So, you’ve spent all the time and money necessary, and maybe you’ve even tried following these tips, all to recruit new employees to your team. You’ve offered them the job and they’ve accepted. Woohoo! Now you want to sit back and breathe a sigh of relief but in reality, for the manager or owner of a construction company, this is where the other part of your job begins. Ultimately, it’s up to your new hire whether or not he or she succeeds at your company but success will be a lot less likely if you fail to provide the tools and feedback needed to achieve it.
Orientation … onboarding … what’s the difference? Simply put, orientation for many companies consists of showing the employee around, showing them their workstation and introducing them to their colleagues, and nothing more than that. If that’s all you provide for your new hires, it’s going to come off as outdated and counterproductive, and it will also be extremely off-putting to your new employees. As for onboarding, it’s a plan that integrates new employees into the company over a period of time, rather than just on the very first day, and it includes elements of orientation but goes well beyond it. When your company chooses to put a focus on onboarding new employees, you recognize that as much time and attention must be put into preparing a new employee to succeed as was spent to hire that person.
Follow these tips to have a great onboarding process and retain those new hires:
- Have constant communication
The more communication before, during or after a construction job, the more likely you are to get a referral or another job. The same principal applies to your new hires … be in touch with them regularly and keep up communication once they start in order to make sure they are comfortable and finding their way in your company.
- Be prepared
Not being fully prepared for a new hire’s arrival sets an unpleasant tone so it’s best to have someone there to greet the new employee and introduce them to everyone they need to know. By not forcing them to introduce themselves to everyone, it will ease any tension and make them feel comfortable right away.
- Provide training and track progress
Identify the training your new hire will need to succeed right away, as well as long-term, and include this as one of the many items on your checklist to help you immerse your new hire. The checklist will also help you track progress and coordinate results.
- Designate a partner
Pair the new hire with another employee (preferably not a supervisor, just a fellow peer) who is well-regarded, high performing, is a strong communicator and knows all of the ins and outs of the job. This partner system will hopefully form a comfortable relationship in which the new employee can access someone who is familiar with your specific company culture, along with the norms and expectations of the company.