A new hire integration plan is a documented process for ensuring that all new hires are given access to everything and everyone they need to become happy, productive, high-performing employees as soon as possible.
The keyword is ‘integration’, and, as it suggests, it’s about helping new employees become fully enmeshed, or integrated, into the culture of their new organization.
Research by Glassdoor found that organizations that are good at this are able to improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.
What is new hire integration?
New hire integration is related to employee onboarding but it’s much more comprehensive – usually lasting from six months to two years. It looks beyond the usual technical setup and quick orientation that define the first weeks for most new employees. Instead, it focuses on increasing retention by helping these employees build their networks, find mentors, and find stimulating projects to work on.
7 things to include in your new hire integration checklist
1. Schedule welcome chats
Ensure that new hires feel valued early on by arranging for key stakeholders to give them a call or pop round to their desk to welcome them. This not only creates a friendly atmosphere and breaks the ice, but it gives your new hire the chance to start building their network and to work out who to talk to if they have specific questions.
2. Set up regular mentor meetings
Assigning a mentor, or a peer in the case of a senior hire, will help your new hire make social connections and learn the ropes faster. In the early days, your new hire might prefer regular short catch-ups with their mentor, switching to longer monthly meetings once they’ve settled in.
3. Involve them in diversity and inclusion activities
Another important way to help your new hires build their social networks is to make a point of planning diversity and inclusion activities that they can join.
If you have a D&I program in place already, be sure to introduce new hires to it and encourage them to participate.
4. Give them stimulating work gigs
People start new jobs because they want new challenges and exciting work. It would be wonderful if every new employee could start their tenure with a short-term project of their choice to help them meet people and get up and running.
Creating an internal gig economy is a great way to get new hires stuck in fast, for example by helping out on a small side project, or using their skills and experience to lead a new initiative.
Just make sure the gig isn’t a high-pressure one that might stress out your new employee!
5. Give them the opportunity to align with stakeholders
The opportunity to listen to and share ideas with key stakeholders is a powerful tool in any company’s retention toolkit. Try to schedule short catch-ups or social events that give employees the chance to touch base with senior leaders. These sessions can solidify the company vision and drive morale in a big way.
6. Help them foster the right social connections
Strategic social gatherings can really bring out the best in some employees, especially more reserved types who need to a bit of encouragement to socialize with high performers and senior managers.
Try to plan a wide range of social activities to encourage cross-functional relationship building in both small and big groups. The wider the variety, the better!
7. Give them the real-time feedback they crave
We have seen that most new hires crave regular feedback. They want to know how they’re doing, what they’re doing right, and how they can improve.
It’s not very nice to make an excited employee wait 6 months or a year for some feedback. They are invested in the success of the company, and they want to feel that the company is invested in their success, too.
About vi’s New Hire Integration & Retention Timeline Solution
Our software comes with best-practice employee and executive integration paths. They were designed based on retention best practices that work.