27 Nov

New Hire Onboarding: Sorting out Role Clarity

Ben Renner | | Corporate Communications

One of the most important parts of new hire onboarding is role clarity. What exactly will the new-hire be doing in your organization and how can you help them do it? Role clarity is one of the primary challenges to new hire onboarding. You know exactly why you hired a new employee, but that employee doesn’t necessarily know. What’s clear to you might be unclear to your new hire.

New Hire Onboarding More Than Lists and Videos

Enumerating your new hire’s responsibilities is a key first step in welcoming someone new to the fold. But that’s only part of the process. Internal videos and other orientation materials designed to help the new hire quickly and efficiently slip into his or her responsibilities is a key part of the new hire onboarding process, but usually, you’ll need a personal touch as well. Formal and informal training are your best bets here. You can’t know how well any person will understand orientation materials, even when they’re aimed at showing new hires their responsibilities and duties within a company. If you notice something improper, don’t be afraid to correct your new hire. A gentle push toward the right way of doing things will eventually lead to higher confidence, not lower.

An Open-Door Policy

We all know the benefits of an open-door policy for all management types, but this becomes even more important during new hire onboarding. All employees, especially new hires, who may be less willing to come forward with questions, have to know that you are always willing to speak to them about issues they’re having. Sometimes, having an open-door policy isn’t enough, however. You have to be willing to be active and pull your new employees aside to tell them things or ask them for problems or questions they have. Being proactive will make your shier new hires tell you about issues affecting their work. The sooner you handle these issues for them, the easier the onboarding process becomes and the faster your new hires will be fully integrated into the company and understand their role there.

Get Help

As a manager, it’s your job to help all your employees do their jobs effectively. When everyone is moving in the same direction, work for everyone becomes easier. However, you don’t have to be the only emissary for your company when training and orienting new hires. You can use your other, more experienced workers, too. It’s always a good idea to have a few established employees sit with your new hires to help them in their day-to-day tasks. This practice can easily turn into toe-stepping and constant badgering, but when done right with a balance of letting your new employee learn on his or her own, the practice can help immensely. Even if you eschew formal roles and titles at your company, you can add to the experience of new-hires by being exquisitely clear about their roles in your office from day one.