How To Onboard New Employees & Create A Successful Onboarding Process
Welcome new employees with a seamless onboarding process from start to finish. Read this guide for your next steps on how to onboard in a way that works for you and new hires.
Integrating new hires into your business can be a challenge, but with an onboarding process in place, this transition can be smooth for you, your new hires, and your entire team. If you don’t have an onboarding process or your existing process needs an overhaul, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’re going to look at how to hire employees using your own onboarding process.
According to a Gallup poll, only 12% of employees reported having a great onboarding experience with their employers. Fortunately, this is a problem that can be easily remedied with a few easy tips and tricks.
Keep reading to learn more about the onboarding process, the benefits for your business, and how to create your own.
Table of Contents
- What Is An Onboarding Process?
- Does My Business Have To Have An Onboarding Process?
- The Benefits Of A Good New Hire Onboarding Process
- How To Onboard New Employees With Eight Onboarding Process Steps
- How To Help New Employees Feel Welcome
- The Bottom Line On Creating New Hire Onboarding Process
- Onboarding Process FAQs
What Is An Onboarding Process?
An onboarding process is a standardized set of steps used to integrate a new hire into a business.
A good onboarding process should make new employees feel comfortable with the business, their responsibilities, and their new teammates. During the onboarding process, the employee should receive the tools and information they need to be successful in their new role.
A Successful New Hire Onboarding Process Should…
- Make your new employee feel welcome and as though they are part of the team
- Have a clear schedule & timeline
- Introduce new hires to their managers & team members
- Highlight your company culture
- Provide new hires with important information about their roles & responsibilities
- Provide new hires with information about pay & benefits
- Give your employee the tools & resources they need to effectively perform their duties
- Include training that teaches new hires policies, procedures, & processes unique to your business
Does My Business Have To Have An Onboarding Process?
While it isn’t a requirement to have an onboarding process, it is absolutely something that every business should consider. A survey from SilkRoad Technology and CareerBuilder showed that 9% of employees have left a company as a result of a poor onboarding experience. Creating a standardized onboarding process is crucial for finding and retaining top talent within your organization.
The Benefits Of A Good New Hire Onboarding Process
Still not convinced that you should have a new hire onboarding process? Consider these benefits for your business, and see why you should focus on establishing a good new hire onboarding process:
- Reduces stress & improves the new employee experience
- Increases employee engagement
- Higher employee retention
- Boosts employee production
- Improves communications & creates better working relationships
- Creates a strong company culture
- Increases accountability for managers & new hires
- Attracts top talent
How To Onboard New Employees With Eight Onboarding Process Steps
Ready to learn how to onboard new employees? Create an onboarding process (or improve your old process) by following these eight simple steps.
Step #1: Don’t Wait Until Your New Hire’s First Day
A common mistake many companies make is waiting until the new hire’s first day to begin onboarding. Waiting can lead to unnecessary stress for you, the new hire, and/or your HR manager. Instead of waiting until your new hire starts working, kick off the onboarding process to make their first day go as smoothly as possible. This includes providing sign-in details for your employee portal, outlining job roles and responsibilities ahead of time, and sending out new hire paperwork that can be eSigned.
Step #2: Get Paperwork Out Of The Way Early
Speaking of paperwork, it’s important that you’re prepared with all of the documents your employee needs to begin working. There are two mandatory forms that you need to have your new hire complete as soon as possible:
- An I-9 is used to verify if an employee is legally eligible to work. This form should be completed within three days of the new hire’s start date.
- A W-4 is an IRS tax form used to determine how much tax is withheld from an employee’s paycheck.
There may be other forms that your business uses when hiring a new employee. Although not mandatory, these may be useful for record-keeping purposes within your business or to provide important company info to your new hires. This includes:
- A job offer letter that includes details such as job title, job description, start date, and salary
- Payroll and benefits information, including direct deposit authorization forms
- Org chart that breaks down the structure of your business
- Emergency contact info form
- Employee contracts, including non-disclosure agreements (NDAs)
- Employee handbook
While you can print out paper copies, more businesses are moving to a digital model that makes it easy to distribute information, get signatures from new hires, and store important documents without the hassles of traditional paperwork.
Step #3: Prepare Everything Your Employee Needs For Success
To ensure a smooth transition, make sure that your employee has everything they need to effectively do their job. This may include:
- A company email address
- Phone extension number
- Basic office supplies
- A laptop or desktop computer
- Software & apps used in your business
Step #4: Show Your New Employee The Ropes
Take your employee for a tour around your business. Make sure to show them their workspace, restrooms, breakrooms, conference rooms, and other important areas that they may need to access while they’re on the clock. As you give your new employee a tour, you can also integrate the next step.
Step #5: Introduce Your New Employee To The Team
Even the most level-headed employee may feel a rush of anxiety walking into a new job. Help ease these fears and ensure your new and existing employees feel comfortable by making introductions. Make sure to prioritize introducing coworkers and managers that will be working directly with the new employee. While your new hire may not necessarily remember every name, introductions will help break the ice across your entire team.
Step #6: Focus On Training
Boost your employee’s chances for success by providing effective training. Your new employee should spend at least their first few days (if not their first week or longer) training. Training should not only outline the roles and responsibilities of the new hire but should also be a time to go over company policies, rules, procedures, and expectations. Assigning a mentor — an experienced employee that’s in the same or similar role or department — is also something to consider. A mentor can help the new employee get started, answer questions, and provide other guidance and assistance.
Step #7: Follow Up With Your New Employee
Following up with your new hire in the early stages of employment is important, so make sure to keep the lines of communication open. After the employee is acclimated, don’t forget to frequently check in over the next few months — ideally, at the 30-, 60-, and 90-day marks. These check-ins are the perfect time to solicit feedback on everything from the onboarding process to how the employee is adjusting to their new role. Use any feedback you receive to reevaluate and update your onboarding process as necessary.
Step #8: Don’t Forget Onboarding For Remote Workers
As more workers are working remotely, it’s important to not overlook having a solid onboarding process in place. You can use many of the tips provided for onboarding your virtual workers, such as using digital forms and signatures. For some steps, you may have to get creative with your team, like hosting a virtual meetup to introduce the new hire.
How To Help New Employees Feel Welcome
Starting a new job can be stressful for any new employee. But it’s easy for you and your seasoned employees to make the new hire more comfortable. Here are some tips for ways to help new employees feel as though they’re part of the team.
Keep The Lines Of Communication Open
Make sure that you communicate frequently with your new hire before they even enter the office (or virtual office). Let your new hire know who to go to for questions, and take the time to field any questions yourself. Keeping the lines of communication open can help ease new job jitters, while also building stronger communication among your workers.
Schedule A Lunch (Or Coffee Break)
Help your new hire really feel welcome by scheduling a lunch together — preferably during the employee’s first week. Short on time or funds? Just sitting down in the breakroom with a cup of coffee can be a great way to bond with your new hire. If your business is remote, sending them a gift card for a treat works perfectly.
Give A Simple (But Thoughtful) Gift
Purchasing a small and simple gift for your new hire is a great way to welcome them to the team. Your gift doesn’t have to be extravagant — just a small token to show them you’re glad they’re part of your business. Some ideas include a gift card to a coffee house or local restaurant, a small gift basket, or even just a greeting card signed by your staff.
Treat Your New Hire To Company Swag
Don’t forget about passing out company swag to your new hire. Whether it’s a travel mug, t-shirt, or coffee mug, giving your new employee company swag is an easy way to make them feel at home.
Connect Them With Human Resources
Many employees have questions about benefits, pay schedules, time off, and other concerns — but may be too afraid to ask them so early into the job. Connect your new hire with your HR manager as soon as possible to get these questions answered from the start.
Don’t Overwhelm Your New Hire
For busy businesses, it’s easy to offload a bunch of projects or assignments to a new employee. Unfortunately, this could lead to early burnout. While it is important to maintain some structure, make sure not to overwhelm your new employee before they’ve fully adjusted. Create a schedule and assign tasks that are able to be completed within the first week. Doing this gives your employee some time to get used to their new role, while also helping to boost their confidence.
The Bottom Line On Creating New Hire Onboarding Process
While it may take some time to perfect your new hire onboarding process, you’ll save time later by having a standardized process in place. Additionally, your new process will make it easy for new hires to slip comfortably into their new roles.
Keep in mind that onboarding is an ongoing process. In general, HR managers recommend that onboarding should take at least three months, while many businesses find it beneficial to continue the onboarding process over a longer period of time.
If you want to simplify building out your onboarding process, there’s no better way than with employee onboarding software. This software can do everything from storing employee records to creating fillable forms and giving employees access to critical information through employee portals. Get started by checking out our top seven picks for employee onboarding software and sign up for a free trial or demo today. Good luck!