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You’ve put a lot of time and effort into recruiting exactly the right person. Now it’s time to bring them on board. Will the experience reinforce your new employee’s excitement about joining your company, or leave them feeling a bit confused and deflated? Your on-boarding process can set the tone for your new hire’s entire career with you.

Here are five steps you can take to power-up your on-boarding:

  1. Get them started before they even arrive.

Send a friendly welcome letter, with information about dress code, parking, building access and other functional details. Explain key policies and benefits.

  1. Go high-tech.

You can’t escape the paperwork required to on-board every new employee, but let’s face it – filling out forms is a pretty uninspiring way to start a new job. The more tedious paperwork your new person can complete ahead of time, the more rewarding their introduction to your company will be. Email pertinent documents to them, with access to an electronic signature tool they can use, or post everything in a special New Employees section of your website, for easy access or download.

Email a link to your CEO’s welcome video. If you have a lot of employees, create a social network just for new hires. Using technology demonstrates that your company is “with it,” something especially important for younger workers. It can also make tracking on-boarding more efficient, to ensure nothing is overlooked.

  1. Give them a warm welcome.

The morning of your new person’s first day, send a company-wide email introducing them, with a very brief bio, their photo and new job title, so everyone can offer a cheery “hello.” Arrange for someone to take them to lunch – or at least join them — the first few days.

  1. Be prepared.

Make sure their office or work area is ready to go with all the essentials. Include their personal copy of your employee manual and any other important documents and any employment-related forms they couldn’t complete online. If you can’t have new business cards waiting for them on the desk, make this a priority. Nothing says “official part of the team” like cards with your logo and their name.

Add a welcome gift – a logoed promotional item or a small vase of flowers. All these things show you’re as excited about their arrival as they are.

Assign a mentor or buddy to give them a full company tour, introduce them to people and explain “insider” details such as the break room rules. Choose a co-worker for this — someone who can answer questions about the inner workings of their department, too.

Arrange an early meeting with their immediate boss, to help establish their working relationship right away.  They should discuss the new employee’s job in greater detail, expectations in terms of workflow processes, communications protocols and set goals for the next few weeks.

Sign them up for internal training, so they can become truly productive as soon as possible – employees who know they are contributing are happier in their jobs. Arrange for cross-training sessions, too, so they can see how other departments work and how your big picture fits together.

  1. Conduct their first performance review.

As their probationary period come to an end, schedule a formal review so you can jointly assess progress thus far. Thanks to your excellent hiring and on-boarding processes, both you and your new employee should be very pleased. If there are minor problems, discuss how you’ll address them. And if things aren’t working out after all, this is the time to part.

Job satisfaction starts on Day One. Following these five steps will make your on-boarding process a more effective, satisfying experience for everyone.

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