Bringing on Staff
While not always an option, sometimes we are able to work with organizations whose offices allow for multiple positions. If you are lucky enough to be one of these select few, there are ways to handle it that will allow for a better employee who will stick around. On boarding an new staff member is not cheap and you want to make sure it’s done right the first time. When you do it well, onboarding builds connections between staff members and helps them feel a sense of belonging. According to research, one in five new hires leaves within the first 45 days of starting a job. This means that the success of each new team member is possibly determined within the first month.
If you are looking to bring on a “long-term” staff member, the onboarding process must create a sense of community that embraces new staff. You will find some suggestions below that may make this process much healthier.
First 3 Days
I would encourage you to make sure that in the first few days you make sure to introduce them to everyone. It may be a lot of work, but it will make things run smoothly as the new staff member come aboard. Try to schedule time for a meal or coffee with the others in the office and in other departments.
I remember getting my first police job and during the entire first week I did nothing but read the departments standard operating procedure, SOP’s. While it was not what I though police was all about, I see not that this thorough understanding of the “rules” allowed me to effectively plug into the culture at the department. Set apart time to have the new staff member read through the SOP’s and any polices. Without clarity at the start of a job, it is impossible to know how the organization defines your success.
Another first week activity is to match the new staff member with another employee or two. This relationship allows questions to be asked concerning the office or procedures within it. This is a powerful way to build a connection between the new staff member and the office.
Within the first month, I would encourage you to bring in the staff member in for a meeting. This meeting should be organized and allow the staff member to be candid about their time with the organization. The staff member needs to feel safe and the deliberate work performed in the previous weeks. New team members get to share their feelings concerning the organization. In return, the new member feels accepted and valued.
I have found the work of onboarding new staff to be empowering for new hires in the first few days, weeks, and months of their career. This does not come naturally though, you need to seek it out and work for it.