Recruiting and hiring costs a lot. Assuming a new hire will automatically fall into place increases that cost. How well you integrate newcomers into your organization or department will determine how quickly they make their impact. It may even affect how long they stay. A 2007 survey by Novations Group found that 10-25% of new hires leave the organization within twelve months. Top reasons, in order, were:
- Unrealistic expectations
- Failure to grasp how things get done around the organization
- Poor communication with immediate supervisor
- Failure to develop a sense of belonging and purpose
- Inadequate technical skills
- Not understanding the link between their job and the organization
- Failure to connect with key employees
Prevent this from happening and help your new talent make their mark by focusing on the following orientation activities:
Tell the Company Story
Your organization’s story includes both the history and the current state. The history, including founders, the original mission, and circumstances surrounding the business environment at the time help your new hires connect to the core values of the organization. Going over how the organization has changed over the years provides inspiration and builds excitement for future change. A discussion of the current state includes outlining the company strategy and the vision for the future. If the CEO can tell these stories (if even via video recording), huge impact on feeling welcome and part of the team can be made relatively quickly.
Provide Necessary Resources
Nothing shoots productivity down like inadequate resources. A desk, a laptop, a phone, their badge, network access, software, and basic office supplies should be ready—preferably on day one. Besides stuff, also consider departments, tools, and people as well. Who does the person need to know? Who can the new person contact with what questions? Anticipate the basic questions they will have and provide that information preemptively.
Make Introductions to Key People
Building your network is key part of success. One company I know of kick-starts this process by filling new hires’ calendars with tons of one-on-one and group meetings for months and months. While this may be extreme, facilitating the introduction to coworkers, especially ones they will not interact with on a daily basis, is a nice touch.
Assign a Project Immediately
New employees are enthusiastic, eager to impress, and want to make an impact. Capitalize on this energy and start a chain of momentum by assigning a project right away. I’ve found the best projects are simple, time-intensive, task- or process-oriented, and allow your new people to learn about your organization by doing the work. Provide more structure and discuss expectations in greater detail than you would normally. Once complete, give feedback quickly and honestly. Then, increase the scope of responsibility to include multiple projects with increasing complexity.