Hiring is one of the biggest challenges for an organization. Once you find the right person, you need to make sure you set them up for success.  A great onboarding process is key to that success. So, what is the best way to maximize a new employee’s chances for success, minimize the chance of workplace issues, and create an environment that encourages inclusion, comradery, and dedication?

We suggest you follow these five steps for effectively onboarding new employees to your organization:

1. Prepare the office.

The first day on the job should be as organized as possible before the new hire walks through the door. Managers should build out a schedule in advance that includes time for learning their job duties as well as informing them of company policies and processes. Send a copy to all team members involved with the onboarding process and make sure you schedule time for them to meet with the employee. You may also want to share this agenda with your new hire prior to their start date.

Additionally, take some time to set up the new hire’s working space. Whether it’s an office, a cubicle, or a desk in an open office area, it’s important to let them know you’ve made space for them. Inform them of any policies regarding lighting, decoration, and personalization. And be sure to let them know if there are any expectations or procedures regarding privacy.

2. Assign a mentor.

One of the best facilitation strategies for onboarding is creating the opportunity for a mentor relationship. Mentors provide guidance that goes beyond traditional training and onboarding. A mentoring relationship will prove invaluable to the new employee’s integration into the workplace can create a lasting friendship. Moreover, a mentor provides a means for a new hire to gain input on their proficiency and professional development.

Consider assigning a mentor that isn’t a part of the new hire’s immediate team. Providing them with someone in whom they can confide – along with the knowledge that their mentor isn’t directly involved with their team – creates an environment of trust. It also helps the new employee feel more comfortable asking questions and giving valuable feedback.

3. Make introductions a priority.

Creating a positive environment for both the new hire and seasoned employees is essential to establishing a foundation for good rapport. You’ll probably agree that “This is Henry, he’s new.” isn’t the best way to introduce a new colleague to their teammates. Prior to their arrival, ask the new hire for some interesting information about themselves that they feel comfortable sharing with others. For example, telling a new colleague about a hobby or a favorite move genre can go a long way in starting conversations and building a good working relationship.

If possible, complete introductions within the first few days of the new employee’s arrival. You may want to have the mentor be responsible for taking the new hire around. This could also be a good time to show them their working environment including any break rooms, storage areas, or supply closets. Keep in mind that introductions not only help the new hire become familiar with their environment and colleagues, they also help current employees get to know the new person.

4. Provide a cohesive goal.

From the beginning, every employee should understand big picture company goals along with his or her specific tasks. Additionally, letting a new hire know how their individual objectives contribute to the larger goal is great way to gain their buy-in and dedication.

Common goals serve to create greater collaboration and harmony. For example, if your organization is striving to increase membership numbers, informing the new hire how their tasks help to achieve that goal will give them a greater understanding of why they’re assigned certain duties.

5. Request feedback from new employee.

Knowing which facets of the onboarding process work and which need to be tweaked is essential to measuring its effectiveness. Periodically ask for the new hire’s input on the training process as well as any suggestions they have for areas of improvement. Consider creating a scoring system for each phase as well as scheduling a time for them to discuss their experience with their immediate supervisor.

Facilitation strategies for integrating new employees require planning and follow through. The results bring a more engaged, dedicated employee and fewer workplace conflicts, which is absolutely worth the effort!