Growing your business is an exciting venture that often results in hiring new team members or leadership. Though it may seem like a daunting task to integrate new faces into your existing company, mission and network, proper planning and foresight can ensure that new hires feel comfortable and capable in their new positions. By taking the time to establish an onboarding plan and implementing thoughtful strategies for procedures like open enrollment, you can facilitate your company’s expansion in a sustainable way. Consider the following suggestions to ease the transition for new hires and existing employees alike.

Provide New Hires with Onboarding Buddies

Even for the most confident of new hires, the prospect of an unfamiliar workplace and brand-new coworkers can be daunting. Reduce potential stress by implementing a “buddy” system. By pairing your new hire with a seasoned team member, incoming employees are more likely to feel welcomed and at ease with their new surroundings. Make sure that your “veteran” employees maintain open communication with their new coworker as well as a positive, helpful attitude. You can also split your new hires into pairs or groups during training so they start to build community within the company. This can be especially helpful if new employees belong to different departments — this way, they will understand the larger context of the company and who to go to with various questions.

Ensure All Open Enrollment Information is Clear and Consistent

When it comes to educating new hires on employee benefits, it’s imperative to communicate openly and frequently. Provide relevant information in multiple formats and let employees know about any open enrollment paperwork early on. By sharing employee benefits information in different ways such as through email, the company portal, printed pamphlets, and group seminars, employees can absorb the information in numerous ways and resolve any lingering questions. Keep in mind that the beginning of any job is typically stressful, so if new hires can’t access employee benefits for a period of time such as 60 or 90 days, you don’t need to worry about communicating benefits information on the first day. The most important thing you can do is remain available — set up “open office” hours when employees know you’ll have time to discuss topics like employee benefits.

Prevent Stress by “Dripping” Information via Email

You’ve taken your new hire on a tour of the office, made all the introductions, and shown them to their desk and computer. At this point, your new coworker has already absorbed a lot of information, so sending a bulky email with a run-down of the company is probably not the most effective first-day strategy. Instead, favor a less-is-more approach. Try parsing out relevant updates about company procedures, day-to-day operations and your expectations over time. By periodically communicating smaller amounts of information, you are less likely to overwhelm new hires, increasing the probability that they stay on track throughout the onboarding process. After you disseminate information over email, try to follow up with employees in-person so they have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss with team members.

How can you implement these strategies in your company to ease the transition for new hires? Strategies include organizing a “buddy” system between experienced team members and new employees, clearly communicating benefits information in multiple formats, and disseminating information in a measured, digestible way. These approaches are just some of the ways you can create a welcoming work environment where new employees will thrive. To learn more about facilitating new hires’ onboarding experience, download the How To Give Employees A Great First Week checklist. You can also contact Innovative Broker Services at 916-932-2864 for expert onboarding advice that will benefit your business for years to come.