Human Resources

A Winning First Day

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The world of automobile repair can be a hectic one, which makes onboarding new employees tricky to navigate. There are many components to balance—from initial introductions to training programs—and there are a variety of different ways to approach it.

Lauryn Roberts is a strategic customer success manager with Hireology, and she says that once employers make a new hire, they can sometimes think that the tough work is done. But that’s actually where the work begins. Your hope is that new hires to stay with you for the long term, so making a good first impression is vital. Here, Roberts details some tips for making a new employee’s first day as perfect as possible.

Set up an online onboarding system.

Putting an employee in a room by themselves to fill out paperwork on their first day comes off as univiting and isolating. By providing them the option to do some relevant paperwork and potentially complete training materials ahead of time, they are able to do it from the comfort of their own home. Online onboarding systems are a great way to get employees ahead of the game, and there are many different kinds of this software available. In addition, this gives you as the employer the opportunity to set them up for success on their first day. You can give them a personalized message letting them know important details, such as where to park, what time to come in, and anything else that may pertain to your shop.

Make the new employee feel welcome.

Having someone ready to greet the employee may seem like something out of New Employees 101, but it can easily slip through the cracks. Be thorough and double check that their uniform is ready for them, that their locker is cleaned out, and that their workspace is ready to go for them that first day. How nice would it be for them to walk in to a clean, designated space that may even have a note from the general manager and, say, a Starbucks gift card welcoming them to the team? Obviously it doesn’t have to be that exact strategy, but the point is that you want them to feel acknowledged. It is also useful to assign an existing employee as a new hire’s mentor for the first week. This way they have a point of contact who can help answer questions or get the new hire acquainted with the shop’s atmosphere and schedule. The mentor can let the new hire know when meetings are, what time people usually go to lunch, and everything in between.

Have them get started on basic tasks by the afternoon.

If you’re in a situation where you are onboarding an experienced technician, they are probably eager to get started. As an employer who is confident in their hiring decision, you are most likely eager as well. In a circumstance such as this, it is not a bad idea to start assigning them basic tasks by the afternoon of their first day. Hands on experiences are especially critical in the repair industry, which means that it is important to integrate them as a component of the onboarding process.

Check-in with the employee.

Make sure that the new employee is retaining the information being relayed to them. As an employer, you should either check in with the employee yourself or have whoever has been regulated as their mentor do so. At the end of the first day, it is important to ask if the new employee has any lingering questions and review everything that was covered. Do the same at the end of their first week, and then from there the employee should be checked in with at the 30 day mark, as well as 60 days and 90 days. This process shows follow through. The repair industry can have a quick turnaround, but when you bring on a new hire your first thought should revolve around what you can do for them that would make them want to stick around for the long term. By taking the time to periodically check in with their progress, you are showing that you notice their work and care about meeting them where they are at.

What is Online Onboarding? 

Lauryn Roberts, strategic customer success manager with Hireology, suggests using an online onboarding system for new employees, but what exactly does that mean? Here are a few quick facts about this kind of software.

This software isn’t free. Online onboarding will cost you some extra money, but the amount you pay depends on the software you choose. There are a variety of options to pick from, and some will give you a free price quote to see if it fits within your budget before you commit.

New employees can fill out paperwork ahead of time. Online onboarding can provide an opportunity to do necessary paperwork before the employee’s first day. You can utilize the software to upload a W-4, I-9, payroll forms, contracts and the like. New employees can fill these out (and the both of you can even sign them) electronically, which means less papers to print and organize.

It’s what you make of it. You can personalize the software to include an employee handbook, a message from the manager, important information regarding your shop and just about anything else that pertains to your daily operations. Providing all of this online for new employees to access allows them to digest it in their own time, and perhaps not feel that overwhelming sensation we can get when walking in to a new job.



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