4 tips to get your new hire up to speed

When you hire a new employee, you and the new hire may be excited about how beneficial and lucrative this new relationship may be.

You understandably want to get the new relationship off on the right foot, but you cannot reasonably expect your new hire to hit the ground running on the first day. Your overall orientation and training efforts are critical to ramping up this individual’s efforts quickly. In fact, there are several things that you need to do for effective new hire orientation each time you bring a new employee into your company.

1. Set up payroll and benefits connections

The first things that need to be done with all new hires are practical matters. Your new hire should meet with the human resources team to sign all contracts and paperwork. This includes reviewing the employee handbook, filling out the IRS tax forms, providing direct deposit bank information and more. If your company offers benefits to employees, the entire benefits package should be reviewed. The new employee should be given an opportunity to sign up for or to opt in to the benefits.

2. Assist with setting up the office space

When all of the technicalities associated with new hire paperwork are completed, you can show your new employee to his or her work area. Assist with setting up the employee’s new work email address and voicemail account. If necessary or appropriate, talk about ordering business cards, getting a professional headshot for your company’s website and more. Your employee likely will not be able to fully set up his or her desk until active work begins. After all, he or she may not be able to determine all organisational features, office tools and more that are needed for productivity until he or she is immersed in the activities. However, basic office supplies should be available on day one, including pens, paper, highlighters, a stapler and more.

3. Structure an orientation session

Within the first day or two, the new hire should sit through an orientation session. This session may include a tour of the office and introductions to those who he or she will be working closely with. It may also include watching corporate training videos, taking tutorials on how to use different software programmes that are used in the office and more. Specialised training, such as a negotiation seminar or a sales training session, may also be necessary or beneficial as part of the orientation. Before your new hire arrives on the first day, it is smart to brainstorm all of the details that need to be covered through an orientation session. Create a list that is customised for the specific job duties that the individual will be responsible for. After all, a new receptionist does not have the same orientation needs as a new executive has.

4. Connect with a mentor

Your new hire will likely have many questions and concerns during the first few days or even weeks. You may not be able to hold this individual’s hand for an extended period of time, but you can assign a mentor to help this individual along. The mentor ideally will be a seasoned employee who you trust and who regularly does great work in the office. More than that, the mentor should have a positive attitude and should foster excitement in the new hire.

Your new hire may be a great addition to your business. While you both may be eager for this individual to get up to speed and to start contributing positively to your company, he or she will need to learn the ropes and become familiar with the company’s culture. Your efforts to get the individual oriented to the company as well as to the specific position that he or she was hired to do are critical. Consider how each of these important steps can be applied to your unique business and situation. Remember that each orientation effort may need to be customised slightly for the individual who you hire.

Lindsey Patterson works as a director of marketing at a tech firm in Utah.

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