Monday, 19 December 2016

Under pressure? Save time with an onboarding process that works as hard as you do.

Bringing on some temporary help to cope with the incoming deluge of work? Here are our tips for a quick onboarding process that will ensure a smooth – and quick – transition.

When you’re so inundated with work that you’ve decided to bring on a temp worker to help relieve some of the burden, the last thing you want is for the onboarding process to take up additional time and resources. Which is why it’s essential to be prepared.

Take it from online retail heavy-hitter Amazon, who in October announced that they would take on 120,000 temps for the holiday season, a workforce increase of approximately 40%. New seasonal staff are put through a standardised onboarding procedure including training with screens, robots and scanners that offer feedback and assistance.

You may not have the resources to automate an entire warehouse, but we can still learn from Amazon’s meticulous approach. Remember that old adage, “a stitch in time saves nine”? Well this is a situation where it’s never been more appropriate. Rather than frantically giving your temp a tour of the office in between solving client conundrums and supporting your existing staff, a bit of preparation and a streamlined, standardized process will ensure that you have a sense of control over the chaos. Not to mention, it’s a much better first impression for your new team member.
So here’s your checklist when preparing to on-board at turbo speed.

1. Have you prepared a workspace?
There are companies out there that kit out a new staff member’s desk with chocolates, company handbooks and a loyalty card for the nearest coffee shop. These are all fantastic ideas and give a great first impression – but at the end of the day, it’s a desk, not a 5-star executive hotel suite, so don’t feel the pressure to go above and beyond if you’re under-resourced. However, do have somewhere designated for him or her to work. Do check that the computer turns on and that everything is plugged in. If you want your temp to hit the ground running, make sure that you’re set up for this to happen.

2. Have you got your forms ready?
Have them printed, on the desk, ready to sign and go. Done.
Have you got an abridged version of your company handbook?
While this will vary depending on the type of tasks you’re planning to assign to your temp worker, he or she probably doesn’t need to know the business intimately. Preparing an abridged version of the handbook ahead of time will prevent you from having to flick though irrelevant content to get to the essentials, like those crucial OH&S and evacuation instructions.

3. Have you made a cheat sheet?
When you’re buying an appliance or some new software for your computer, you’ll often find both a manual and a quick-start guide in the box. And doesn’t it make your life easier? The trick is to take the same approach with training. Summarising the important details for your new temp will save him or her the trouble of sifting through weighty manuals and disrupting your regular staff with questions like “Which printer do I use?” and “Where do I find last year’s annual report?”

4. Have you set aside some time to check in after a few days?
Knowing that there is a designated time for review and more specific training just around the corner can be a huge relief to both you and your new hire. Having experienced the ins and outs of the role, he or she will have no doubt accumulated a list of more relevant questions, and if they’re not pressing, will be able to store them up to ask at a convenient time rather than disrupting you or the rest of your team.
It does take a bit of time to get things thoroughly organised, but when the result is a vast increase in efficiency, it’s well worth giving a thorough, streamlined onboarding process a bit of thought. So if the festive season is when things ramp up for you, then consider giving yourself a gift, too. And, spoiler alert: this one keeps on giving.

Don’t have a temp sorted, but really need the extra help? Check out our website here:

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