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Employee Onboarding Mistakes To Avoid

The process of onboarding new employees is a delicate one and requires careful planning. The onboarding process includes meetings, classes, and training sessions — all of which are meant to equip new hires with the skills they need in order to become productive members of the company. So, it's easy to understand why an employee's onboarding mistake can immediately put a company's reputation at risk — if no one knows what's going on during the onboarding process, then what is happening?

To help you avoid such mistakes yourself as an employer or manager, here are some common mistakes that people make when onboarding new hires.

Relying Too Much On Job Shadowing

A company can't effectively train new employees if they can't see how the company operates on a day-to-day basis. However, some companies make the mistake of relying too much on job shadowing before an employee officially begins work with the company. "Job shadowing is a great idea until you bring the employee on board," says Kate Gratwick, founder and president of CareerBuilder. "It's better for the company to have someone in the company who can interact with employees and get a feel for what is going on than just having an employee shadow another employee."

Avoiding Looking At Employees’ Emotional Needs

When employees join a company for the first time, it is critical that companies take the time to understand their emotional needs. It is a good idea to check in on the emotional needs of new hires at least once during onboarding. "We got some feedback on our survey that said when they were first hired, they were asked if they had any questions―but they didn't really get asked how they were feeling," says Gratwick. "So we're trying to move to more of a human-to-human dialogue between employee and manager."

Not Allowing Enough Time For Training

One of the most critical parts of an employee's first day of work is when they ― or their manager ― receive training regarding their job responsibilities. Unfortunately, some companies only give new employees a few minutes to get familiar with their new workplace before they have to deal with other issues, such as finishing paperwork. "Employers need to stop and think about what's going on in the employee's life and make sure the employee is getting this onboarding stuff done," says Gratwick.

Trying To Rush The Process

Companies often pressure new hires into signing up for training classes or onboarding programs within just a few days of starting work. However, it is important that companies allow employees more time so they can get comfortable with their new job responsibilities. "We don't want you in here at 4 p.m. on the first day and then you have a training class at 5:30 p.m.," says Gratwick. "If you still have time to ask questions after your training class, then great."

Not Having A Plan For Integrating Employees In With The Team

It is often said that people don't leave jobs; they leave managers. That is why it is so important for managers to make sure that new hires are integrated into the team as soon as possible during onboarding. "Everyone has different ways of communicating, and it takes a while to adjust," says Gratwick. "So we want to take those steps over time. And then that's when you start talking about the fun stuff, like 'Hey, did you see the new project?'"

Forgetting To Let Employees Know What Type Of Onboarding Program They Will Receive

New employees should absolutely ask their managers or HR representatives what type of onboarding program they will be receiving during orientation. They might find out that they will receive an orientation entirely online or that they have to attend a two-day live event. It is also a good idea for companies to inform new hires about how long the onboarding process usually takes and whether or not they need to be onsite ― such as attending an orientation meeting ― immediately after accepting a job offer.

Final Thoughts

The process of onboarding new employees is a delicate one and requires careful planning. The new employee onboarding mistake that you can avoid most easily can be summed up in one simple sentence: "You are your most valuable asset." A company's reputation, as well as its ability to recruit the best employees all to depend on how they treat their employees, so it's critical that employers take the time to make sure their new hires are feeling valued and ready for their first day of work without any onboarding mistakes. Reach out to Network ESC today to see how we can help!

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