In my last article, I explored the benefits of proactive hiring and the impact proactive hiring has on my business. I talked about prioritizing the important over the urgent and setting aside an hour a week to do interviews, regardless of my staffing needs. Now that I have hired the right people I need to put them in the right position and set them up for success.

So, what does effective onboarding look like? Who is involved? Do I need a structured process in place or do I just trust that my most tenured employees can take care of it?

Over my 10 years of experience in hiring, onboarding, and leading people; I found onboarding to be one of the most important and most overlooked time blocks of an employee’s tenure. So why is it important to have a structured onboarding process?

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1. It is the very first impression of the organization

First impressions go a long way. A properly structured onboarding process will show the employee that my company is professional, cares about the success of its employees, and does not care to sacrifice time and resources in the short-term to benefit long-term. Once the first impressions are made, the employee will always look at the company through the “lens” they put on in the onboarding process.

2. It is the best time to build strong discipline and good habits

You ever heard the expression “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? The first 90 days are really important in setting up clear expectations, building the right daily disciplines, and eliminating shortcuts. I have also found that this process helps the existing employees enhance their own discipline just by being a part of this process. On the flip side, skipping steps, encouraging shortcuts, and not setting clear expectations can create some habits that will be really tough to break in the future.

3. Proper onboarding helps build confidence and increase engagement

Every new employee carries a certain level of anxiety when starting a new job. Having a proper onboarding process that includes continuous feedback on the employee’s learning and will help eliminate that anxiety, increase engagement, and develop a strong relationship with the organization.

4. It creates consistency

Having an effective onboarding process will create consistency in the way new hires are brought on, which in turn will translate to more consistent customer experience. Think of Starbucks for a second. Have you ever wondered how they have the same level of service across all of North America? Their onboarding program is extensive, structured, and focused on the job itself, the story of the company, the culture, and all the people within.

After exploring the importance of having an effective onboarding process, here are a few tips:

  • Create an onboarding journey schedule that is very specific.
  • Involve every stakeholder in the process of creating that journey
  • Ensure that every day is documented
  • Develop specific metrics for the “onboarder” (the person responsible for the onboarding) and hold them accountable to those metrics.
  • Provide consistent feedback to the new employee
  • Evaluate the onboarder once a month.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.