The onboarding process isn’t over simply because a new hire has completed their initial orientation and training. It’s also important for HR to check-in with new employees after they’ve been on the job for a few weeks. You want to ensure they feel comfortable in their roles.
Thus, as an HR professional, you should learn how to conduct a check-in that yields valuable insights. Merely asking a new hire if they are enjoying their work isn’t enough. To boost the effectiveness of your check-in process, keep these points in mind.
It’s rare for a new employee to feel comfortable sharing criticism. They may not be entirely happy with management, but that doesn’t mean they want their supervisor to know about their feelings just yet.
That’s why you need to make sure employees understand that anything they have to say during a check-in will remain confidential unless they specifically and clearly give permission to share it. This will help you get more honest feedback from new hires.
Follow up Fast
You don’t want to follow up on a new employee if they haven’t had enough time to get to know the company yet. Most new jobs involve an adjustment period. On the other hand, if you wait too long to follow up, they may get the impression that the company is not particularly invested in their job satisfaction. So how do you strike the right balance between too soon and too late?
Don’t wait longer than a month to conduct your check-in. After a month on the job, odds are good a new hire will have settled into their new role. They’ll be better equipped to offer genuine insights and feedback as a result.
You can also check in again after three months. An employee’s impression of the company can change after their one-month review. If they had some complaints during that initial check-in, you’ll want to know if they feel those issues have been addressed. If they were satisfied at the one-month check-in, it’s important to confirm they still feel that way.
Ask for New Ideas
Asking a new hire if they would do anything differently can offer major benefits to your company. From an employee engagement perspective, it demonstrates that you value their input.
Perhaps more importantly, new hires can offer insights that may not occur to people who have been working at the company for a longer time. It’s easy to get so used to entrenched methods that you stop thinking of ways to improve your business. New employees offer a fresh look at old systems and procedures.
Find out If the Role Matched Expectations
Effective recruitment involves making sure applicants clearly understand what their responsibilities will involve. HR professionals should always strive for clarity and accuracy when hiring new employees.
You can learn if you’re achieving this goal by asking workers during a check-in if the job is what they expected it to be. If they express dismay with any aspect of the role, ask them to elaborate. This helps you understand where you may have gone wrong in the recruitment process.
Keep It Concise
It’s important to focus on developing a check-in process that offers valuable insights. However, don’t get so caught up in this goal that you make the process tedious. By the time you check in with a new employee, they will be likely busy with daily tasks and less willing to provide in-depth, honest answers to your questions if the process is time-consuming. Out of a desire to get back to work, they might simply tell you what you want to hear.
That’s why five questions can actually offer more insights than 20. By taking the time to decide which check-in questions are most important to you (and eliminating those that may be unnecessary), you’ll design an efficient process that offers genuinely useful information.
Ask about Growth Opportunities
Engaged employees are more productive and motivated. Surveys indicate that employees are also more likely to be engaged if they feel they have opportunities to grow within a company.
Make sure your new hires feel this way by referencing growth during the check-in process. Also, make it clear to them that you are asking out of a desire to implement more effective employee development programs. A new hire will feel more comfortable being honest about their impressions if you frame the question in this way. They’ll also be more likely to provide valuable suggestions for improving engagement.
While the specific nature of a check-in process will likely vary from one organization to another, it’s still important to keep these general points in mind. They’ll help you get a genuine idea of how new hires feel during the crucial early months on the job.