Onboarding During the BUSY Season
"Onboarding" refers to the process where new hires integrate into an organization. It includes activities that allow new employees to complete an initial new-hire orientation process, as well as learn about the organization and its structure, culture, vision, mission, and values. For some organizations, the onboarding process consists of one or two days of activities; for others, this process may involve a series of activities spanning one or many months. (From Strategic Human Resource Management).
But there is a problem. According to Outdoor Retailer Magazine, 63% of retailers operate with a staff deficit. In addition, there are twice as many part-time employees as full-time employees. Business leaders today and managers struggle to find quality employees. This results in two bad habits:
- Hiring out of desperation.
- Rushing the new hire to the job without proper preparation.
We have previously talked about how to hire effectively, so today, we will turn our attention to that most overlooked effort called onboarding.
Your new employee comes to the job with expectations, excitement ("I am going to crush it!"), some reservations ("What if I fail?"), and a likely desire to find a win-win. This is your opportunity to set expectations, inspire a new person to your vision, and introduce them to your culture. Don't miss it! Most people in the workplace are looking for meaningful employment. Most achievers want to be part of something worthwhile. Start them on the right foot with clarity, enthusiasm, and support.
Here are some best practices:
- Schedule appropriately. Keep yourself free from interruptions so you can focus your attention on the new team member.
- Allow appropriate time to get through the material with focus.
- Maintain your enthusiasm. You may have presented the company vision hundreds of times before, but it is this employee’s first time to hear it. Give it all you’ve got.
- Include the rest of the team in the onboarding process.
- Schedule the onboarding during peak business times. Their first day should NOT be a Saturday!
- “Hand this off” to someone who is not vested in the process or isn’t prepared. This employee isn’t a second-class task. This new employee is a priority.
- Leave your new team member alone to figure out how to do everything.
If you are hiring right now for the busy season, you must ensure your onboarding includes the following:
1. Point of sale training
2. Product knowledge education
3. Sales training
Just because the holiday season is fast-paced and the people you are hiring are seasonal, don’t shortcut your onboarding. You never know who you might want to retain, and achievers love to learn!!
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