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7 Action Items Your New-Hire Checklist May Be Missing

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It’s expensive and time consuming to hire someone, so you want to make sure your new hires stick around. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to welcome your new employees and give them a successful start to a long, productive career with your company. Consider making the guidelines in this blog part of your new employee checklist. If you don’t already have a new employee checklist, you can use the information below to start building one tailored to your company’s needs.

Paycom clients: If you have Document and Task Management, it’s easy to add any of the items below to your new-hire checklist and review completion rates. That way, you can ensure each new employee has a positive, consistent onboarding experience.

If you’re not a Paycom client, you can use this post to build your own checklist in a program like Microsoft Word or Excel. Keep in mind that if you take this approach, ensuring the checklist is used and completed for every new employee will be difficult.

1. Send a welcome letter to new employees.

A welcome letter to new employees helps them feel connected to your company from the beginning. An effective welcome letter should include:

  • confirmed start date, including where to show up and who to report to on the first day
  • information about parking, dress code, which entrance to use and other logistical information
  • outline of the first day’s activities, like completing HR documents, orientation, group training or an introduction to other employees
  • guidance on lunch: whether new hires can expect to spend it with their team, with their supervisor or on their own, and whether it will be on- or off-site

 

2. Send new-hire forms to new employees before their first day.

You may want to send HR documents, like Forms I-9 and W-2, to new hires to complete before they start. This is “preboarding,” and it can be an effective way to help new hires start work earlier on their first day, especially if you have the technology to send and receive these documents quickly and securely. Do note that time spent preboarding must be tracked and compensated.

If you’re considering adding this step to your new-hire checklist, it’s critical you have processes in place – or the right technology – to ensure the confidential and timely exchange of new hire documents. Additionally, new hires should have a way to track the time they spend preboarding accurately.

3. Block out time for a meet and greet.

Once new hires are on site, make them feel like valued members of the team. Have an employee greet new team members at the entrance on their first day. Help them connect with other new hires through introductions or even a group orientation, depending on the size of your organization.

4. Ask managers to assign tasks.

Make sure your managers offer their new hires’ practical, manageable assignments that can be completed on their first day. That allows them to start feeling like contributing team members sooner. Managers also should have a 30-, 60- and 90-day plan prepared for their new team members, so they know what’s expected of them and what success looks like in their new role.

When managers prepare these 30-, 60- and 90-day plans, they should have in mind some of the questions they will use when they check in with employees in the first several months of employment. Here are examples of questions your managers could ask at each stage:

Day one:

  • How did everything go today?
  • Do you have any questions?
  • Is there anything you have any worries or concerns about?
  • Any concerns for the future?

30 days in:

  • Is the job/team/company what you expected?
  • Do you have enough, too much or too little time to do your work?

60 days in:

  • What’s been going well? What are the highlights of your experiences so far? Why?
  • How do you see your job relating to the organization’s mission?

90 days in:

  • What’s the biggest difference between what you thought the job was like and what it’s really like?
  • Is there anything about your role, the team or company that is still unclear?

While these check-ins aren’t technically a part of the new-hire checklist, they are a crucial part of increasing employee retention and engagement, during the time new hires might still be on the fence about staying with your company.

Retention Statistic Aberdeen Group

5. Show new hires around their new space.

Give them a tour of the company and their new department, including where they can find:

  • break rooms
  • restrooms
  • supplies
  • the cafeteria, lunch rooms or nearby restaurants where they can eat lunch
  • other key locations like a lounge, gym or frequently used conference room

Before a new hire walks in the door, ensure his or her workspace is clean and has everything he or she will need to do his or her job well. Depending on the new hire’s position, this may include:

  • phone
  • office supplies
  • computer (including keyboard and mouse)
  • tools
  • safety gear (if applicable)

Check that any software required for the new employee’s job is already installed, and consider placing a directory or list of employees and extension numbers near their phone.

One way to make new employees feel especially welcome is to include a welcome gift with company-branded items, new supplies, snacks or even small gifts that help new hires get familiar with your company culture.

6. Help new employees connect to their team.

Send a new-employee introduction announcement to the rest of the company or department before a new hire begins. Share details about their experience, new role and personal information if it fits with your company culture.

But don’t limit the introduction to email. Follow up in person by introducing the new hire to their team. Take time to mention the new person’s strengths and what he or she will bring to the company. Give the new hire guidance on who he or she can ask for help regarding specific issues.

7. Help your new hire get acclimated to the company culture.

Because culture is the unwritten code that influences the way the team, department and company makes decisions large and small, giving new hires a quick cultural overview can help them feel more confident sooner.

Plan a group activity, or encourage your new hire’s manager to do so. A team lunch, coffee break or happy hour can provide valuable time for informal connection with new co-workers.

Consider assigning a “buddy” or having the new person shadow a more experienced employee. If your new hire is shadowing someone, give that employee advance notice. This will allow him or her time to prepare the day’s tasks based on what the new hire will need to learn.

Talk to new hires about how their work matters to the organization. This helps give them a sense of purpose as they start their new job. If possible, have others in the same position share stories of success or the business impact they’ve seen in their roles. Depending on your company, you or the new hire’s manager may do this. Either way, helping your new hire make this connection can help them feel like an important part of the team from the beginning.

Retention starts early

The cost of replacing employees - Bersin

Following these guidelines when you create your new-hire checklist – or adding them to your existing checklist – can help ensure new hires experience a first day that makes them excited to work for your company for the long haul.

For more guidance on how your onboarding activities can contribute to increased retention, download our executive summary, “Why Retaining Great Employees Starts With Onboarding.”

To learn more about Paycom’s Document and Task Management software, request a demo.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. Accordingly, Paycom and the writer of the above content do not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the above information. It does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, or professional consulting. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal or other professional services.


lauren.rogers

by Lauren Rogers


Author Bio: As a communications specialist at Paycom, Lauren Rogers keeps employees abreast of company news and events, and provides insight to industry leaders regarding issues affecting human capital management. With experience in marketing and communications, Lauren has written blogs and other materials for a variety of businesses and nonprofits. Outside the office, she enjoys gardening, testing new recipes and sipping something caffeinated with her nose in a book.

a professional practicing Mindfulness in an open field at sunset.

How Mindfulness Benefits the Boardroom

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Often, “mindfulness” conjures up images of stillness in a yoga studio. But fast-paced executives are finding mindfulness and leadership also go hand in hand. Intentionally tuning in to daily tasks, people and events can actually benefit the boardroom as much as it does the boat pose.

 Why mindfulness matters

 Merriam-Webster defines mindfulness as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” This mindset encourages people to slow down and focus on the present.

For many in upper management positions, slowing down feels more like a luxury than a reality. However, mindfulness can also occur by noticing actions as they happen.

Essentially, mindfulness exists in opposition to moving thoughtlessly from one task to the next and instead prioritizes focus, curiosity and openness. According to leadership expert John C. Maxwell, the highest level of leadership – Pinnacle leadership – requires intentionality.

Maxwell writes in his book The 5 Levels of Leadership Pinnacle leadership “requires longevity as well as intentionality … if you continually focus on both growing yourself at every level, and developing leaders who are willing and able to develop other leaders, you may find yourself at the Pinnacle.” Leaders who practice mindfulness have an edge on the focus and intentionality required to reach the highest level of leadership.

Proven benefits in the field

 Business behemoths like General Mills, Target and Google are part of the mindfulness movement. All three companies implemented mindfulness training programs and had improvements in leadership qualities like listening, productivity and decision-making.

Harvard Business Review detailed these companies’ mindfulness initiatives, noting “bringing mindfulness to the workplace has decreased people’s stress levels while improving focus and clarity, listening and decision-making skills, and overall well-being. Perhaps most importantly from a management perspective, mindfulness gives employees permission to think.”

Implementing mindfulness

Today’s leaders need to plan for tomorrow without sacrificing commitment to their day-to-day responsibilities. Though pursuing mindfulness can feel challenging in a fast-paced environment, working to increase levels of focus, curiosity and intentionality is worth the effort.

A few actionable ways you can implement mindfulness are:

  • taking the time to practice active listening during one-on-one meetings
  • remaining open to a company’s change and innovation trajectory
  • prioritizing clarity over speed during big decisions

These small steps can add significant depth to an individual’s leadership skills.

Learn more about improving as a leader (and achieving Pinnacle leadership) with this on-demand  Paycom webinar presented by John C. Maxwell. Whether you’re looking to lead your company to the next level or focusing on your own personal management skills, mindfulness can help you get there.

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Posted in Blog, Featured


Author Bio: Jason Bodin has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom, where he serves as director of public relations and corporate communications. He helped launch Paycom’s blog, webinar platform and social media channels. He aided in the development of Paycom’s tool to assist organizations in complying with the Affordable Care Act, one of the largest changes in health care the country has seen. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Bodin previously worked for ESPN and FoxSports. In his free time, he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and strengthen his business acumen.

core values

Defining Game-Changing Core Values to Attract Superstar Talent

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March is over, but the madness HR deals with never ends. Fortunately, your organization’s core values can be a real game-changer in the competition for top talent. In a recent episode of the HR Break Room podcast, Kinetix CHRO Kris Dunn discussed the valuable lessons HR can learn from the annual college hoops competition.

Here is a sampling of our conversation on why core values matter – in basketball and in business.

The margins for talent are small

 When recruiting high-quality talent, organizations actually compete on a tight playing field, and like a single-elimination tournament, hiring is a one-and-done process. When an organization edges out other companies in the quest for top talent, it ultimately has the advantage over competitors, and may even move up to face much larger businesses as a result.

In college basketball today, nearly all universities that advance to the final games have chosen to grow their teams over several years, instead of recruiting superstars who play for one season before going pro. In developing talent for the long term, your organization can succeed against the competition too.

Listen to the full conversation with Kris Dunn in “Slam Dunk: Defining Game-Winning Core Values,” an episode of the HR Break Room podcast.

Define and promote core values to attract top talent

 Compare a successful business to any winning basketball team, and you will find a common thread: well-defined core values. This year’s tourney winner, Villanova, places a high value on learning and development by retaining players for multiple years. The value of practical education permeates the entire organization. Consequently, Villanova has a great skills development program.

When defining core values for your organization, it’s important to determine which traits support overarching strategic goals. Once these values have been determined, communicate and promote them to the outside world so you can attract talented individuals who share those values. To create the best possible experience for prospective candidates, these values must be transparent and consistently demonstrated within the organization.

Know what makes your organization special

 No two teams play the same way. Some apply pressure to opponents; some play a specific type of zone defense; and still others want to run out the clock. Similarly, each top-performing organization has its own unique company culture, driven by its core values.

Take any sample of American companies, and you’ll find various ways to make decisions, assign responsibility and define success. Differing approaches to culture directly reflect the core values of each organization, because your culture is born from the values most consistently on display.

For an entire organization to own its culture and core values, HR must invest in the company’s desired identity, and encourage leaders to go “all in.” This can help differentiate your organization from other companies competing for top talent, and give you an edge in identifying and recruiting prospective employees likely to make valuable contributions from day one.

Enjoy this article? check out Swish! 5 Talent Lessons I’ve Already Learned From the NCAA Tournament This March

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Posted in Blog, Featured

caleb.masters

by Caleb Masters


Author Bio: Caleb is the host of The HR Break Room and a Webinar and Podcast Producer at Paycom. With more than 5 years of experience as a published online writer and content producer, Caleb has produced dozens of podcasts and videos for multiple industries both local and online. Caleb continues to assist organizations creatively communicate their ideas and messages through researched talks, blog posts and new media. Outside of work, Caleb enjoys running, discussing movies and trying new local restaurants.

Anonymous Sexual Harassment Reports

Building Employee Trust with Anonymous Sexual Harassment Reports

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Employee trust is one of the most important factors in handling sexual harassment complaints. Employees need to trust HR will listen to their concerns and will respond appropriately to reports of sexual harassment. Yet the EEOC notes only about 30% of employees who experienced harassment reported the harassment internally within their company.

One way HR can help build trust with employees is with a robust system of reporting and investigation that allows anonymous complaints and communications.

If clear procedures are communicated to employees and consistently followed, an anonymous complaint process can help build trust that HR is prepared and committed to investigating harassment complaints in a fair and thorough manner.

Make a plan and stick to it

 As with all company policies, developing your procedure ahead of time, and following it when issues arise, are key to workplace fairness. Following the steps of a robust and outlined policy can also help limit company liability after an incident occurs by demonstrating the company seriously investigated the complaint and took appropriate action in accordance with its policy.

Providing the means for employees to make anonymous complaints can help employees trust their complaints will be handled discretely and appropriately, and can help lessen employee concerns about retaliation.

Some employers contract with an outside vendor to provide a third-party anonymous reporting system that will pass on complaints only to a specific person or group who needs to know of the complaint in order to investigate. The vendor can also allow the person making the report to specify individuals who may be involved in the behavior, so those people will not receive access to the anonymous report.

Follow up

 Take anonymous reports as seriously as any other type of report, including face-to-face complaints. Recognize the reasons an individual may wish to remain anonymous and be sensitive in your response.

Think of anonymous reporting as simply another pathway to allow your employees to share their concerns, in addition to the other methods available to them, like discussions with HR personnel or meetings with supervisors. Thoroughly investigate any complaint made, regardless of whether the person who filed a report chooses to remain anonymous or not.

Don’t promise more than you can deliver

 Communicate to employees that they can make a report of sexual harassment completely anonymously. However, if they choose to identify themselves in a complaint, don’t promise you will be able to keep their identity secret. Make clear you have a duty to investigate all complaints, and this may involve interviews with the person or people accused of taking part in inappropriate or harassing behavior.

Emphasize the company will follow its internal procedures. Do not imply or promise what may result from an investigation after an employee complaint is made. An anonymous complaint is the first step of a workplace investigation, and must be investigated in accordance with policy, just like any other type of report.

It’s important to take your company’s responsibilities seriously when you respond to sexual harassment complaints. A robust policy that allows anonymous reports and responds with an impartial and thorough investigation to each anonymous complaint can be an effective part of an overall anti-harassment strategy, and can help build and maintain employee trust in HR personnel and anti-harassment efforts.

 Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

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Posted in Blog, Compliance, Featured

Erin Maxwell

by Erin Maxwell


Author Bio: As a compliance attorney for Paycom, Erin Maxwell monitors legal and regulatory changes at the state and federal level, focusing on health and employee benefits laws, to ensure the Paycom system is updated accordingly. She previously served as assistant general counsel at Asset Servicing Group in Oklahoma City. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Outside of work, Maxwell enjoys politics, historical mysteries and spending time with her family.

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