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first impressions count – are you utilizing your onboarding process?

facility management is a fast-growing industry where there is fierce competition for the best talent on the market.

So, it goes without saying that making a great first impression on your new hires is important.

But despite this, many FM organizations don’t have a comprehensive onboarding plan in place for their new starters, and instead ask them to hit the ground running with little to no formal introduction or training. Given that the turnover rate in the US is sitting at around 60% currently, and has amounted to over $1 trillion dollars this year, investment in high quality onboarding could make all the difference, and pay dividends in employee satisfaction, engagement and loyalty.

So what should Facilities Management leaders be considering in terms of implementing a quality onboarding process for their new team members? Here are 3 areas that we suggest could greatly improve the experience of a new starter to your company:

1) a warm welcome… before they arrive

Starting a new job can be a daunting prospect, and alongside all the usual anxieties around job performance and team fit, many people have more practical worries about their first few days. Getting in touch with new starters a week or so before they’re due to arrive to set out first day expectations will always leave a fantastic impression.

Give them useful information, such as what time they’re expected, where to park, how to get into the building on their first day, where people go for lunch, and who they’ll be meeting with. Answering these questions before the first day will help them to arrive with confidence, and feel focused on the work, rather than their worries.

2) make their first week people centred

Team integration is crucial for the success of a new starter in FM. The way they interact and gel with their team on the ground Is hugely important to their productivity, the service levels they provide, and the client’s perception of your company. So making sure that their first weeks in the role do everything possible to integrate them into their new team can make or break the success of that new hire.

Set up meetings and one to ones with all of the stakeholders they need to get to know. They should meet with their account manager/regional manager as well as their colleagues on the ground. If they’ve been brought in at that higher level, book meetings with their counterparts in other teams or locations.

Try to organise a team lunch within their first couple of weeks to give them time to get to know their colleagues in a less formal setting.

3) onboarding needs to be engaging

We all know that different people have different learning styles. We all also know that sitting alone in a room and watching video after video isn’t the most engaging way to build a person’s foundation at their new company. Great onboarding has a mix of different types of learning. A great L&D platform to help with any formal learning, with a mix of videos, quizzes, and articles to help a range of different learners is great.

But a really comprehensive onboarding plan will help a new team member to become engaged in the entire company. It will offer opportunities to sit with and learn from other departments, and get to know the wider organizational set up and business goals. Setting this cross departmental agenda from day one can help to reduce silos, which can be common in facility management organizations, due to the nature of the contracts. But it also builds employee loyalty, as team members begin to feel part of a bigger picture and gain a deeper understanding of their role in the company’s success.

onboarding – success from day one

As one of the few business critical areas that touches every aspect of a company, your onboarding plan has the ability to set the tone for communications with employees from day one. Getting right can save you thousands in employee turnover and recruitment costs, and it can lead to a happier, more engaged workforce, who deliver better outcomes for your customers.

If you need advice on your onboarding plan, or are looking to build out your teams, please get in touch – it’d be great to talk through your needs.


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