Civil and Commercial Construction Employee Onboarding: How to Get Them Up and Running

In a highly competitive world, it’s not surprising that companies are continually thinking of new ways to capture top talent. Central to this is the adoption of recruiting strategies that target all generations. 


As key as it is, these efforts are worthless if companies can’t do what’s needed to retain their talent. As shown by McKinsey’s study, C-suite executives in today’s market are faced with the challenge of retaining top talent after hiring is done. 


As an employer, you can take great pleasure in knowing you’ve done your homework and found the very best in the field. However, after the offer is signed, there’s plenty you can do to boost employee enthusiasm and loyalty. 


New employees need to have effective onboarding programs that empower them to assimilate into the business culture productively and quickly. 


In this post, we’ll be looking to share insights on how you can gain favor with new employees and get them up and running in no time. 


What is Employee Onboarding?


Employee onboarding involves the practice of welcoming and integrating new employees into the company. In essence, you want to make them feel welcome, comfortable and right at home. 


When done right, onboarding enables new employees to perform optimally and add value to the organization from day one. This kind of approach is often called structured onboarding. 


More than ever before, employees today want to feel appreciated. They expect to connect with companies deeply. This kind of appreciation often does the world of good for the new employee as well as maintaining your culture. 


Failing to pay attention to this could cost you a great deal. Employers usually lose 17% of their new hires in the first 90-days when onboarding is not thorough. 


On the flip side, a great civil or commercial construction employee onboarding process can see you boost retention numbers by as much as 50%.


To achieve this, your onboarding program needs to feature:

  • A company-wide message indicating that this new employee, John Doe, will be starting on Monday, Month/Day in the position of Project Manager. When introduced, or in passing, please welcome John to the team.
  • A welcome card from the President.
  • Their equipment - laptop, phone, keys to the office, hard hat, safety vest - on their desk complete with their business cards, a working email address, and passwords to navigate the computer.
  • A personal introduction to the team, complete with all departments. Who they will be working with, who will be working under them?
  • Show them where the office supplies are.
  • Training.
  • Feedback on how you can improve the onboarding process.
  • Periodic check-ins the first week and month.
  • Hands-on support.


The Heavy Civil and Commercial Construction Employee Onboarding Process


During the employee onboarding process, you need to be mindful of first impressions. This is because it creates a sort of template on which your relationship with new hires will develop. With a proper foundation, it’s easy to set goals and harmoniously work towards fulfilling objectives. 


As an employer, you want to take charge of the onboarding process from the get-go. This is the perfect opportunity to set clear expectations and share how new employees can gainfully get growth opportunities. All while keeping the new members excited about the journey you’re about to embark on. 


Crucial as this process is, it can be somewhat tricky to manage. To aid with this, we’ve developed a civil and commercial construction employee onboarding checklist that will ensure you’re able to cover all aspects. 

The Civil and Commercial Construction Employee Onboarding Checklist

The Up Front Onboarding Checklist


Some firms have their HR Department involved with the hiring process and some do not. Upon acceptance of an offer, inform the appropriate personnel of the new employee, and their start date.


The up front onboarding will usually be candidate sign up, background checks, and scheduling a drug test – typically before the start date.  


Other necessary information that you need to have ready includes a copy of the benefits package and a handbook on best practices at the company. In this guide, it’s wise to re-state the job description so that expectations are set from day 1.

Procure Computers and other Equipment


Before new hires set foot at the offices, you need to have their equipment ordered and setup already.


This includes details like their computer, phone, keyboard, printer, and other devices required for a conducive workspace. 


Once all these things are configured, the stage is set.

Accounts Creation and Logins


Make sure you work closely with the IT Team and the facilities manager to prepare login credentials for new employees. This concerted effort helps you make sure that your new hires can access the software they need to perform their duties. 


If a phone is needed, it’s best to ensure that one is connected to their desk, and if possible, they can also have the company furnished or their own cell phone for use. Since you want the phones to be professionally used, deliver a comprehensive set of instructions on how they should use them along with appropriate voice mail messages.

The Welcome Experience


While you may have high expectations for your new civil and commercial construction hires, try to ease them into it. 


You can have company-branded equipment like pens, backpacks, t-shirts, or mugs as part of their welcome kit in their workspace. 


Optionally, you can get them a physical greeting card that’s signed by a couple of people they’ve already met at the company and their leader.


If you’re feeling generous, you can have something like a $25 gift card that reads, “Here’s lunch, on us.” 


If you have time, you can take things up a notch by having lunch with them. During this time, it’s best not to talk about work. Instead, the conversation should be on more of a personal basis, and simply just laid back. 


When you do this, there is a high chance employees will get comfortable and feel part of a larger family since you’ve expressed an interest in their personal lives. 

Orientation Program


Once the new employees have the tools to work, it’s time to get them up to speed. You can choose to assign them a mentor to guide them along. 


This kind of mentor should exhibit characteristics like:

  • Good communication skills.
  • Emotional intelligence.
  • A commitment to employee growth and cultural integration.
  • Familiarity with the norms and culture of the company. Ideally, you want someone whose grasp of this is solid enough to be able to teach it to others.
  • The ability to establish and sustain professional relationships.


In parallel, you can come up with an orientation program that gives them an overview of basic needs like:

  • Training on policies and procedures.
  • A tour of the company building.


To save costs, we would suggest keeping the costs to a minimum by hosting group training or embracing e-learning. 


Gradually, you can introduce your new employees to other team members and elaborate on how their responsibilities blend with the team’s work. 

Touch Base… Often


You must stay connected with new hires for the first couple of months. This will not only enable them to resolve issues that may arise quickly but will also give you a better understanding of their needs. 


To ensure that you don’t lose track of time, you can set up a calendar reminder after every month or second quarter. During these meetings, make it known that the door is open for feedback exchange and deliberations on how well they are acclimatizing to their roles. 

Get Your New Hires Up To Speed Quickly with The Right Onboarding Program


The employee onboarding process can be daunting if you’re ill-prepared, especially when you factor in the kind of responsibility that comes with meeting and onboarding a stranger. 


Still, there’s no room for slacking, and you have to ensure that every one of your new employees is brought up to speed. 


For efficiency, it’s best to have a streamlined program that ensures you don’t overspend time, money, and lag in your responsibilities. 


Our civil and commercial construction employee onboarding checklist should help your new hires get on their feet quickly and eager to stay around long after the dotted line is signed. For this to happen, set clear expectations, be direct in your communication, and available opportunities that make settling easy. 


At G. Peterson Consulting Group, we can help deliver employees in the heavy civil and commercial construction industries who fit your organizational culture and mentally prepare them for the job beforehand. The last thing you want is a hire who takes forever to acclimatize (Read: Benefits of Executive Recruiters in the Construction Industry)


That said, you don’t want to have a “grand opening” only to have a “grand closing” a couple of months later only because you decided to take a rushed hiring decision or failed to onboard with the new employee’s interests at heart.


The science of this whole process is common sense. Make them feel wanted and accepted from day one. If you’d love to learn methods of approach, feel free to reach out to us today, and we’ll be quick to respond to queries and sort out your hiring and onboarding needs.

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