3 Mistakes to Avoid When Onboarding New Employees

Once you’ve mastered your job, everyday work tasks become second nature. You may have been doing it for so long that it’s hard to remember a time when you were unsure or didn’t know the ins and outs of your role. Despite how far you’ve come, you were once the newbie – we’ve all been there. Now, you may have advanced to such a senior level that it’s your responsibility to onboard new employees and show them the ropes. This is an amazing step in your career development and an excellent chance for you to influence the new wave of workers in your organization.

Employee onboarding is no simple feat. As a result, it’s surprisingly easy to make mistakes that could affect the overall efficacy of this orientation process. If you want to prevent these errors, the first step in familiarizing yourself with what they are. Let’s take a look at three common employee onboarding mistakes for you to avoid.

1.     Not Communicating in Advance

If you wait until the day that your new employee steps foot into the office to start corresponding with them, you’re already fighting a losing battle. By failing to communicate with them ahead of time, you’re already putting them at a disadvantage. They’ll show up to the office wondering where to go, who they’ll be reporting to and what some of their key responsibilities will be during their first few weeks.

To avoid this error, make sure you send your new employees a welcome email before their first day (maybe a week or two in advance). In this message, include some key information on company policies, dress codes, and confidentiality standards.

2.     Failing to Set Clear Goals and Expectations

Your employees need to know what to expect when they walk in the door; similarly, they also need to know what you expect of them. If you don’t provide written, clearly stated goals and expectations for their role, they’ll have no idea what you’re looking for from them. Make sure you provide a written statement outlining some of their key responsibilities, duties and goals for the first few weeks of work. With this information, your workers will be able to hit the ground running and work effectively from day one.

3.     Information Overload

While your workplace may feel comfortable to you because of your experience, this isn’t the case for new employees. This is a new environment with new practices and standards. If you include too much information into your employee onboarding session, it’s likely the newcomer may feel overwhelmed. 

Instead, pace your employee onboarding session in an appropriate way. Start by telling them the key information they absolutely need to know in the first few days of work (such as where to get their ID card or how to access the parking garage). After they’ve settled in, move onto the nitty gritty details about the workplace environment. Don’t forget to speak slowly and offer openings for them to ask questions.

Onboarding employees is a great way to welcome new workers into your company – when done correctly. By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll ensure that your new employees join the team in an effective way, which will set them up for long-term success in your organization.

Adam Hansen