Written by Kronos Summer Intern, Megan Grenier. Megan is an intern with our mid-market marketing team and our Gen Z insider. She’s returning to Saint Anselm College this fall where she’s studying communications. 

I’m back with the 123's of XYZ !  

During one of my interviews for this series, I was asking a senior executive about his first job experiences. He said that when he first started they didn’t have the internet, they didn’t even have computers. The way they would send messages in the office was through a system called an “inter-office envelope” (I’m convinced this is a myth). They would write a message and put it in a literal envelope (not the little mail icon on your computer) to be sent throughout the office, and you might not get a response for 3 days. When you think about how much has changed since those days, the question becomes—how have traditional HR practices evolved? Are they meeting the needs of these digitally dynamic generations we now have in the workplace?  

That’s why today I am going to give you my take on how technology and communication can make one of the most critical HR practices a positive employee experience and a smoother transition for everyone – the onboarding process. 

employee experience, onboarding, communication

Call me, beep me if you wanna reach me. 

When I was speaking to a colleague of mine about his experience as a new employee he said, “my manager would send me emails in all caps. I was terrified that she was angry at me, but I learned that she was just emphasizing a point.” Having that conversation with your employees about communication style when they first start can resolve miscommunications like this before they even begin. As a manager you have the power to ease your new hire's nerves. Sitting down with them to say, “Hey, this is what you can expect from me and here’s how I communicate,” opens a dialogue. And think about communicating with your younger new hires differently; you can be sure sending your millennial or Gen Z new-hire an email or a quick text message will get their attention in a meaningful way.  

There are questions they aren’t asking. 

When I first started as an intern, I was overwhelmed. I have never worked full-time before, especially in the summer, in a corporate setting. After going through the new hire training, I still had so many questions I wasn’t sure how to ask, questions that went beyond the typical things like my pay rate, what the company did, or even what my internship was about. Like many others my age, I wanted to know how I was going to appropriately balance working all the time with my summer vacation. I was scared to ask my manager if it was alright if I came in early to beat the traffic, because what if he said no? Eventually I swallowed my nerves and I asked. My manager told me that it’s okay as long as I’m completing all my work and sticking to my 40 hours (*phew*). I know from experience new hires can be nervous to ask questions, like me they don’t want to ask something stupid or get shot down. So, remind your new employee it’s okay to ask questions.  

They want to know what you expect of them. 

It’s important that we know what to expect from our managers, but we also need to know what is expected of us. There’s a lot of ambiguity when starting a new position. Roles and expectations in the workforce are constantly changing. For individuals who are new to the workforce or even just starting a new job it’s helpful when a manager can go over their expectations for the position and performance. Outlining the specifics of the role gives employees a clear understanding of what they will be doing in their new position. 

In addition to defining their role, setting goals helps to eliminate some of the unknowns. Setting goals with employees makes them feel included early on, while empowering them to reach their potential. During the onboarding process managers can define goals using performance management tools so employees can access them online throughout their time at an organization.  

A new position in a company can be a scary thing for anyone. But, through communication managers can help ease new hires into their position making the onboarding process a positive employee experience and an easier transition for everyone.   

Published: Tuesday, August 7, 2018