What is employee onboarding?
Employee onboarding is the process of bringing on a new hire. This process is critical to the successful integration of the new employee into the organization. Onboarding done right brings new hires up to speed fast while ensuring a safe and productive work environment.
What is the Value of Employee Onboarding?
- Faster time to higher productivity while promoting safety
- Maximum employee engagement
- Greater sense of commitment and teamwork
- Higher rates of employee retention in what could otherwise be a high churn environment
- Cost savings
What is Included in Employee Onboarding?
Basic onboarding includes:
- Paperwork – gather tax forms, contact details, direct deposit, benefits, eligibility online, certifications and licensing such as CDL
- Planning – organized and deliberate with frequent check-ins
- Introductions – connect new hire with team and broader workforce
- Questions – make it easy to ask questions via virtual channels
- Shadowing –video conferencing or other means for live but not necessarily in-person on-the-job training
- Team building – offer formal and in-formal ways to build rapport and common cause
- Office equipment and software – procure and set up equipment
- Meeting participation – setup DLs, teams, calendars, video conferencing
- Face-to-face – meet regularly but not necessarily in person
Why Start Onboarding Early?
The first phase of onboarding begins as soon as the offer is accepted. No need to wait until Day 1. Get started by sending a welcome letter. Use the time between when a new hire accepts the job offer and actually starts working. Keep the excitement going and build rapport. The time invested to do this is small and the payoff can be great. If your new hire is available, let them start the paperwork. Make sure your paperwork is actually paper-less, so new hires can access it online. Most new hires will find this very helpful.
Why Onboard Online?
- Gives new hires the flexibility of time to get it done
- Lets new hires pull together details as they can
- Gives you immediate access to paperwork even if you are remote
- Makes the paperwork more snackable and less overwhelming
- Eliminates misfiling and lost paperwork
- Conducts an optional WOTC interview
- Gathers tax, licensing, payroll details, contact details, direct deposit and more
- Presents confidentiality, non-disclosure and other agreements as needed
- Provides access and allows time to review employee handbook, safety guides, emergency procedures, and other documents relevant to the new hire’s specific job
- Collects electronic signature
- Moves the focus onto team building from Day 1
Should I Start Tracking Time from Day 1?
Yes! Make sure you have a system in place to track time. Have it ready Day 1. Every employee should have a formal method of reporting their time. Your business needs it to comply with ACA, FMLA, FLSA, and a host of other federal and local laws. Your managers need it to ensure they meet labor cost budgets, and track job costs. Your employees need it to confirm that they are paid properly.
Here are some key capabilities your time tracking system should include:
- Time clock – make it easy to clock in and out using a physical clock or phone-based app. A physical clock can be quite convenient for those who work exclusively at the factory or in a central office. A phone-based app may be more popular for service technicians who travel to customer sites, staff who work from home and supervisors who may split their time between locations. You can decide for each new hire.
- Geolocation – automatically record the location of clock activity to ensure that employees are where they should be when working
- Department – assign time to a department automatically or allow employees to select if they split work between departments
- Position – assign or allow employees to select if they switch between roles that have different pay rates or need to be reported separately within projects. For example, an employee qualified for arc and tic welding and also sometimes assigned to general machine shop work may need to track time by those positions.
- Breaks/meals – prompt employees to take breaks based on governing rules. This helps you prove compliance with regulations while keeping your operation running without interruption.
- Project – prompt employees to select the job or project worked so that time is captured for all work on the project. This can be critically important for shops that do custom projects or cost-plus contracts.
• Mileage – collect mileage or other important details during clock in/out
Time tracking is critically important to cash flow and job costing. Start tracking time on Day 1, giving everyone confidence that onboarding is underway. As soon as the new hire is contributing to a job or project, the hours can be assigned to that activity.
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