We are Always Short Staffed – What the heck can I do about it? (Part 2)


Last week we began a series on one of the remnants of the Covid Pandemic.  The fact that it seems just about every business is in need of more people to operate at full capacity.  While the reasons given for this new phenomenon are varied, we believe the answer to this issue is doing three things right:  

  • Sourcing – which we explored last week.
  • On-boarding – today we’ll dig into starting new employees in a way that builds job satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Retaining – next week we’ll look at keeping the good employees you have today, and the new employees you intend to hire.

The saying goes “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression” and nothing could be truer for the new employees first few days on the job with your company.  Studies show that effective on-boarding programs can improve retention by 82% and that most employee’s decisions to stay with a company long-term are made within the first six months of employment.  Employees have a variety of competing emotions when they start a new job.  Nervousness, excitement, intrigue, maybe even fear.  The best employers recognize this and, as the famous song goes; “You’ve got to accentuate the positive.  Eliminate the negative.  Latch on to the affirmative.  Don’t mess with Mister In-Between.”  To that end, here are three ideas for maximizing your on-boarding programs:

  1. On-boarding starts before day 1 – You found a great candidate and offered them a position.  Now you need to make sure they don’t change their mind before they even start.  This is your opportunity to both ensure they start and get them excited about working for you. 

    Communicate after the initial offer and acceptance.  Prepare a list of frequently asked questions and ask if they have any other questions.  Let them know that you are looking forward to working with them and are preparing for their first day.  Share an overview of what they can expect on the first day.  And, of course, be clear about where and when they should show up.

    And make sure you are preparing properly.  Do you have a check list for this with things such as computer set up, time cards, or name tags?  Be prepared so day one goes well.
  1. Day 1 – According to an article from Employee Connect the first impression is made in seven seconds.  The article offers a simple checklist that works for most situations.  Of course, adjust to make it work for your company.
    • Have the workstation ready with username and passwords ready to be created. Have some simple items like paper and pens for them to use.
    • Plan the right amount of time for the first week.  Prepare appropriate assignments beforehand so they are not overwhelmed and not being idle. 
    • Get the team onboard by introducing the new employee to the team and giving them time to talk and get to know each other.  Possibly have a team lunch.  You may want to assign another team member to be their mentor and go-to person when you aren’t available. 
    • Check in often!  You are probably busy doing your “real” job but making the time to check in on your new hire will make your job easier it the long run. 
  1. Establish and Plan the Learning Path – Plan the training over the appropriate timeframe not throwing everything at them at once – or worse, throwing them into their job with zero training.  Create a schedule of all the training and when they need to have the knowledge to do specific tasks. 

    A simple guide could look like this:
Knowledge neededDate when knowledge
is needed
Available trainingDate to
provide training
to new hire
How to navigate CRM programTwo weeksOnline training from software systemDate
How to run reports in CRM programBy end of next monthOne-on-one
with Joe Smith

Once you’ve sourced the new candidates for your company, the next step is “making a The employee on-boarding experience is key to retaining new employees and ending the turnover cycle.  Retention programs are the final piece to the staffing puzzle and we’ll cover that in next week’s blog.  We would love to hear any thoughts or suggestions you’d like to share with us – it’s easy to do by reaching us through our Contact Us page. 

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