The Complete Guide to Employee Onboarding – What You Need to Know

Employee onboarding quickly keeps new employees up to speed and makes them feel welcome. It starts the moment they accept an offer and ends when they are fully integrated into the company culture and can do their job without guidance from others.

A successful onboarding program can mean the difference between success and failure for your new hires. Here are some tips and tricks for getting it right.


Know What You’re Expecting

Understanding employee onboarding process is their first glimpse into the organization’s structure, politics, and support. This is where they learn what responsibilities are expected from them and who they must check in with daily, weekly, and more.

This is also where the company’s culture and values are conveyed through their actions and in the materials they provide prospective employees, including job listings and interview questions. The onboarding process should be tailored to each position and group of employees so that their needs are met.

A new employee will likely feel overwhelmed with the information provided during onboarding. Human resource professionals can help reduce this burden by spreading out the paperwork typically given to new hires during their first week and month of employment. Additionally, recording training sessions can allow new employees to review content independently. This will enable them to focus on learning their role more quickly and increase productivity.

Create a Schedule

Onboarding should continue until the new employee is fully comfortable and has settled into a daily routine. Depending on the organization, this could take up to three or more weeks.

Setting up the new hire’s workspace during this time is important. This might include a computer, printer, software and other equipment needed to perform their job functions. It also includes ordering business cards, uniforms, nameplates, and other personalized employee materials.

Introduce the new hire to their team during lunch or informal meetings. Encourage other employees to reach out, especially those who interviewed them, so the new hire feels welcomed and connected from day one.

Send the new hire a personalized welcome package, including a mug, shirt or other brand-related items. This is a great way to demonstrate that you are excited about their arrival and want them to feel welcomed and valued. Include helpful guides, links to organizational history and other resources that will help them in their role. The more prepared your new hire is, the faster they can settle into their role.

Have a Plan of Action

A clear plan for your new hire’s first weeks can help them adjust and get to work. It can also minimize turnover, costing a company tens of thousands in training costs and lost productivity.

Ensure all the necessary meetings and training sessions are scheduled well before your new hire’s start date – this helps ensure you can accommodate their schedule and fit them into existing meeting calendars. It’s also helpful to set one-week, one-month, six-month, and one-year goals with them so they can track their progress.

A “buddy system” is another great way to help new employees adjust and build relationships early on. This involves pairing them with a team member who will be their point of contact for questions and to help smooth the transition into the role. This person must be someone who can provide a consistent, supportive presence throughout the onboarding process. Ideally, the buddy will attend all the onboarding meetings and be available to answer any new hires’ questions.

Have a Plan of Defense

Despite the best onboarding processes, some new hires will inevitably leave. While this can be disappointing, it provides valuable information for HR professionals and managers to evaluate the effectiveness of your onboarding program.

The success of your onboarding process is directly tied to employee retention, especially during the first year of employment. It’s important to ensure your company is prepared for onboarding and not left scrambling in a last-minute emergency or unexpected circumstances.

To do this, create a checklist with all the necessary items and an overview of the onboarding timeline. This will ensure that your new hire’s training is clear and help employees stay on track even when things don’t go according to plan. This outline will reduce stress, increase communications and provide a framework for success. Conducting a thorough background check on all job finalists with lightning-fast online checks from ShareAble for Hires before hiring is also important. This will protect your company from potentially destructive hires and avoid costly turnover.

employees working

Have a Plan of Success

An efficient and enticing onboarding process is an investment in employee productivity. Studies show that new hires become productive much faster with an effective onboarding program than without one.

In addition to setting clear expectations, you need a plan of action for your onboarding program to set your employees up for success over time. This includes a probation management system that automates regular check-ins with managers and team leaders to ensure that the right resources are delivered at the right times.

For example, a simple facility map can help new employees find the places they’ll need to go for their job, including restrooms, cafeterias and meeting rooms. Providing a list of the employees they should contact for help with specific tasks is another way to help them get up to speed quickly. And a clear outline of the company’s mission statement can help orient them to your culture and give them something to work towards. It’s also a good idea to talk about your company’s values in the onboarding process, as this can help them understand how their work fits into the bigger picture of your organizational goals.

I used to write about games but now work on web development topics at WebFactory Ltd. I've studied e-commerce and internet advertising, and I'm skilled in WordPress and social media. I like design, marketing, and economics. Even though I've changed my job focus, I still play games for fun.