Your Ultimate Onboarding Guide for New Employees

Table of Contents

Whether or not you’ve gone through a full onboarding process in a company. Excitement and uncertainty are always present on day one. A lot of questions also pop up when it comes to entering your new company. “What do you do here?”, “Where’s the restroom?”, “Who’s this person and what does she do?” are just a few in day one.

A complete and efficient onboarding process will answer those questions for you. This initiative helps them get acquainted with their to-be team, colleagues, and management, along with assimilating the new hire to the company’s environment: house rules, policies, culture, people, and such. Having an onboarding program will answer all questions of the new hire while also providing them little bits of information. But before we go through the steps into creating the perfect onboarding process, what is an onboarding process?

What is an Employee Boarding Process?

An Onboarding Process is done to ensure that the New Hire feels welcomed on his first day at work.

An employee onboarding process is the systematic and purposeful transformation of promising candidates into top-performing employees.

By planning initiatives and programs before they get onboarded, companies are able to give their new hires information, create new relationships, and the tools they need to for them to perform their responsibilities comfortably and with outmost confidence in their new working environment.

The first step of the transition always happens during recruitment process, as applicants can already imagine what the working environment will be in your company. It accelerates furthermore in the stage of an offer acceptance when the candidate finally becomes an employee. It onboarding-concept-illustration culminates in the employee’s critical first days and weeks on the job, as they build strong bonds with their new teammates.

An employee onboarding process can immediately set the tone and make the new hire’s career set already in his tenure with your company, making it a crucial part in your recruitment process. That’s why investing time and effort in a onboarding process can prevent a bad experience that leads to high turn-over rates while increasing the chances of your new employee talk good things about your company’s experience and reputation.

The Importance of an Employee Onboarding Program.

When it comes to an onboarding process, the programs and initiatives to be created should have the new hire in mind. Normally, the new hire can have a lot of questions, doubts, and concerns first day in their new office with his teammates, that is why it’s important to address these concerns to ensure that the new hire won’t be alienated from the company. These should be the general goals of your onboarding process:

  • Complete all required action items for bringing a new hire onto the staff.
  • Provide answers to the common questions new hires have when they join your organization.
  • Brief the new hire on how their role supports their team and the wider organization.
  • Welcome the new hire and help them feel comfortable.

Completing these goals will not only provide you with a steady and smooth flow of the onboarding process of your new hires but it also increase their engagement with your company and therefore decreasing the chances of him resigning with the company early.

The benefits of an employee onboarding program

Answering the questions of your new hire is important in their onboarding process but what does it bring to you, the employer?

Increases productivity

Crossing off everything on the onboarding checklist frees the new employee to get right to work without any lingering questions or worries on their mind, making them get right into their work.

Boosts collaboration

Good ideas come when people start talking. Fostering relationships between new hires and their colleagues promotes a collaborative work environment, creating more ideas and a strong bond between them for a given time.

Enhances your culture

Culture is too often a series of vague organizational values listed in the employee handbook. Onboarding provides the opportunity to showcase your culture firsthand to everyone who joins your staff. It can vary depending on the way you approach your onboarding program and also with the initiatives and tweaks you have created in the process.

Reduces new employee turnover

In some cases, a new employee can immediately resign and withdraw the contract soon after they just started working in your company. Keeping them engaged and in the loop with your onboarding process initiatives immediately after they accept the offer decreases their chances of resigning immediately

Above anything else, onboarding is the right and proper thing to do. Instead of letting the new employee figure out things for himself, establishing an onboarding process lets you support and guide them through their first days, making their minds at ease and comfortable in the environment. Overall, a win-win situation for your company and for the new employee.

Pre-boarding: Preparing for Employee Onboarding

We typically think of onboarding as an activity that starts on the employee’s first day. Instead of getting to work, they spend most of week one in employee orientation and completing new hire paperwork.

In today’s competitive hiring market, there is an occurring high risk of new hires resigning or double-guessing offers between accepting an offer and their first day. A lot of things might happen during that time interval that you’re unaware of. The new hire may second-guess your offer and decide to stick with their current company after seeing the offer. They can also use the offer as a means to compare and demand an increase in salary and benefits from their current employer.

A little communication and updates from your end goes a long way in reaffirming the new hire’s commitment to your organization during the quiet stretch— also lessens an enormous amount of onboarding activities and requirements when they finally come into the workplace. This process is known as preboarding which consists of completing some easy onboarding tasks prior to the employee’s start date.

Emailing the new hire their own employee handbook and other necessary documents such as benefits, policies, are an example of activities you can give out for the pre-boarding process. But even more than that, you can reassure them you’re excited they’re joining the team and eagerly awaiting their arrival. Keeping their interest and excitement in check is a vital role in the preboarding process as to eliminate any thoughts or intentions of withdrawing or second guessing their decision in joining your company.

The 7 Steps into a Great New Employee Onboarding Process

Like any other complex process, a successful onboarding strategy requires smooth and well documented steps for it to flourish. Using the steps below can be a great foundation to your own process. Combine it with several layers of sub steps to furthermore showcase your company’s culture to be unique and exciting.

Step 1: New Employee Recruitment

The critical goal of your recruitment practices should have a lasting impression to employees, so as to give them a clear sense of what your company is-vision, mission, culture, branding, beliefs, and your people.

Best practices:

  • Since the transition begins with the recruitment process, it’s important to set up and review your job descriptions and your interview questions to give accuracy and clarity towards the applicant’s questions and interview process.
  • Let your prospective employees try out a test or challenge to see them work in action for your company.
  • Always be transparent about company policies that deeply impact employees, including scheduling policies, remote work policies, and vacation policies.
  • Review your employment processes, procedures, and policies with your internal human resources team or with outside help from Bambee HR, every now and then, to identify improvements and bottlenecks to be adjusted from.

Step 2: First Office Visit

At this step, it is important to provide your new hire a transparent glimpse of a day in the life at your office.

Compatibility and feel of your workspace can contribute immensely on the entire tenure of a new hire to your company. It could even could even indicate a candidate’s overall performance and adjustment level to his peers and work

Best practices:

  • Show candidates their working space and the equipment that they will be using in accomplishing their tasks
  • Give candidates a full view of your working space, including the amenities such as the kitchen, lounge area, play area, etc.
  • Slowly guide them around the office and let them ask questions and initiate conversations with his team.
  • Literally, introduce them to every person that you pass.

Step 3: Sending an Offer Letter

Your goal in this step is to highlighting your chosen candidate. You can do this by going beyond character in your offer and acceptance emails to really showcase the candidate above the other candidates.

While the extension of a job offer certainly implies that you value your new hire and their talents, leaving the excitement and the warmth of the whole team to that part won’t be a great move. Nothing truly drives the sentiment that you can’t wait to work with someone home like a thoughtful message.

Best practices:

  • Send out an exciting and warmth message to your new hire to show your enthusiasm with them joining your company
  • This will be your last chance to clear and clarify any confusions in the job description, offer contracts, and compensation so be sure to sift each document.

Step 4: Early Onboarding For New Employees

It’s your primary goal here to keep the ball rolling. At this stage in the onboarding process, you should be maintaining or even improving the excitement and joy your candidate is feeling towards joining your company. This is to ensure that the new employee affirms his choice of joining your company.

Onboarding officially starts when your candidate signs the offer letter. The 2-3 week window between offer acceptance and the start date presents a crucial engagement opportunity-it can be the difference from proceeding entirely with the offer or cause a withdrawal with it so make the most out of this step.

Best practices:

  • Encourage hiring managers to take ownership of the candidate’s experience and focus on getting their newest employee excited.
  • Share role-relevant information and documentation, including background details on specific assignments the candidate might take on when they officially start.
  • Ask the new hire’s immediate team to send a welcome email featuring quotes about why they love working at the company or why they’re excited to work with the new hire.
  • Reach out to invite and address any of the new hire’s questions or concerns.
  • Have the team make a welcome video. Get inspiration, and also a resource for making your video, from the team at Vidyard.

Step 5: Welcoming New Hires on Day 1

Critical goal: This is a pivotal step for your company to send a personal experience to the new employee. Delivering an organized and well planned welcoming message definitely helps the new employee to be more comfortable and relaxed in his first day with your company. Along with this, planning booked meetings with other teams and the new employee will let him converse in a 1-on-1 situation with the team for his questions and introduction.

Best practices:

  • Schedule “bookend” meetings to check in with the new hire. (This is especially important if your team works remotely, as organic interactions are virtually impossible and diligent scheduling is the best way to ensure quality interactions.)
  • 30 minutes the first thing in the morning for a welcome
  • 30 minutes at the end of the day for a debrief
  • Schedule a team lunch or virtual lunch with the new hire’s immediate team. Keep this lunch dedicated to informal small talk and not work details. (Boost the get-to-know-you factor of your lunch with a quiz from Quizbreaker or Water Cooler Trivia.)
  • Give new hires a welcome kit full of branded swag, such as apparel and office supplies, customized with your company’s brand, colors, and logos.
  • Supply videos, web pages, or other documentation that features leadership presentations, your company’s mission, history, and other stories that bring your organization to life.

Step 6: Onboarding and Orienting New Employees in the First Weeks

The critical goal of this step is for you to set up and teach your new team member what will be coming in the days ahead of his stay in the company.

Humans by nature like to look ahead. We look forward to what might happen in the future in forms of analyzing, planning, and daydreaming everyday. Now, if you can get your employees excited to look forward in the future, you definitely get a high employee retention rate. Setting up clear and engaging onboarding practices will be able to make it more to a reality.

Best practices:

  • Send out an epic new hire announcement.
  • Schedule “meet and greets” with collaborators and teams across the company.
  • Schedule “meet and greets” with company leaders or top performers (including your most recent employee of the month) so new hires can hear their stories and learn from their experiences.
  • Establish a clear goal, responsibilities, and future projects to make the job more exciting
  • Provide information about the huge growth potential and upward career growth in the company. To add value to that, have an employee that was recently promoted share her story about the experience.

Step 7: Ongoing Employee Engagement & Team Building

This is the time where key relationships are formed and built between new team members and current employees. While you can’t participate in socializing and networking for your new hire, you can certainly speckle your onboarding experience with ample opportunities for newbies to make connections across the office.

Best practices:

  • Organize team-building events with the help of Go Game or Let’s Roam.
  • Complete 1-week, 30-day, and 60-day pulse check-ins to find out how new hires feel overall and also find out if they have the specific support, resources, and equipment they need to work efficiently and effectively.
  • Ask direct managers to establish a regular check-in schedule—a long-term must-do for all employees.
  • Randomly pair the new employee with people across the company for virtual coffee meetings. (If your company uses Slack, then the Donut integration makes this task easy.)
  • Offer plenty of recognition, using a platform like Bonusly, for any completed tasks and accomplished goals.
  • Create survey forms to see if the program you’ve set up is working accordingly to the new hire’s interest and comfortability

New Employee Onboarding Tips & Tricks

An onboarding program should not be a fixed initiative. It should be continuously improved, optimized, and tested on all aspects so as to capture every, if not, concern of the new hires and their worries on starting their first day.

  1. Carefully monitor and document every step and process of your onboarding program so as to ensure that every information you are able to provide are present to the new hires.
  2. Collect constant feedback from everyone involved in the onboarding process, including new hires, hiring managers, and even co-workers, to get ideas for improvement on certain bottlenecks.
  3. Make use of emotional intelligence factor to gain more humane understanding of how your onboarding process should go about as well as adding a little bit of formality and professionalism in the it, so as to make new hires feel welcome in joining.
  4. Rely on disciplined scheduling, especially if your team is remote and you can no longer count on interactions and relationship-building to happen by chance.
  5. Don’t be afraid to involve multiple people in the onboarding process. If you know someone who would get along well with the new hire, go ahead and introduce them.
  6. The onboarding process is made to make the new hire’s experience much more personal and authentic so listen, adjust, and respond to feedbacks on your new hire’s onboarding experience.
  7. Help new remote employees understand your company culture. Share everything you can think of: your employee handbook, past presentations, company value literature, and photos and videos featuring bosses, and virtual team members.
  8. Invite new hires to shadow people across the company to give them a big-picture view of processes and capabilities.
  9. Recognize new hires for accomplishments and ideas early on to make their stay longer and more meaningful.
  10. Find out what interests your new hires in certain topics and fields and connect them with respective professionals for a possible mentorship and training opportunities.

How long should an onboarding program last?

Now that you have the idea on how the onboarding process looks like, lets talk about when will be the right time to concluded.

The ideal duration of onboarding is up to you and your organizational leadership team. However, onboarding programs should generally end at around one to two months after the new hire joins your company. By this time, he already had grasped everything in your company–environment, culture, people, responsibilities, and. Moreover, you can also gauge their performance and results by that time already.

If your company has a probationary period, coinciding your onboarding process with it can make an effective conclusion to the new hire’s first few months in your company.

Onboarding programs are not limited to just orientation and document signing. It’s also an opportunity for it to give a warm welcome to new hires and as well as eliminating the social anxiety they feel on day one. Every goal of onboarding processes is to increase the excitement of the new hire while decreasing the uncertainty and nervousness all together each day until they get used to the environment and culture.

To Summarize The Onboarding Process

With all the processes that are involved in an employee onboarding process, it is absolutely essential that you have the right tools and processes in place so that you can ensure nothing is missed and your employees have everything they need to succeed. With Connecteam’s employee training app, you have the easiest and most fun way to train and grow your team by offering onboarding, routine training, regulatory courses, quizzes, or professional skill enhancement.

With a training app straight on your employee’s phone, it’s now easier than ever to deliver training materials by using existing documents, PDF files, media, web-services like YouTube, Dropbox, Google Drive, or your company website. Create quizzes by sections, employ an adaptable library, and monitor training progress from the admin dashboard. In addition, you can create surveys to evaluate training needs and success or use the Suggestion Box to receive feedback at any time.

One of the best things about Connecteam’s training feature is that it allows managers to easily follow the employee’s progress throughout his onboarding. The dashboard shows where each employee is in his or her process, what quizzes they finished (what their score what), which material they read or didn’t, and so on. This allows the manager to know what’s happening in real-time so they can step in at any moment if needed.

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