Every company makes employee onboarding mistakes at one time or another. It can be very hard to make sure that the process goes smoothly every time, particularly without an effective onboarding timeline in place. Whatever your strategy is for welcoming and training new employees, try your best to avoid these common employee onboarding errors.
- Not setting clear expectations from the beginning.
For your new employee’s first day, it’s important to communicate not just what will happen but what is expected of that person. Make sure they know when to arrive, where to park, and what attire will be appropriate. It’s also very helpful to let them know what the first day schedule will be like. This helps put new employees at ease and gives them a chance to prepare for what’s to come.
It’s also important to ensure that new employees have assignments that allow them to contribute to the organization from the beginning. While the first few days may be taken up with orientation and meet-and-greets, giving a new employee a valuable assignment within the first week, and ideally on day one, helps them find their place within your organization and feel like a valued asset.
- Not making new employees feel welcome.
Simply giving a new employee a desk and telling them where the bathrooms are is not an effective welcome. Make a point of introducing new employees to their coworkers and immediate supervisors. It’s also helpful to introduce them to other people who are also new to the organization. If possible, arrange a lunch for the new employee on his or her first day.
Then be sure to follow up. In the weeks and months following their hire, make sure that new employees are getting along with the people around them and finding ways to take part in the company culture.
- Focusing on the negative.
Sometimes in an effort to get chummy with the new hire, people who are onboarding new employees will focus on negative aspects of the company. They’ll talk about how the last guy got fired or a coworker that they don’t like or a supervisor that should be avoided. Of course, no organization is perfect, and friendly insider advice can be quite helpful to new employees. But make sure that the focus of your onboarding is upbeat and excited. You want each new hire to feel like they have a future with this organization that will be productive and positive. Hopefully, they are excited to start this new job, so you should help fuel that excitement, not detract from it.