach that can lead to happiness, even if only short-term and sugar-induced. Still, if there’s a way to make the experience more pleasant and meaningful you shouldn’t be afraid to try it. It can take a long time for someone new to meet the people they’ll need to meet, and that’s really the best way to set your new-hires up for success.

The Plop Method

Let’s start by saying this isn’t a great method and, sadly, it’s prevalent. Borne more out of a lack of planning than any sort of Ayn Randian obstacle meant to make your newbie stronger, the plop method (helping them set up their email then saying Good luck) often leaves people confused and stressed. Not exactly setting up conditions for success. Of course, the converse isn’t so good either.

The Helicopter Manager

Maybe you just want to be helpful. You know the thorny patches that should be avoided and you want to ensure your precious newbie doesn’t slip into the bureaucratic glue traps then come out the other side jaded and cynical. Well don’t get carried away, your newbie should forge his/her own path and be given space to solve problems in their own way. There’s a balance, but be sure to schedule a lot of one-on-one meetings where you can loosen the reins a bit and listen closely. A fresh perspective is very valuable and too often dismissed.

Acknowledge Kickoffs and Completions

People want to know that the goals they set and the ones being set for them will have an impact. This is absolutely critical. Be sure to acknowledge progress, and in a timely manner. Don’t put these things off. You might not hear any complaints, but you will certainly make people unhappy and less engaged if you slack off on this.

At NextGen, we like to make sure when we onboard new employees, we keep the orientation meeting to a minimum. We want our managers to be thoughtful with everyone that comes in; it can’t be a perfunctory process. We generally introduce them around the office, and have a welcome party on Thursday afternoon. By that time, the thrust of the daunting first week has slackened and everyone can relax a little better and start making meaningful connections.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

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