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Focus on Onboarding so Your Employees Stay and Succeed

Published Thu Feb 04 2021


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You only get one chance at a first impression, and that can’t be said enough about the first day at a new job. This makes the importance of onboarding new employees critical to ensure their immediate success and the long-term success of your team.

Onboarding also is affected if new employees decide to stay at your company or leave. But how can you make sure this first impression is positive and that new employees get the tools they need to succeed?

There are four individual roles that can help a new hire most when they join a new company. Those roles include a buddy, a coach, a manager/leader, and a mentor.

A buddy should be someone who can meet the new employee on their first day. This buddy should also be someone who has been with the company for approximately one to three years. Their tenure should be lower so they can more closely relate to the new hire. Often, a new hire’s buddy on day one becomes a close colleague and friend inside and outside of the organization, so assigning a new hire’s buddy should be given extra thought.

A coach should be someone that is in the new hire’s role and has a tenure between five and 10 years. This person should not be the new hire’s manager or leader. The new hire’s coach should be able to provide insight into what it takes to be successful in the role. But the coach should also understand what it takes to have longevity with the company.

The manager or leader role is assigned to the new hire’s direct supervisor. The new hire’s leader should be prepared and trained to help with onboarding and career development.

A mentor is usually someone in a higher position of power than the new hire. A mentor could be the new hire’s leader or another leader in the company. It is also recommended that a mentor’s personality is similar to the new hire’s because this will encourage communication and rapport between the mentor and mentee. A mentor’s role is not just to help guide the new hire through the organization. A mentor is there to provide insight into what it takes to succeed in the industry. A mentor may provide more long-term advice to the employee than a coach or leader.

Onboarding Best Practices: Step by Step

The employee onboarding experience begins well before the new hire’s first day and lasts through week one—and beyond. There are key steps leaders must take to ensure their new hires succeed. For more information on them, including a day-by-day and week-by-week insight into best onboarding practices, visit DDI’s blog.

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