Onboarding programs are getting a lot of hype these days, and for good reason. In today’s job market, top talent can afford to be picky—which means, if your firm doesn’t make a good first impression, your shiny new hire won’t be sticking around for too long. What’s more, when one talented team member quits, others tend to follow. If you don’t want your firm to end up on life support, you need to listen up.
Effective Onboarding 101
Successful onboarding programs take time. You can’t bring a new employee up to speed in a week, or even a month. If you want to tap into your new hire’s full potential and see them shine, you need to invest a year—yes, a literal twelve months—into bringing them on board.
Onboarding is not training. It’s not showing a person the ropes. Rather, it’s making them a part of your firm’s family. What follows are three characteristics of all successful onboarding programs.
1. Cultural Immersion
Everybody wants to feel like they’re a part of something. This is true on both a personal and professional level, which is why cultural immersion is a cornerstone of successful onboarding. Your new hire needs to understand your firm’s vision, mission, and core values. They need to know who you are so that they can determine how best they can contribute.
2. Successful Integration
Quick: in fifty words or less tell me what a successful employee does at your firm. If you can’t do this, you’re in trouble. Everyone on your team should have a clear, succinct idea of what success looks like in their particular role. Old and new hires alike need to know when they are doing well, and if you can’t give them this information, they’ll look for it elsewhere (like at the competition). Feeling a sense of accomplishment is second only to a sense of belonging in terms of basic human needs, so providing both of these things is crucial to top-tier onboarding.
3. Consistent Upkeep
You may not need a year to communicate your firm’s culture and ensure your new hire understands what success looks like in their particular role. This can be accomplished by well-crafted onboarding materials paired with short-term goals and regular reviews. Nonetheless, you do need a year to ensure they feel comfortable, cared for, and fulfilled.
On day one, new talent should meet with their direct manager, and this should continue on a regular basis for their first twelve months and beyond. In addition, your firm should offer some sort of mentoring program complemented by continual virtual onboarding modules.
Hiring and Empowering Solutions’ Law Firm Admin Bootcamp is precisely the sort of virtual onboarding resource that relieves the pressure of having to do all this yourself. By making our bootcamp a part of your process, you achieve much of the above—without having to find yet more time in your busy schedule.
To learn more or to get signed up today, pick up the phone and give me a call! Effective onboarding takes time, yes, but it doesn’t have to be your time. After all, you know as well as me that if there were one thing you’re short on, it’s hours in a day.