New Employee Onboarding Process – Complete Guide [Bonus Checklist!]

Employee Onboarding is the first step in a relationship between the company and the new hire. It involves educating the employee about the company, its culture, as well as introducing them to their team and all the tools.

Onboarding can have very lasting impressions on both the company and the new hire, setting the course for the rest of their time together. As such, it’s extremely important that the new employee onboarding process goes well.

Most organizations, though, don’t put too much thought into their onboarding process. They just “go with the flow.” After all, how hard can it be to mess this up, right?

As it turns out, not that hard. How well you execute your onboarding can have a significant impact on your organizations future. Want to learn how? Read on!

In this guide, you’re going to learn…

  • What’s the employee onboarding process
  • What are the benefits of having a structured onboarding
  • How to structure your own onboarding process
  • How to use employee onboarding software to get the best out of your onboarding proceses

New Employee Onboarding Process – A Brief Introduction

Before we get into the nits and grits of employee onboarding, let’s rewind a bit and start with the basics.

Employee onboarding is the process of getting a new employee to start work at your company. The exact steps of what the process consists of are different for every organization. More often than not, though, you’ll end up doing things like…

  • Dealing with the paperwork and all the legalities of making a new hire
  • Providing the employee with a workspace, access to company tools & accounts, and anything else they need to start work
  • Giving the right training, mentorship sessions, and ensuring that the employee is as productive as they can be at the company

Just about any organization has some employee onboarding process. The thing is, though, that this process is, in most cases, unstructured.

Here’s how a typical employee onboarding could look like if there’s ZERO thought put into it…

Real-Life Example

The new hire shows up at the office & they’re greeted with looks of confusion. “Wait, so who’s this guy?” After a quick call to the HR, the office manager realizes that the stranger is actually their new hire and lets him in. The newbie ends up sitting around until someone gets the time to pay attention to them.

After a while, the supervisor shows the new hire their workstation. They’re given a brief rundown of their job before their supervisor runs off to some meeting. Finally, the newbie can start work.

But wait! Since no one was expecting for the hire to show up on that date, they don’t have access to the relevant company tools, software, or hardware.

So, long story short, the new hire ends up taking 2-3 days to really start working the job.

Suffice to say, if this happened in your organization, the new hire probably wouldn’t be too impressed with the company (and would potentially leave soon after).

If you structure your employee onboarding process, though, you’ll see a lot of benefits for your organization…

Better Employee Retention

The first impression your company makes on the hire can have a huge impact on their long-term performance. If their first day involves just sitting around and waiting for someone to pay attention to them, they’re not going to think too highly of your organization.

Making them feel like a part of something great since day #1, however, will ensure that they stick around. In fact, according to research by the Society of Human Resources, a structured onboarding can lead to increased employee retention by up to 25%.

Considering the fact that replacing an employee can cost up to 200% of their annual salary, this can really have a major impact on your bottom line.

Increased Productivity

The faster your employees are up to speed and start work, the faster you’ll start seeing their value.

You don’t want them sitting around waiting for instructions – you want them to dig into their work and get used to their new workplace as soon as possible.

Having a structured new employee onboarding process can get them up to speed as soon as possible, leading to increased productivity company-wide.

Stronger Employer Brand

Today, hiring the very best talent is a competition. If you don’t create an engaging workplace experience for your employees, they’ll simply just leave for someone else. This holds especially true for high-skilled employees, who are bombarded with new job offers daily.

As employee onboarding is the first experience your new hire’s going to have with your company, it’s going to leave a very lasting impression. If you manage to get this right, your organization will be famous for its stellar company culture & an employee-centric view.

How to Create a Structured Onboarding Process

Now that we’ve got you thinking about creating your own onboarding program, you’re probably wondering how do you “do” employee onboarding, and most importantly, how you can get it right.

What you should do now is create the employee onboarding process. Meaning, list out the exact steps you’d want to take to successfully onboard a new employee.

Then, you need to ensure that the onboarding process is followed through for every new hire you make. To do this, you can use employee onboarding software. We’ll explain how this works more in-depth later on.

For now, let’s talk onboarding steps. To save you the trouble of figuring them out from scratch, we created a handy checklist for you to follow. Simply following through with the checklist for every new hire is enough to have an effective employee onboarding program.

BONUS: Employee Onboarding Checklist

During the Hiring Process

  • Get all the necessary employee information
    • Name & Last Name
    • Date of Hire
    • Phone Number
    • Personal Email
  • Fill in essential forms
    • W-4
    • I-9
    • Direct Deposit
    • Insurance
    • NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement)

1-2 Weeks Before the Hire’s Day #1

  • Prepare employee tech stack
    • Access to the internet
    • User / password for the computer
    • User / password for task management software, BPM, or anything else
    • User / password to the instant messaging software
    • Contact information for other company employees
    • Company email
  • Prepare employee workstation
    • Desk
    • Monitor
    • Computer
    • Mouse
    • Phone
    • Keyboard
    • Headset
    • Any other relevant supplies for their position
  • Prepare any other materials
    • Brochures with information on company culture and history
    • Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) documents
    • Operations manual
    • Key or ID to access the office
    • Company swag (t-shirts, gifts, and other goodies)
  • Transfer the employee’s personal information (Name, social, contact information), documents, and any other important information to your favorite employee management software.
  • Bring the employee’s direct supervisor up to speed. Figure out the following…
    • Employee role
    • Initial tasks & KPIs
    • The projects your new hire will be working on
  • Let everyone in the relevant department know about the new hire’s start date
  • Schedule initial meetings
    • Relevant training on company culture, tasks, projects, and processes
    • Company lunch with the new hire’s department
  • Send out an email to the hire with any must-have information about the workplace (how to find the office, who they’re supposed to talk to, etc.)
  • Remind the office manager & the new hire’s department about their arrival
  • Schedule a tour of the company HQ

New Employee’s Day #1

  • Introduce the new hire to all the relevant company employees
  • Conduct a tour of the company HQ
  • Give the new hire a schedule of their first few weeks of work. This can include…
    • Meetings & introductions
    • Professional training
    • Onboarding on company projects & goals
    • Check-in meetings with the HR and their supervisor
  • Organize a company lunch with the new hire’s key team members
  • Conduct a meeting between the employee & the HR. Explain everything about the company culture, benefits, perks, and any other important company information
  • Conduct a meeting between the employee & their supervisor. Educate about company processes, methodologies, and the projects your new hire will be working on.
    • Set up goals and check-in meetings to ensure that the new hire’s first few months in the company are going smoothly.
  • Give the employee some down-time to set up their workplace & go through any relevant company readings or videos.

First Week of the Hire

  • Conduct 1-on-1 meetings between the hire and their direct supervisor
    • Keep track of their learning process
    • Ensure that they have access to any necessary knowledge or information
    • Provide feedback on their work
    • Ensure that they have enough tasks to keep them occupied
  • Set performance metrics for the employee for…
    • The first month
    • 3 months
    • 6 months
    • The first year

1-3 Months Into the HIre

  • Keep conducting 1 to 1 meetings with the employee. Make this mutually beneficial by asking the right questions…
    • Are they satisfied with their work? If not, why not?
    • Do they have access to any resources they need in order to do their job right?
    • How satisfied were they with their onboarding process? Is there anything you could improve?

How to Use Employee Onboarding Software to Automate the Process

For a small organization, onboarding new hire’s isn’t hard. Just follow the exact steps we’ve mentioned above for every new employee, and you’re gold.

If you’re part of a medium-to-large sized company, though, this won’t be nearly as easy. When you’re at the stage when there are dozens of new hires every month, things start to get extremely hectic.

You end up running 20+ onboarding processes at the same time. Without software to keep track of all of them, you run the risk of missing some critical steps.

To ensure that every single one of your processes is executed flawlessly, you can try using employee onboarding software such as Tallyfy.

What’s Employee Onboarding Software

Employee onboarding software is the type of system that automates the execution of your onboarding process.

How to Use Employee Onboarding Software

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About the author - Amit Kothari

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