Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Correctly On-boarding New Associates For Your Small Business

What is one of the fastest ways to increase HR expenses and create workflow stoppages? On-boarding new associates incorrectly and not having enough candidates in your HR pipeline, that’s how. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” The precedent is set on the very first day of a new hire’s career with your business unit. Whether they are digging ditches or filling out paperwork and watching EEOC videos, the company’s professionalism, operating procedures, the employer’s commitment to its associates, and the overall workplace experience is entrenched within the mind-set of that new associate within those first few weeks.

Do you have a standardized, detailed, 0-90 day on-boarding action plan in place with performance metrics and benchmark accomplishments for correctly evaluating the progression of all new associates and transitioning them into long-term team members? Do you throw new hires to the “sharks” or provide support platforms to them in the form of training (all media and hands-on types), coaching, mentoring, monitoring, corrective actions for redirecting, S.O.P.s, support (technical and non-technical), and progress measurement indicators?

Go look at the last two years of associate turnover in their first ninety days of employment with your business unit and understand the reasons why. Once you find the whys, you can identify the missing steps of the on-boarding process. After those system steps have been reorganized, look at what steps should be created for the future to produce a better on-boarding system. Why would you do that? Because, businesses will always have new hires and turnover, so this situation is not going away. In fact, as the marketplace grows tighter and tighter for good and qualified new hires, correctly on-boarding associates is a major factor in retention, lowering HR expenses, successful integration of them into the workflow, converting them into long-term associates, and productive team members for the success of all.

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