Last modified on January 8th, 2016
By Bryan Ives
Proper Onboarding Benefits Your Whole Team
While it is true that employee orientation is normally focused on introducing a new employee to the corporate structure and defining roles and policies, your property management company is the ultimate winner if you get his important task right.
Proper onboarding lowers the costs of job training and reduces stress for other co-workers and managers. Many studies also show that giving an employee the tools and resources to succeed bolsters confidence and employee morale. Happier employees means lower turnover rates and may ultimately improve tenant retention rates.
Here are ten tips to make your new hire processes flow smoothly.
- Never misrepresent your company policies or expectations: Nothing creates frustration for a new employee like finding out the information delivered during the interview wasn’t a realistic preview of the job duties and the corporate culture.
- Provide a comprehensive, written job description during the interview: No amount of training and orientation can effectively replace a written game plan. Make sure your written guideline includes a detailed description of strategies, expectations and future career paths/salary adjustment reviews.
- Focus on your employee: Set aside time to focus on your orientation. Prepare a new-hire checklist and inform all staff members you’ll be unavailable during orientation except for emergencies. Focusing on your new employee sends the message you value their skill and their presence.
- Prepare your new-hire package in advance: Gather all necessary administrative forms before the new employee arrives. At minimum you should have copies of:a) Direct deposit forms – if applicable, for payroll
b) W-9 or other tax forms
c) Insurance and other benefit documents
d) NDA and Employee Handbook
- Introduce staff to peers and co-workers: Provide supervisors and key employees with information about the new-hire. You may provide a resume and job description if appropriate. Then, schedule time to allow staff members to discuss how their roles overlap and interact during daily operations. It’s a good idea to partner your new staff member with a mentor for a few days to help with other introductions and questions that may arise as he or she adjusts to the environment.
- Provide resources and tools for success: Set up a well-furnished work station before your new employee arrives. Stock the station with everything from writing instruments and paper to business cards, brochures, e-mail account access and computer. Post a copy of an employee directory near the phone to help your new team member find help quickly if an unusual situation arises in your absence.
- Schedule a personal follow-up meeting: Try to meet with every new employee weekly or bi-weekly during the first couple of months to discuss challenges and opportunities. At the very least, schedule a 30-day, 60-day and 90-day chat. Keep an open door policy and encourage feedback and comments.
- Make the first day memorable and positive: Adjusting to a new job is exciting, but it can be stressful. Include opportunities to take frequent breaks. If possible, schedule a group lunch or order in pizza to encourage socializing and non-work interactions.
- Avoid culture shock: Provide detailed information about company policies, corporate structures, dress code, employee parking protocol and sanctions – both positive and negative. It’s best to get everything out in the open at the beginning so you can avoid embarrassing missteps and confusion.
- Realize the first day is the start of a long-term relationship: Watch for opportunities to catch your new employee doing something good. Reward successes and take a proactive approach to correct negative behavior. Schedule routine performance reviews.
Don’t forget to provide full training for technology, such as property management software and online tools. Appfolio.com training resources are available to help you develop on-site and online training programs.
Comments by Bryan Ives