Onboarding new employees is often a time-consuming process. Even if you hire workers who have been in construction for years, they still have to learn the specific procedures that are unique to your business. Employees who aren't given time and the proper information to adjust to their new position may struggle to complete their job appropriately or fail to note important procedures that will help keep them safe on the job--and it's even more important that you take the time to properly onboard employees who haven't worked in the construction industry before.
Tip #1: Assign a Mentor to New Employees
Ideally, you want your mentor to be an employee in a similar position to the new employee, rather than a supervisor or an individual who already has increased responsibilities across the job site. You do, however, want to choose an experienced, responsible employee who will explain things properly to a new hire, rather than hazing them or asking them to accomplish unrealistic things.
Tip #2: Hire a PEO
Working with a PEO can help smooth out the onboarding process and ensure that your employees are in a better position to move easily into their first day on the job site. As you work with your PEO, they'll take care of the paperwork and basic safety training, freeing your employees up to handle those early days with a new hire on the job site.
Tip #3: Check In Regularly
In a perfect world, new employees would be willing to come to you whenever they have a question. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Checking in on a weekly basis allows you to get a better idea of how employees are doing, gives them a chance to asks questions, and lets you tackle potential problems before they turn into serious issues.
Tip #4: Provide Appropriate Training
In the construction industry, you're faced with hazardous activities every day. Because of the nature of the business, it's important to provide appropriate training to all of your employees. This includes:
- Strategic review of the company handbook to be sure that new hires understand all of the necessary policies and procedures
- Specific training in safety regulations
- Careful training in how to use new equipment or take care of jobs that this particular employee hasn't done in the past
- Comprehensive safety and risk management processes
Tip #5: Get to Know New Employees
During the onboarding process, take the time to genuinely get to know new employees. Talk with them to develop a better understanding of their past experience and how that has shaped their current abilities. Make sure you have a strong understanding of the experience that employees already have so they don't end up with a job that's over their heads--especially with no one to help.
Tip #6: Observe
Whether you put the superintendent of the job site in charge of observing new employees or check in yourself, it's important that you take the time to observe new employees to see how they're doing on the job. Look for signs of insecurity or that employees are taking unnecessary chances. These observations can be addressed immediately if they are causing safety hazards or left until your weekly meeting if you need more time to discuss how to address your worries.
When you're onboarding a new employee, you want to make sure that you get it right. Careful attention to the entire process, including assistance from an outside firm or from employees within your organization, can help ensure that you have everything you need on hand, whether you're onboarding a single employee or working with a cast of dozens thanks to a construction hiring boom.
For more information on how Harbor America can make employee onboarding a snap, contact us today. Our comprehensive HR solutions include recruitment and screening, onboarding, payroll, compliance, and more, allowing you to focus on running your business.