The Right Way to Onboard Millennial Employees

Guest blog by TINYpulse

After searching high and low, you’ve finally found that perfect employee to bring on board. So as a manager, you might be tempted to dump every single orphaned project on this employee during their first week on the job and call it “onboarding.” It’s very tempting, but it’s detrimental to your new hire’s success.

Whether your new hire walks through the door with one or 10 years of experience under their belt, it’ll still take time for them to learn the tools, processes, and about their responsibilities in their new role. You can’t leave new hires to just “figure it out.” Consider what TalentWise and TINYpulse found:

  • It takes an average of eight months for a new employee to become fully productive
  • 49% of millennials agree that they would like a better onboarding process for new hires

Onboarding needs a modern makeover. And in fact, a 90-day onboarding plan is what you need to get new hires up to speed flawlessly and create a true asset for your organization.

Why Extend Beyond One Week?

Many managers believe a one-week training program is enough for new hires. But that’s where the myth lies. Learning takes time. A study by The Aberdeen Group agrees. They found that 76% of companies have extended their employee onboarding process to beyond one month.

When you first learned a new skill or software, did you become an expert right away? Chances are that you didn’t. The same goes for new hires. When you break down the learning process into 30-day increments, you’re laying down the fundamental groundwork for success. It allows your employee to focus on learning specific skills during a specific time.

Think of this as giving your new hire a road map. Leveraging a strategic plan clearly communicates the various stages they’ll go through during onboarding. They’ll understand where they’ll start, where they’re going, and what they’ll learn along the way. Being transparent gives new hires a clear direction and lets them know what’s expected of them.

Structuring A 90-Day Employee Onboarding Plan

30 days. This is when the ramping-up process starts. During these first few days, introduce them to the software they’ll be using. Start them off on small projects and set goals for them to achieve. Of course, one of the biggest factors to consider is helping them adjust to the company culture. By the end of the 30 days, your new hire should have a good idea of their responsibilities, what to expect in their role, and what’s expected of them.

60 days. The second stage involves more collaboration and handing over bigger responsibilities. This is the time to ease off on the training and focus more on the doing. Since your new hire is now an expert on smaller projects, it’s time to delegate bigger projects and longer-term responsibilities. And don’t forget — they’re comfortable with the company culture, so have them collaborate with other teams or departments.

90 days. And now the final stage when you remove the training wheels. As your employee is taking on more responsibilities, tackling big tasks and projects, make them accountable for their own work. Your new hire is now able to complete projects with little to no guidance from you.

For a more visual and tangible reference, try using an employee onboarding checklist similar to this:

Starting a new job is no easy feat. But giving your new hire a clearly laid out plan lets your new hire understand what they’ll learn, when they’ll learn it, and how they’re going to accomplish each goal.