Congratulations—you’ve hired an employee! Whether it’s your first or your 5th, bringing a new person onto your team is a big deal, not just for them but for you. Treat the occasion with the importance it deserves by giving a little thought to how you’ll onboard your new employee in a way that gets him or her off to a good start.
Whether your new worker is sitting next to you or is a virtual employee you interact with online and on the phone, do something special to mark the first day. If they’re virtual, use a videoconferencing tool like Skype to have a call so other employees, key customers or contractors they’ll be working with can meet (and actually see) the new person. If they’re in the office, taking them out for lunch is a good way to welcome them aboard. Also make sure you have the person’s equipment and workspace set up and ready to go on day one.
Convey your expectations.
It’s important for new employees to know what’s expected of them. Even if you only have one employee, you should develop an employee handbook. It doesn’t have to be a huge tome, but it does need to set out rules and expectations for things such as sick or vacation days, when work starts and ends, how salary or wages are paid, and more. Rocket Lawyer has a tool you can use to create a free employee handbook. The employee should read it and sign a receipt stating he or she has read and understood it.
Provide training and feedback.
Even if you’ve hired someone who’s pretty much ready to hit the ground running (such as a salesperson with an existing roster of contacts), you’ll still need to let the person know how you want things done in your business. It’s a good idea to set up a trial (or probationary) period (depending on the person’s experience level, this could vary from a few weeks to a few months) during which you provide ongoing training and monitor the person’s work to make sure he or she is learning the ropes. At the beginning, you might want to actually watch the person working or give feedback on each assignment. As the trial period ends, you can start to focus less on monitoring actual process and more on monitoring results. For instance, you might start out going with a novice salesperson on sales calls, and end up just tracking how many sales calls he or she makes and how many sales he or she closes each month.