Relieve Anxieties with a Great On-boarding Plan
Last week we discussed some tips on creating a great on-boarding program from day one. Making the first day more about learning the lay of the land than paperwork, avoiding “busy work,” and assigning a mentor were the main thoughts. This week we continue the discussion with more ideas to help avoid new hire angst.
First day jitters are really first week to first month jitters for any new employee, except they change over time. The best way to help your newest team member is to have a plan. From day one, there should be a clear set of goals and objectives for the first 90 days. This outline can be included in your packet to the employee either before the first day or on the first day. Set your expectations and give the new hire the tools to reach and exceed them. Your guidance and feedback, along with a mentor will allow this to happen.
Social anxieties are just as high as performance anxieties with new employees. Include in your welcome packet a detailed dress code. Your new hire probably wore a suit during the interview process. They may have a nice outfit or two for the first few days. After that, many are standing in their closets trying to figure out what is appropriate. Outline what is expected. If business casual is acceptable, describe what business casual is at your office. This term has come to include everything from jeans to trouser with button-down shirts and ties. If Friday is more relaxed, define how relaxed.
Another great way to alleviate social anxieties is to set up lunch “dates”for your new hire. Pair them up with one or two colleagues each day during the first week. This will help the new hire and your existing team members become comfortable with each other. It will also help integrate the employee into the office.
After the first week, check in with the new hire and the mentor regularly. The real stress can set in once the new hire is set off to begin work. The most successful on-boarding programs allow the new hire to learn something new every day, building upon each day’s lesson. This allows the new employee to learn the full scope of the position without becoming overwhelmed. Remember that on-boarding is not just the first week or two. The full on-boarding program should span the full 90 days.
A successful on-boarding program addresses both social and performance anxieties. Utilize your team members to help welcome their new colleague. Assign a mentor to see your new hire through their first 90 days with your assistance. Give your new employee a detailed outline of milestones and dress code. These steps will help avoid new employee angst.