We currently have a position open at our company and I started thinking about our employee onboarding process and integrating a new person into the 834 culture. Just this year, I put together a standard operating procedures (SOP) manual to better outline our processes and client reporting. While that is all well and good, there are several other things to keep in mind when bringing on a new employee.
- Time. Set aside time, block out 2 days on your calendar where that employee is your main focus. It is easy to get distracted by emails, meetings and phone calls but that can have a huge impact on the future success of your new employee. By taking the time you are showing that employee that they are important.
- Buddy system. Depending on how large your company is, this may or may not work. Establish a person on your team as a mentor for your new addition. This person can show them the ins and outs of the office, little idiosyncrasies that, as the boss, you may not even be in tune with. It is also important to have someone that is the employee’s equal to establish a rapport with the rest of the team.
- Allow time for culture. Be sure to leave time for team bonding. Order in lunch or schedule a happy hour to give the entire team the chance to get to know each other on a more personal level.
- Outline an agenda. Mapping out the training for the first several days is crucial. Having a set agenda helps organize and prioritize tasks and will present things in a less chaotic fashion. This is also where the SOP comes in, you can refer to it throughout the training and it becomes the new employees guidebook and lifeline to understanding culture and process.
- Assign homework. Since our agency has a variety of clients across multiple industries, it is important for our team members to research and understand each market. We ask that new employees spend time going through client strategies, websites and recent press. This helps them understand how the client is positioned within their market.
Taking the time upfront with an employee will hopefully alleviate issues down the line. By setting clear expectations and explaining policies, the new employee will feel better prepared to jump into their role.