Onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee into the company and getting them up to speed with the culture, policies, and processes. Since this is often one of your first touchpoints with a new employee, it’s important the process is as clear and enjoyable as possible. After all, four out of five new employees that have a poor onboarding experience expect to quit soon, according to recent Paychex research. You never want your talent acquisition process to be a revolving door! This checklist will help you successfully onboard new employees so they can hit the ground running.
Before the First Day
- Send a welcome email
You’ve just hired a great employee! Congratulations! Your next step is ensuring they feel confident when they start their first day. You can send them a welcome email before their first day with any information they should be aware of. A pre-boarding welcome email usually includes the following information:
- Instructions for completing new-hire paperwork and forms such an I9 and W4, health insurance and benefits, direct deposit forms, pre-employment physicals, and any employee agreements they need to review and sign.
- Basic information about their first day such as start date, time, location, or how to log in if they are joining remotely.
- An agenda for the first few days of work that provides a high-level overview of your onboarding process, tasks they will have to complete in the first few days, and important people or teams to meet during onboarding. If you are onboarding a new leader, your management onboarding process may be even more robust, addressing things like company strategy, key growth goals and asset availability.
- A copy of your employee guidelines or company handbook.
- Set up your new employees’ workspaces
Nothing is worse than beginning your first day at a new job and realizing nothing has been done to prepare for you. Ensure your employee has a computer, desk, and chair if they work in your physical office space. Work with your IT department to set up important computer programs, communication channels, and their email. You can make them feel extra welcome by putting together a welcome kit with company swag.
If you are onboarding a remote employee, be sure to send instructions on how to set up their computer remotely and how to contact the IT department if they run into any issues.
On the First Day
- Introduce them to their team
Introduce the new employee to their teammates and their leader so they can start building relationships from the start. Nothing says welcome better than a bunch of smiling faces!
- Tour the workplace
Trying to learn everything at once can be overwhelming when you start a new job. One way to help ease hires into their new role is to tour the workplace. This will help them get familiar with the surroundings and where things are located. If you are onboarding a remote employee, consider using this time to give them tips for being productive at home.
- Meet with HR
Set up an employee orientation meeting with the new hire to help them get acclimated to the company procedures and values. Fill out any paperwork that hasn’t been completed previously, and give the employee an opportunity to ask questions about the job or the company.
This is a great opportunity to go through a company overview with your new hire. Be sure to cover your company’s vision and mission, the culture and core values, organizational structure and team structure, benefits, and important policies and procedures.
- Meet with the manager
Set up a meeting between the new hire and their manager. This is a critical time for them to get introduced and set expectations for the role. During this meeting, the manager should review job duties, performance goals, and work schedule. They also can give details into company culture and what it’s like to work at your company from their perspective. Keep in mind your new employee may be feeling overwhelmed, so be sure to give your new employee a chance to ask lots of questions. Many leaders even take their new employees out to lunch or coffee to make them feel more welcome and part of the team.
During the First Week
- Clarify roles and responsibilities
Have you ever sat down on your first or second day of work only to realize you have no idea what you’re supposed to be doing? It happens to many new hires, but it doesn’t have to! Alleviate any misunderstandings by clarifying roles and responsibilities in the first week. Managers should set expectations for the first 30, 60, and 90 days that include goals and check ins. You can also assign an onboarding buddy or mentor to help your new hire jump right in on their first project.
- Train on tools and software
Are there complex tools you’re using that require a bit more training? Set up a meeting to go over them and allow the employee to get some hands-on experience. You can also establish a job shadowing program to help employees learn new tools and processes.
- Plan a social event for team building
A great way to welcome a new employee is to plan a team building event. This will help new employees get to know their co-workers better and feel like they are part of the team.
A few ideas for social events include:
- Company picnic: This is a great way to get everyone outside and interacting with each other in a relaxed setting.
- Team dinner: Taking everyone out for dinner is a great way to bond. Make sure to pick a place that everyone will enjoy.
- Bowling: Get a little friendly competition going with a bowling outing.
- Game night: Bonus points if the games you choose require team collaboration.
If you are a remote team, consider remote team building activities such as two truths and a lie, a virtual show and tell, or even a guided meditation or yoga class.
Within the First Few Months
- Check-in on goals
Staying up-to-date on a new employees’ progress toward their goals is essential as an employer. This helps you ensure that they are making progress and enjoying work. It also allows you to identify areas where they may need additional support.
Don’t just check on the metrics — dig deeper into specific areas of focus. What challenges have they faced? What successes have they achieved? What new goals have they set? Praise areas where the employee excels and give some pointers on areas of improvement.
- Ask for Feedback
Schedule a meeting or send an employee feedback survey to your new hire to ask how their onboarding experience was. This feedback can help you fine tune your onboarding experience and identify gaps in the processes.
Improve Employee Satisfaction From Day One
As you build out your onboarding process, it’s a good idea to continually check in on your new employee. How are they feeling? What are their lingering questions? What could be improved about the process for future hires?
Seeking this kind of employee feedback is invaluable for developing your HR department’s best practices. After all, your boost-on-the-ground staffers know your company in and out, so they’re the perfect stakeholder you can speak to about how things can be even better at your organization!
One aspect of your organization employees are sure to have an opinion on from day one is your wellness benefits packages. The benefits and wellness support your company offers is one of its most powerful employee satisfaction tools, and one too often underutilized. To get help delighting your employees from onboarding onward, talk to a wellbeing specialist today!
- Carey, Heather. (October 11, 2022). 5 Easy Ways to Successfully Onboard a New Hire. Constant Contact. Retrieved October 20, 2022 from https://www.constantcontact.com/blog/new-hire-checklist/.
- Maurer, Roy. (July 14, 2021). New Employee Onboarding Guide. SHRM. Retrieved October 20, 2022 from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/new-employee-onboarding-guide.aspx.
- Nouri, Cameron. (July 6, 2021). Onboarding New Employees: Your 2021 Process Guide [+ Free Onboarding Checklist]. Pingboard. Retrieved October 20, 2022 from https://pingboard.com/blog/how-to-onboard-new-employees-checklist/.
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.