Starting a new career can be challenging. The fast-paced environment and high expectations of most manufacturing companies amplify the challenges. It’s not enough to hand a new employee a handbook and tell them to get to work. You need to facilitate a well-organized onboarding process if you want a winning team. This onboarding process should go beyond the training an employee would need to operate specific machinery or perform a specific function. Going deeper with onboarding can strengthen the first impression and create excitement and loyalty.
1. What needs to happen before the first day of employment?
What are tactics that can be put in place to help the new employee feel connected and perhaps begin the onboarding process at their own pace, before day one? Think about company background material that can be read leisurely, human resources paperwork, a welcome gift (outside of a signing bonus) from the company or team, etc. Most of these details should be managed, and delivered, by the organization with an invitation to the new employee to engage as they are able.
2. What do the first several days on the job look like?
Make a checklist, make sure the new employee has someone (or several people) walking them through the processes and procedures of your company in the first week. What tours should take place? What cultural aspects or conveniences are helpful to know right away, such as customary break times, lunch culture, location of restrooms and other key “bonus” areas such as workout facilities, proximity to favorite dining spots, etc. You might consider aligning the new hire with a mentor, who is not a direct report or manager, who can provide companionship and insight throughout the first 90 days of employment.
3. What does the first year look like?
The first year is often the riskiest when it comes to attrition. According to Jobvite, 30% of job seekers have left a job within 90 days of starting. Naturally, it takes time for an employee to settle into their new career and build relationships with new peers. It’s vital that the new employee is engaged well and often in the first year. This could look like:
Assigned non-manager mentor (mentioned above)
30-, 60-, 90-, 120-day meetings to address questions, inquire about the employee’s experience, share resources, etc.
Scheduled, formal performance reviews identified during the onboarding process (consider bi-annual in the first year)
Invitations to new employees to participate in culture-related activity planning
New employee recognition, awards, and rewards for hitting specific milestones
New employee training program that spans the first six months or year—a formalized approach to integrating the new employee into the organization. According to research by Medium, 90% of employees are more productive with gamification, with 72% reporting that inspires them to work harder.