How to best onboard new employees on day 1

Make Employment Expectations Clear From The Beginning

Recently I’ve done quite a few videos on recruiting for small businesses who want to recruit for themselves, and so this is an extension of this. This is a great tip.   If you’ve gone through the recruiting process, you’ve got the right guy, he’s just started. Now one of the things I think is the most important thing you can do now is onboarding them, like setting expectations of how they work in your business.

The businesses I’ve done this within have been hugely successful. This is how it goes.  Have a written document that spells out, this is how we do the job. This is how you behave around here. This is what we expect you to do in the next few months.

A couple of things like, you know, what times does work start and what does that mean? Does that mean you come at five ’til eight and get dressed and have your coffee and we start at eight o’clock?  What time do we finish, and what about if you’ve got to go to the dentist and when do you put your timesheets in and does that have any impact on when you get paid?  

Spell them out, how you treat company vehicles, should they be left with fuel, left full of fuel, or should they be cleaned out at the end of a week.  Really important things like if you’re using like software tools and you’re a service-based industry to update the notes and take photos of jobs or spell out all the things that this how you operate in your business.

Really important, and this is the really powerful thing is to actually set the expectations for the next three months, so that in the next three months what we want you to be able to do, you need to learn these skills and these are our expectations of you.

Get Them To Buy In By Signing In

The feedback that I’ve got was really good from the new employee. They say, “Right now I’m really clear about what I’m expected to do,” and “Will I get past the three month period and stay on?” and things like that. Then what I’ve done is I’ve actually created a written-out document, it’s like a culture-statement almost, and get them to sign it. You talk through it and you ask them to discuss with you what they think it means. Sign it off.  It takes a little while, it takes, you know, an hour an hour-and-a-half, but then they are really clear.

How I came up with this document is, chunk it out into a couple of sections that make it clear to break it down. For example, I’ve got workshop, and I’ve got customer service, on the job, work behaviours, sales scripts that you need, and break up a bunch of headings and put a few dot points under them, and then virtually, you’ve got your few-page document.

Go through it with your new employee.  I hope, well in fact I’m sure if you do that, it will really help you to bring up to speed your new employees when they’ve just started. And, that will be really clear, and they’ll perform better, and they’ll feel like they’re going to fit in, and this is the right place for them too. 

I hope that helps you out. Got any questions, don’t hesitate to call me. Ph: 0409 402 474

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Hugh Bowman is a specialist in business coaching for trade businesses and is a former engineer and technical expert. He has lived and worked in many parts of regional Victoria coaching tradie business owners.

Ph: 0409 402 474