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Onboarding During the Holidays: 7 Ways to End the Year Strong

Nothing is more anticlimactic than showing up for your first day of work only to find that everyone’s out of the office on PTO. Did you know that a successful onboarding during the holidays can drive an employee's performance by up to 15% and increase their effort by more than 20%? Year-end is a busy time, but new hires can’t be left to fall through the cracks, especially if the rest of your candidate experience is top-notch.

You’ve invested a lot to get that new hire to his or her first day. If they quit because their onboarding was less than spectacular, you lose that investment (an average of $4,129 per hire) and your hiring manager will start the New Year shorthanded.

Here are seven strategies you can count on for on-boarding during the holidays that makes new hires smile:

  1. Check in with hiring managers
     Set up for success by checking with the hiring manager to make sure he/she will be in the workplace on your new hire’s first day. If that manager plans to be out on PTO, ask him to delegate this extremely important responsibility to another person on his team. It’s critical to get that hiring manager’s support to ensure new hires have training, shadowing or other activities strategically planned to help new hires feel productive even when their hiring manager isn’t available.
  2. Be clear with initial expectations
    Coordinate with the hiring manager to make sure the new hire understands how long the on-boarding process lasts, when any initial training will take place, and when she is expected to start producing deliverables. Understanding what is expected helps reduce the anxiety of the first day and first few weeks.
  3. Locate your new hire’s team
    Find out which colleagues will also be taking time off for your new hire’s first day or first week. Ask them to introduce themselves in a short, friendly welcome video they can create using on-demand interviewing. The video(s) will help the new hire get a sense of her team, and recognize friendly faces when they return to the workplace.
  4. Don’t let new hires feel invisible
    Make time to introduce your new hire to the company’s senior leaders.It’s an opportunity for them to share their take on the company story, and helps everyone feel more comfortable as they pass in the hall. It can also help prevent that awkward moment when a senior leader asks an employee who’s been on the job for a while, “Are you new here?”
  5. Get them up to speed on party plans
    Give new hires the details about any seasonal activities coming up in the organization such as a holiday party, social events, lunch potlucks and ugly sweater contests, so they can participate. Make sure their names are on company-wide email invites.
  6. Provide their schedule as far out as possible
    New hires may have family activities or seasonal travel they will want to schedule in advance. Help them balance work and life with schedule information so they can make their plans.
  7. Keep the dialogue open
    Let your new hire know she can count on you as a resource when questions or concerns come up. Don’t let this newest member of the team feel she is on her own. Everything you do to provide a great onboarding experience just reinforces her decision to come to work for an excellent new organization.

On average, 45 hours are invested into each new hire and their on-boarding. With all that time invested in finding a fit for your company, don't let "the most wonderful time of year" be the reason why they end up leaving.