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One of the most time-consuming tasks managers face is recruiting and hiring the right people. The process doesn’t end once the candidate signs the offer letter! Retention during the first 90 days and beyond is critical and unfortunately, it is one of the most neglected functions in many companies.

Investing in employee orientation is an opportunity to build loyalty with your organization. The most frequent complaints heard from new hires are that the first few days of training are either overwhelming or unproductive. It’s not surprising that many question their decision to change companies by the end of their first week.

Here are some tips to help your valuable new employee feel welcome:

Be Prepared

There is nothing worse than being left in the lobby your first morning while your manager scrambles to find you a desk and computer password. It makes all the difference for a new hire to feel at home when they walk in on their first day and find a space ready for them.

Help Them Be Productive

While an employee handbook and HR paperwork may be necessary on the first day, be sure to also include at least observation of the duties that made the employee excited about the position! Try to have the first week of training organized on a spreadsheet with scheduled meetings, instruction, and other events. It is important that employees learn as soon as possible what is expected of them.

Communicate

Adding the new employee to the email distribution list even before their start date can help them feel welcome and informed. Be sure to keep the communication positive! New hire programs should also educate the employee about the values, history and important players in the organization. Additionally, make sure the employee knows of any regular office celebrations and organized social events.

Be Available

Don’t have them start when the manager is busy with deadlines and unable to make training top priority. This may leave the employee with too much time on their hands. Managers should also plan for one-on-one weekly meetings to evaluate performance and to address any concerns on both sides.

Give Them a Mentor

During the interview process, it’s typical for a prospect to meet with 2-3 key employees who they may be interacting with in their new role. It’s reassuring to see familiar faces who can then introduce them to other members of the team. Someone should also offer to take the new hire to lunch with the group on the first day. This person can also act as the point of contact for urgent questions when the manager isn’t available. It’s a smart idea to assign this task to someone who is friendly and positive about the organization.

The goal of onboarding is to ensure that your new hires feel confident in their decision to join your organization. The better the initial orientation, the more likely you will retain the employees you worked so hard to recruit!