Tips for Successfully Onboarding New Employees in the Construction Industry

May 08, 2018

As more millennials continue to enter the construction workforce, companies today are finding it increasingly difficult to both attract and retain these employees. As the skilled labor shortage persists throughout the construction industry, it is becoming even more important to ensure that workers are satisfied with their jobs, and with the company itself. Most construction businesses would acknowledge that their employees are their most valuable asset, which further drives home the importance of getting off to a great start with each new hire and laying a foundation for success from day one. With the time, effort, and cost required to hire a new employee, it is in the company’s best interest to ensure the onboarding process is as beneficial as possible, while ensuring the new employee feels like they are in the right work environment for them. This article will examine tips for successfully onboarding new employees, and provide strategies to help increase retention and improve satisfaction.

Streamline Administrative Tasks

While completing documents, signing contracts, and reading company policies are a necessary part of any onboarding process, this aspect should be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. No one wants to spend their first days dealing with administrative tasks, which hinders the learning process and provides a static environment for your new hire. Instead, provide each new hire with a complete package that has all of the documents, handbooks, and information required ahead of time, which allows them to read them before starting on the job. Not only will your new employee feel more prepared when they show up for their first day, but they will also be able to focus on learning their role and meeting with other employees throughout the company as well.

Foster a Positive Onboarding Experience

More often than not, new employees are simply thrown into their roles and are expected to get to work right away. Although some workers would perform okay under these circumstances, there is no guarantee they would be satisfied with the company or would even consider staying with that company for the long haul. Effective onboarding programs have been proven to reduce turnover rates, which in turn, can make your company a more desirable place to work for other prospective employees. This is why it is essential to create a positive onboarding process, which makes the new worker feel welcome within the company from day one.

Some tips to help enhance your onboarding process include:

  • Make the onboarding process fun! Create a ‘new hire’ meeting on a regular basis, where existing employees can meet with new ones to get to know one another better. Incorporate team-oriented activities that will help the new hire feel more welcome and apart of the company.
  • Assigning an experienced worker, or mentor, to help ease the transition process and ensure the new hire has help available to them if they have any questions or concerns.
  • Establish a clear and concise training process that provides the new hire with the essential information they need to know to complete their job. This will help to outline what is expected of each new worker, along with the right way to go about his or her job.

Make a Good First Impression

When bringing in a new hire, you only have one opportunity to make their first day a positive experience. While certain onboarding procedures are essential, such as having the employee’s credentials, forms, badges, etc. available, there are things that any business can do to go the extra mile.

Some ideas include:

  • Providing the new hire with a welcome package, which could include company branded promotional items, chocolate, a bottle of wine, or even a card signed by each employee welcoming them to the company.
  • Schedule either a breakfast or lunch during the new hire’s first few days with some of their co-workers or a specific department, which will help them feel special and get to know company a bit better.
  • Send out a company-wide email that introduces the new hire and offer up an invitation to welcome them to the company.

I am sure many of you are thinking, “We don’t really have time to do all of things.” or “We would need the new hire to get to work right away, we have tight deadlines to meet”. While these statements may be true, the best companies make time to properly onboard each of their new hires and view this time spent as an investment. The companies that immediately put their new employees to work on the jobsite or in the office typically end up with a higher turnover rate, a negative company culture, as well as low employee satisfaction. This is why it is of the utmost importance to take the time to make a positive first impression and demonstrate that your company is a great place to work. Regardless of the role or position, every employee wants to feel valued, and any company should take this very seriously if they want to attract and retain the best employees.

Give New Employees the Tools to Succeed

Construction companies can also implement a construction software solution to help provide their new hires with the latest technology to perform their jobs. By having modern software in place such as mobile time tracking, data entry, or photo capturing, new employees will not only be more likely to work for your company, but they will also be better able to perform their jobs on a daily basis. During the onboarding process, it is essential to have proper training for the software so new hires will be able to learn the solution and operate it effectively. This should be an ongoing process, as software is typically updated and enhanced on a regular basis. Through offering a complete software solution, and providing training on the software during the onboarding process, you can help ensure your new hires are both productive and successful.

To learn more about how Jonas Construction Software can help improve both your onboarding process and your business overall, request a demo today and see our software in action!

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