Every new employee comes to a job hoping to succeed. How they are treated during their first few days on the job (in fact it starts during the interview process!) will set the tone for your business relationship for the term of their employment.
1. Prepare for the new hire
Ensure you have organised everything that the new hire will need before they arrive. This extends to ensuring you have all the ‘new starter’ forms organised (bank details, super, tax declaration, etc), their desk prepared, their computer login details sorted, business cards ready and all stationery and IT requirements setup. You want to give a positive impression of a well-organised business that cares about their employees.
2. Lock in time
New hires need dedicated time to bring them up to speed. Ensure you have blocked out time to spend with them on their first day, as well as at least 30 minutes a number of times during the first week to answer questions. You should also arrange fortnightly or monthly catch-ups during the whole probation period, so you can give them meaningful feedback.
3. Update your HR Policy Manual
Every business needs an HR Policy Manual that documents all the essential information for new hires. This should include not only the essentials relating to pay, it should also specify how the employee can request leave, how to handle grievances, and policies relating to your code of conduct, harassment, bullying and workplace health and safety.
4. Set Clear Expectations
New hires want to know what is an acceptable standard of performance. Set clear and reasonable performance expectations during the first week of employment using the employee’s Job Description to guide the discussion. Also be sure to set expectations about behaviour. These can be aligned to your company values.
Take time to walk them through the Performance Review process and timeframes, and be sure to give them regular feedback from day 1. Remember there should be no surprises in review discussions.
5. Don’t Overwhelm
It is easy to try to cram in everything someone needs to know in a 1-hour timeslot – and then wonder why they don’t remember what you said.
People new in a job carry a lot of stress in their first few days. Stress = brain fog = not remembering. Pace your information flow and put the essential pieces of information in writing for the person to refer to later. Turn your fire hose of information down to a sensible stream of information to help the person adjust and learn at a realistic pace. That’s why an induction plan over 3 months is really beneficial.