Insights from Dana
The Onboarding Opportunity: How to Build and Keep Your A-Team

You’re trying to build your dream team – but there’s a problem.

Despite opportunities to grow, employees seem to reach a point of success and competency in their position…and then quietly resign. 

Is it something you did? Or something you didn’t do? 

It’s starting to feel all-too personal. And it’s costing you and your company precious time and money.

You invested years of too little sleep and countless untold hours to get past the start-up phase and grow your business. Developing a dedicated team requires the same thoughtful planning, crystal-clear processes, and intentional leadership.

Establish a Foundation of Clarity, Connection, and Trust

The old adage, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” rings true for a reason. 

The more mindfully a new hire is onboarded, the longer they stay with a growing company. 

We’ve all heard stories from people who show up on their first day at a new job, complete the necessary paperwork, then spend the rest of the day twiddling their thumbs, waiting for somebody to give them something to do. 

Odds are they’ll last six months – or less.

According to a 2018 study shared in Psychology Today, 32% of employees leave within the first three months because of company culture. And a whopping 43% of employees quit because their day-to-day role wasn’t what they were led to expect during the hiring process. 

Creating clarity and connection has always been a team-building best practice.

In the age of The Great Resignation, it is crucial to hiring and retaining the all-star team players you need.

Folks want to go where their hard work is appreciated, and they stay when they feel valued. 

People want to contribute to the bigger picture, put down roots, and pursue all that is possible. So set them up to win!

Show them they’re an important piece of the puzzle. 

Build a foundation of support that offers guidance and opportunities for growth. 

Treat them with the level of care, consideration, and respect you give your clients – your team is essential to your success!

Employee Retention Starts On Day One

When you take care to assimilate new hires into your team culture, they’ll stay for the long term.

Creating a clear onboarding process will:

  • Help new hires feel more comfortable
  • Instill confidence in your team
  • Foster a culture of growth and support
  • Prevent people from slipping through the cracks

Something as simple as scheduling a company meeting to welcome your new employee can make a big difference.  

If you have a large team and it’s reasonably impossible to facilitate one-on-one conversations with everyone, start by introducing them to the department or team they’ll work most directly with. Even a silly ice breaker game and a quick introduction can help foster camaraderie and connection.

Personalize the Process

Whether your operations are fully virtual, hybrid, or in-person, personalizing your onboarding process is critical to developing a collaborative and cooperative culture that nurtures connection and mentors growth. 

Creating real-life results begins with getting clear on the onboarding experience you’re currently creating for your team.

Start by answering these questions:

Do you have a comprehensive and inclusive onboarding protocol in place?

Does it focus on welcoming and integrating your new hire or simply outlining their responsibilities? 

What drew your existing employees to their roles at your company? What goals, credentials, or experience were they pursuing?

What do your employees say about their onboarding experience? How were they welcomed onto the team? Have you asked?

What do they share as their reason for resignation when they eventually leave? 

No matter how intimately involved you are in your company’s operations, or how close you are with your team, your perception is not an accurate reflection of the lived experience of your team. 

To create more context and expand your perspective, consider creating an employee survey. Ensure that it is anonymous so that they can feel safe sharing honestly and authentically. 

Give Them What They Need to Succeed

Set a standard for excellence by giving your team ready access to all the tools and resources they need to succeed spectacularly. 

An effective onboarding package includes:

  • A clear contract and statement of compensation
  • A thorough job description delineating required duties and desired results
  • How to acquire necessary user credentials, keys, swipe cards, etc.
  • The established chain of communication and who to go to for support
  • Contact details for immediate team members, as well as all team and departmental leads, managing partners, and tech support/IT
  • Operational standards: from dress codes and project timelines to client communication and formatting expense reports 
  • Outlines of company processes and workflows, highlighting those most important to the user
  • A basic user guide to essentials systems and software
  • Is your business service-based? Include a brief introduction to your ideal client avatar, existing clients, and potential dream clients
  • If your business is product-based, be sure to include the basic specs and distinguishing features for your biggest sellers
  • Working on-site? Add a map or guide to local restaurants, businesses, and affiliates
  • Working remotely? Include a linked guide to any running communication threads, as well as expectations around engagement and conduct online

There are 3 Basic Rules of Employee Onboarding: Don’t assume everyone knows what you know. 
If it is Need-To-Know, lay it out for them. 
Make expectations explicit.

When You Get it Right, It’s Seamless

Building your dream team doesn’t have to be an uphill battle, especially when you have someone guiding and supporting you along the way. 

When I work with my Catapult clients, the time we spend on hiring, onboarding, and team-building surprises them the most because they never realized how much of an impact getting it right would have.

Finally, they have employees who are invested, who love their jobs, who contribute ideas, who feel appreciated, and who want to grow within the company as well as personally. 

And their operations run seamlessly, so they can take back their time–and their lives–and focus on the inspiration that made them want to start their business in the first place.

Need more seamless in your business?

Work with me one-on-one, and together we’ll fine-tune your onboarding, up level your systems, and take strategic action to foster an authentic culture of growth and support.

If you’re ready to do the work, send me a DM so we can talk culture, teams, and turnover. Let’s find out if we’re a good fit to build the next phase together. 

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