The Ultimate Guide to Employee Onboarding

new hire onboarding process

As we prepare for summer hiring, now is the perfect time to review our onboarding practices. Employee onboarding is the process of transitioning new employees into your business. It introduces them to your culture, policies, procedures, and team. Not only that–it can also make or break the impact your new hires have on the organization.

How’s that? Well, it’s no secret that turnover is expensive. First impressions count, so start your employees out on the right foot by making them feel welcome and productive from day one with this simple onboarding guide!

Before the First Day

So your ideal candidate just accepted your job offer and is starting on Monday. Maybe they even qualified you for a few thousand dollars in tax credits. Congratulations! Building out your team is always exciting, and the spring/summer hiring spree is a pivotal time for any business as we all scramble to pick up a few extra people for the warmer months.

Between now and your new hire’s first day, there are a few things you should do for a successful start to the onboarding process. For example, define any expectations or important information for your new employee and send it to them. This could include:

  • Tips for parking or public transportation.
  • Company dress code.
  • Their shift start time and schedule.
  • Documents/items to bring.

As an added bonus, set up the new employee’s computer and software so it’s ready to go when they arrive. And if you really want to make the new hire feel at home, send them a welcome message! One idea is to create a welcome banner with their name at their desk. Alternately, you can encourage your co-workers to send the new employee an email welcoming them to the team and offering to answer any questions they may have.

On the First Day

Once the newest member of your team arrives on the scene, it’s time to get this show on the road! Start by giving the employee a tour of the office and their workspace. Be sure to point out the bathrooms, break areas, kitchen, and other areas they should know about. This is also a great time to make introductions to other team members.

Next, provide the new employee with a company orientation. This should include information about company history, products and services, and the organizational structure.

After orientation, show the employee to their workspace and verify that they have access to a computer and phone or any other needed equipment. Also, provide them with a list of usernames and passwords to log in and get started.

Then, have them fill out their new hire paperwork. Make sure the employee completes mandatory federal and state documents, any benefits information, and documents specific to your organization.

Top Tip: For a simpler, more streamlined (and paperless!) process, consider paperless onboarding. You’ll never have to worry about data entry errors, missing documents, or inconsistent processes ever again!

Looking for the cherry on top for a perfect first day? Plan for the new employee to be taken to lunch by a small group of co-workers. Lunch provides an informal opportunity for the new employee to get to know the team and culture, as well as ask any questions that may have come up for them.


Did you know that an estimated 25% of companies said their onboarding program did not include any training?

The onboarding process should create an opportunity for your new hire to build a relationship with their manager. After all, this is the time for the manager and employee to learn each other’s communication styles. Additionally, it’s an opportunity for the manager to clarify expectations and performance standards.

Once the new hire and manager are well-acquainted, it’s time for the new hire to get to know the team. One way this can be accomplished is through pairing the new hire with a top performer for training via the Buddy System.

The Buddy System

The Buddy System is designed to help new your new hires through the onboarding process. Each new hire is assigned a “buddy” (fellow employee) to make them feel welcome, answer, questions, and help them navigate through the company’s culture.

An ideal buddy is a seasoned employee who understands your organization’s procedures, culture, and structure. Pick a friendly volunteer with high performance standards.

By implementing the Buddy System, you’ll be able to help your new employees acclimate to the organization, accelerate their productivity, and enhance job satisfaction. Not to mention building relationships between your existing team members and your new hires!

Staying on Track

Now that you’ve made it through a great first day, how do you keep up the momentum?

  • Check in often. For example, try implementing weekly or bi-weekly one-on-one’s between the new hire and their manager.
  • Establish a “graduation” period.
  • Hold regular informal or formal performance evaluations.
  • Schedule a follow-up meeting with the employee. Use this time to fill in additional details, revisit or address questions, and provide a forum for any concerns they may have.
  • Be patient: a successful onboarding process typically lasts for 30-60 days!

What do you think?

It’s no secret that effective onboarding can provide lasting benefits to your company. Now that you know how to onboard like a pro, it’s time to get hiring!

Want more help building out your team and company culture? Ask about our comprehensive suite of HR Services (including paperless onboarding and new hire tax credit screening!) to learn how we can help you grow your team. And be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn for even more HR tips and tricks to make sure you never miss a beat!

Photo by Edmond Dantès from Pexels

, , , , , , ,

Related Posts