How to Integrate New Hires into Your Team Effectively

Start your new hires off on the right foot by taking a proactive approach.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2018 that the median employee tenure for men was 4.3 years and 4 years for women. Unlike previous generations, today’s workforce is not shy about finding greener pastures; meaning organizations are bringing in new hires at increasing rates.

It gets worse for employers – US unemployment rates are at record lows, and businesses are struggling to find and retain quality talent.

These stark realities have caused many organizations to focus their efforts on employee retention. If you hire an employee, you do so with the idea that they’ll be there long-term.

Why do 28% of employees quit in their first 90 days? Poor onboarding practices.

Employee retention starts the moment you hire the employee. Not only should you consider strategies to increase their satisfaction with your company, but you also need to find ways to help them understand their role and integrate into the team quickly. After all, almost 28% of new employees quit inside the first 90 days of employment.

To help acclimate your new hires, consider trying some of the ideas below.

Be Honest and Clear During the Hiring Process

Integrating new hires effectively starts with the hiring process. Unfortunately, some hiring managers are more focused on filling a position than they are on filling it with the best candidate. This approach often leads to hiring the wrong person.

Transparency during the hiring process is important to the hire and to the organization. Be clear and upfront about the position and expectations. Avoid covering the negatives of the role –the employee will discover it themselves if they are hired.

Vacant positions can mean lost money for an organization, but the wasted resources and money of employee turnover from hiring the wrong person can be exponentially higher. Take a slow and methodical approach to filling a position, and do not be afraid of honesty. If you set clear expectations, you and your new hire will be happier.

Announce the New Hire to Your Team Before They Start

Integrating your new hire into an established team takes buy-in from your current employees. An easy way to get buy-in is to send an announcement to your employees about the new hire.

Announcing the new hire to your team through a meeting or email allows you to communicate the new employee’s experience and skills to help illustrate the value they can bring to your team. This introduction also gives you the opportunity to set clear expectations about the new hire – including their start date, their job title, and duties among other things.

Announcing the new hire to your team before they begin working also gives your current employees an opportunity to find commonality or shared interest with the new hire. This can make the current employees more accepting and welcoming when the new employee starts.

Give Your New Hire a Welcome Package

We’ve all been a new employee before; and if you can remember, the first day is a nerve-racking experience. Help mitigate some of those nerves and start the working relationship off on a positive note by giving your new hire a welcome package.

A welcome package is an opportunity for employers to provide pertinent information about the organization and company culture, while also rewarding the new hire – which is an important component of employee retention.

The creative minds behind the employee welcome package called the “Induction Box” had this to say about how employees respond to their welcome package:

“The response we got from our new employees is more than what we expected. The new employee welcome kit solidifies everything —- our cultures, our values, and our expectations. On top of all, we love seeing the faces of our new employees light up when they receive them.”

Provide Great Onboarding and Training

You want your new hire to feel comfortable immediately – and one of the best ways to accomplish that is through an organized and efficient onboarding process. Research suggests that 69% of employees that experience great onboarding will stay with an organization for three or more years. HR software like CakeHR can help organizations streamline their onboarding and mitigate employee turnover.

In addition to onboarding, new employees need training to acclimate into your team quickly. An excellent training program will provide the new hire with a better understanding of their role while also increasing their productivity for the organization; it’s a win, win.

Organizations are turning to learning management systems (LMS) software as a way to improve their training programs. LMS software provides a centralized, digital solution that enables organizations to create, manage, deliver, and track employee training more efficiently than traditional training programs.

Introduce the New Hire Across the Organization

You want new hires to feel welcomed and part of the team. To help accomplish this objective, you should take time to introduce your hires to different people throughout the organization.

In addition to the employees who will work directly with the new hire, find opportunities to introduce them to employees in different departments, customers, supply-chain partners, and especially, upper management. Not only will these introductions make the new hire feel valued, but it also gives you an opportunity to communicate their role within the larger organizational ecosystem.

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Further, one of the most important techniques to help new hires feel acclimated is to arrange a one-on-one time with their direct managers. In fact, a study from LinkedIn found that 96% of employees stated that the most important part of their onboarding was the time spent with their direct managers.

Arrange Social Events Without Involving Work

A recent survey from Korn Ferry that workplace stress has risen by nearly 20% in the last 30 years. In fact, 66% of employees lose sleep because of work-induced stress, and 16% have left their job because of the mounting stress from their employer.

Candidates want to see your culture in action

Stress in the workplace is common, but it can be even more overwhelming for new hires. Between the inordinate amount of new information and tasks to the unfamiliarity of the people and the environment, it can create added pressure that leads to increased turnover.

To help mitigate workplace stress and improve rapport between your team and new hire, consider arranging social events outside the office. These social outings allow your team to build organic relationships with each other, relieve workplace stress, and promote team-building.

Use Shadowing or Assign a Mentor

The objective for most new hire training is to provide resources and materials that can help the employee acclimate themselves to the role and the organization. While reading guides or watching training videos are helpful, they are less engaging than hands-on, immersive learning.

On-the-job employee training through shadowing or mentoring can drastically increase the speed at which your new hire adjusts. Shadowing, in particular, helps new hires understand the subtle nuances of a position by seeing first-hand how an experienced employee accomplishes similar tasks. Watching how someone else executes the job provides context and increases the new hire’s competency.

Assigning a mentor is another way for employers to integrate new hires into an established team. While mentoring is similar to shadowing in that your new hire is training with an experienced employee, it takes things a step further.

Shadowing mostly involves watching another employee execute their job. However, a mentor is designed to take on the role of a leader. This employee will take the new hire under their wing and be their support system as they familiarize themselves with their role and the organization.

Both shadowing and mentoring are hands-on training techniques that will improve your onboarding and new employee satisfaction.

It Should Extend Beyond the Training/Probation Period

A lot of the strategies above discuss techniques that are designed to educate, engage, and retain new hires. While this is paramount to the onboarding of these new employees, the organization continue to focus on employee satisfaction after the training and probation period.

Organizations that don’t place an emphasis on employee growth and retention will lose their most important assets – their employees. You should always look for opportunities to support your team, new and old.

Christine Soeun Choi is a digital marketing associate at Fit Small Business. Currently based in NYC, she has a background in business studies and math with a passion for business development. Outside of work, Christine enjoys taking photos, exploring artwork, and traveling.

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