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What Makes a Strong Initial Week Agenda Template for New Staff Members?

What Makes a Strong Initial Week Agenda Template for New Staff Members?

Curating a clear and enjoyable induction plan for new staff members is vital if you want to run a successful organization. As well as helping new starters hit the ground running, a carefully planned first-week schedule will ensure they feel confident to join your team. Did you know, for example, that people who undertake structured new employee orientation programs are 69% more likely to stay in their roles for three years than those who don’t undertake prepared induction programs? Or that companies with a deep commitment to onboarding enjoy 2.5 times more revenue growth than those without?

If you’re wondering where to start with building an effective employee onboarding template, we’ve put together some helpful tips to maximize satisfaction and production among your new hires.

What should you include in a new hire week plan?

Given the sheer amount of information new employees need to learn, it can be difficult to know where to start with an employee onboarding template. Remember – employees will keep learning about your business for many months after starting their new role. The first week, then, is about helping new starters get excited about making a difference in your organization, introducing them to coworkers, and ensuring they have the information they need to comply with organizational rules and regulations. With this in mind, remember to include the following components in your schedule:

  • A welcome meeting with the line manager: With managers accounting for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement statistics, fostering a respectful and productive relationship between an employee and their line manager is vital for any effective business. The initial meeting on your new hire’s schedule should take place with their manager, who will introduce themselves and explain what the employee can expect in their first few weeks on the job.
  • Orientation sessions: Orientation sessions should cover the basic procedures and information every employee needs to know. If you have several employees starting at once, you may wish to provide group orientation sessions to save time and allow new hires to bond. Key points to cover in these sessions could include HR policies, administrative procedures, company values and mission statements, organizational structures, and the company’s history. Remember to provide documents or slides containing all the information so new starters can refresh their memories later!
  • Introduction to employee benefits and entitlements: Onboarding an employee isn’t just about helping them settle into their duties – it’s also about showing them how your organization will positively benefit their life. Explaining your employee benefits package(s) will ensure new starters feel valued from the outset and reassure them of your company’s positive culture.
  • Team meetings: Once your new hire has met their line manager and covered vital points about the role and company, encourage them to build relationships with their coworkers. If the organization is large, it may be worth organizing an informal lunch, allowing everyone to mingle at once. If the team is smaller, one-to-one meetings could help your new hire build deeper relationships from the outset.
  • Role-specific training sessions: If you have time to spare, it’s worth incorporating some role-specific training sessions in the first week. Such sessions could involve lessons about specialist software, need-to-know processes, or manual tools.
  • First-week evaluations: It’s only natural for new starters to have a long list of questions after starting their new role. While some people feel confident asking their new colleagues for help, others may be a little shy about reaching out to new people. To combat this problem, it’s worth scheduling an evaluation session at the end of the week. As well as providing a space for new employees to ask plenty of questions, this session will help managers identify training needs and areas to address in subsequent weeks.

Strategies for balancing informational sessions with hands-on training

Every employee will need to process lots of information in their first week on the job. As well as fulfilling your legal obligations to provide information around issues such as health and safety, you’ll need to disseminate vital tips on the job role, company structure, managerial expectations, and much more.

However, most people struggle to sit and passively absorb information for long periods. To ensure new hires stay engaged and motivated to keep learning, you’ll need to combine informational sessions with hands-on opportunities that give employees a flavor of the tasks they can look forward to.

While many employees will need role-specific training before they can perform their duties properly, involving them in hands-on tasks during their first week will help them feel useful and motivated. Before your new hire starts their role, we suggest planning a simple task they can complete under supervision. This task could include anything from writing an article for your company website to interacting with customers. Just make sure it’s enjoyable and won’t overstretch their current abilities!

The role of HR and team leaders in fostering a welcoming environment

While your whole organization is responsible for making new employees feel valued and welcome, HR professionals and team leaders play a special role in creating seamless onboarding experiences.

One of the best ways to ensure all new employees experience an inspiring first-week schedule is to curate a standard employee onboarding template that team leaders can adapt to suit their needs. If you’re wondering where to start, it’s worth harnessing the power of HR apps and technologies to ensure you don’t miss anything and create a streamlined experience for all employees.

Methods for assessing your employee onboarding template

A successful employee onboarding template requires consistent revision, especially as your business changes and grows. Methods for assessing success and areas for improvement could include:

  • One-to-one meetings with new employees: Interviewing your employees after they complete their induction will help catch any immediate problems and ensure they feel valued.
  • Send out anonymous surveys: Some people are more likely to provide valuable feedback if they can do so anonymously. If you run a large organization, why not send out anonymous surveys every quarter or so? This tactic will ensure your onboarding process aligns with industry trends and help you reduce turnover.
  • Assess productivity over time: Assessing how new employees perform in the first few weeks and months of their role will provide some indication of the efficacy of your induction template. Remember to ask managers for their feedback, as well as others involved in the onboarding process.

The bottom line

Every business worth its salt offers detailed employee onboarding programs designed to address as many worries, concerns, and questions as possible. If your employee induction processes leave a little to be desired, there’s never been a better time to draw up a first-week template to help your new hires thrive.

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