5 Ideas To Optimize New Employee Onboarding

October 3, 2016 by

As project resources are identified and gathered, you may decide to recruit new employees to deliver on the requirements.

Integrating new team members is quite challenging. The change is often disruptive to the existing team and daunting for the new employee, particularly if their assigned project is already under-way when they commence work.

One way to ensure a smooth start is to use an onboarding program to help new employees develop the relevant skills, knowledge, and behaviors.

As a project manager, you need new team members to feel welcome and part of the team from Day 1 for two reasons.

Firstly, organizations frequently struggle to recruit skilled employees who are a good cultural fit. You have to make a good impression and retain your team! Secondly, it is also important to consider the financial and time costs associated with recruiting new employees.

There are many methods and tools to help successfully integrate new team members. Here are five ideas to optimize your employee onboarding process. Remember: onboarding is not just about the first day. Onboarding should take place over a number of months to ensure that employees are fully supported and engaged.


5 Ideas To Optimize New Employee Onboarding

1. Pre-Start

In addition to providing relevant paperwork, make sure that your new team member knows what will happen on Day 1. What is their start time? Who should they ask for upon arrival? You should also prepare their desk and make sure that any technical elements, such as email and system access, are in place. Finally, develop a relevant induction plan.


2. Day 1

Everyone is nervous on their first day so it is important to create a welcoming environment without overwhelming or rushing new employees. Try these tips to make Day 1 as enjoyable as possible:

  • Share a company update introducing the new employee. This helps to break the ice!
  • Schedule some time for an office tour to meet the wider team and familiarize the new employee with the layout
  • Explain the workplace culture and norms, for example, using meeting rooms, coffee breaks, parking allocation and so on
  • Have a meeting to review the induction plan and introduce the project. Discuss the roles, responsibilities, and opportunities associated with the role
  • Use process posters to introduce a new process in a concise, step-by-step manner. Check out this great article from Venngage with tips and templates to get started.


3. Knowledge Sharing

Use your collaborative project site or a document repository to share relevant project information. This includes the project history, statement, timelines, resources, documentation, processes, and standards. It is a good idea to hold an introductory meeting with the wider team within the first week. This will help the new team member get up to speed quickly and learn how the team works together.


4. Value Their Contributions

New employees are eager to start working straight away so let them! Assign straight-forward tasks to build confidence and familiarity with your systems.


5. Feedback and Communication

Each new employee will bring a wealth of experiences and insights to the team. Use surveys, focus groups and meetings to collect their feedback on the onboarding process and make improvements where needed. You should also establish regular intervals to provide feedback on progress, offer guidance and outline expectations for the coming months.


Investing in onboarding processes will help new team members to settle in and make meaningful contributions to projects quickly. Take a look at your current onboarding process for new employees. What is working well? Can you identify any areas for improvement?


Image credit


Collaborative Project Management: A Handbook

Grace Windsor

Grace is a content creator within the marketing team at BrightWork. She loves creating actionable content in different formats to help others achieve more project success. Grace spent far too long at university studying English literature, which instilled a life-long love of learning and upskilling.

In her free time, she enjoys a challenging session at the gym, tucking into a good book, and walking the beautiful Galway coastline with her dog.
Grace Windsor

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