As a financial manager, you should strive to set up new employees for success from day one — literally. The best way to start new team members off on the right foot is to offer them a warm welcome and proper new hire orientation.
Many companies are lacking in the employee onboarding department, however. In a new report by Robert Half and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), The People Puzzle: Building and Retaining a Talented Accounting and Finance Team, CPAs were asked to rate their company’s onboarding process with one to five stars. Fewer than 10 percent of accounting professionals surveyed gave their company five stars.
It’s never too late, though, to develop a high-caliber orientation process that helps new employees hit the ground running. Follow these four essential steps.
1. Schedule a full first day.
Your new employees’ first impressions are incredibly important. On their first day, take time to welcome them personally, introduce them to key contacts throughout the firm, and educate them about important company policies and procedures.
Give individuals an opportunity to bond with coworkers, perhaps through an organized lunch, and start discussing tasks and projects you’d like them to tackle in the coming days and weeks. This will ensure the employee feels productive, motivated and engaged right from the start.
2. Offer orientation.
If your company offers a formal orientation, be sure to schedule new employees for the course within the first week or two on the job. These seminars give team members an opportunity to connect with other new employees and ask questions about what they can expect at your firm.
If your organization doesn’t provide an official program, it’s still important to offer some sort of orientation, whether it’s a casual discussion in your office or a meeting with a human resources representative. No matter whether it’s formal or informal, an orientation process should give new employees a chance to learn the company’s overall mission and culture.
3. Encourage them to find a mentor.
Many accomplished financial professionals owe at least a part of their success to a mentor. Mentors not only offer new employees invaluable advice and guidance, but they also act as a sounding board for ideas and concerns. Consider assigning a mentor to new employees soon after they start the job, or encourage them to seek out a mentor on their own.
4. Ensure they understand their role.
To make certain new hires understand what’s expected of them, managers must clearly communicate an employee’s responsibilities from day one. Walk new workers through their specific role, the team’s processes and any important deadlines. Also, ensure employees understand to whom they’ll be reporting and how the chain of command works.
For additional insights on staff management and what motivates financial professionals, download The People Puzzle: Building and Retaining a Talented Accounting and Finance Team.
What new hire orientation strategies have been successful for you? Please share your experiences in the comments section.