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How to Build an Effective Onboarding Plan for New Hires

August 26, 2021
5 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


The onboarding experience sets the tone for every employee’s tenure at your company. Great new hire onboarding starts them out on a positive note, increases retention, and sets employees up for long-term success. The most effective way for your organization to welcome employees and help them get settled quickly is by creating a plan, setting expectations, and providing feedback and recognition.

Unsure how to build an onboarding plan for new hires? Here are some steps your HR team can take to set new employees up for success.

Building a new hire #onboarding plan sets employees up for success before their first day on the job. Try these tips from @ClearCompany to create your own onboarding plan:

The Importance Of New Hire Onboarding

A successful new hire onboarding plan can increase employee retention by as much as 82%, a valuable metric especially when talent is hard to come by. Onboarding is more than just adding new employees to payroll systems and issuing their computer equipment. It goes beyond an office tour or virtual team introduction. Build a new hire onboarding plan that fosters mentorship and helps employees feel supported for more than one day or even one week.

Here are some tips to use when building the new hire onboarding plan at your organization:

  • Length of the onboarding process
  • Goals and objectives for the onboarding process
  • How to get current non-HR employees involved in onboarding
  • Giving feedback and recognition
  • Using technology for onboarding tasks

Your onboarding program needs will vary depending on the size of your organization and the role being onboarded. Regardless, it’s clear that structured, planned onboarding can have big benefits for employees and businesses alike.

Did you know? An excellent onboarding program increases employee retention by as much as 82%.

Don’t Stop — Or Start — At Day One

A great new hire onboarding plan consists of more than just one day spent doing paperwork and meeting the team. Effective onboarding takes far longer since it’s estimated that most new employees reach their full potential after about five months of employment. It takes more than a few days for new hires to get acclimated to their workload, company culture, and team processes. Extending the onboarding process to months instead of weeks helps new employees be more successful in their roles long-term.

New hire onboarding plans that start prior to day one help employees focus on meeting their coworkers, learning about company values, and preparing for their role. Before their first day, send new hires their paperwork to complete and have managers reach out with a welcome message. Their equipment, company swag, and onboarding plan should also be prepared before their first day arrives.

Set Onboarding Objectives

To effectively onboard new hires, give them goals to work toward right off the bat. Providing direction right away can help calm nerves and give employees a clear picture of what they’re expected to accomplish during onboarding. Set short-term goals like scheduling a week-one chat with someone from a different department. Long-term goals might include understanding the company’s mission, vision, and values.

Achieving goals during the onboarding process helps new hires jump right into their role and gives them a sense of accomplishment. It also helps them become more familiar with the company.

Incorporate A Mentorship Program

Bringing a mentorship component to your onboarding plan for new hires is beneficial in several ways:

  • Gives employees a headstart on building relationships with coworkers
  • Provides opportunities for professional development
  • Facilitates trust between employees

Pairing new hires with a mentor shows that you care about their growth and success. That is exactly what job seekers today are looking for. Mentors are a great resource for new hires. Beyond answering questions and being a friendly face, mentors help new employees develop a connection with their workplace.

A mentorship program is beneficial for employees in remote positions whose hiring and onboarding take place virtually and who may never step foot in an office. It’s also another impactful retention tool, with mentors and mentees showing far higher retention rates (69% and 72%, respectively) than employees without mentors (49%).

Did you know? Mentors and mentees have far higher retention rates — 69% and 72%, respectively — than employees without mentors (49%).

Give Feedback And Recognition

Offering feedback and recognizing accomplishments have a positive impact on new hire onboarding. Meet with new employees often during their onboarding to answer questions and offer guidance. When they complete training or their first project, recognizing their achievements helps them feel more connected to their work from the start.

Incorporating feedback and recognition in your onboarding plan for new hires makes it clear that those are important components of company culture. That matters to your new employees: those that don’t feel recognized are twice as likely to quit within their first year.

Start offering feedback and recognition during #NewHireOnboarding for a successful onboarding experience. Get more #onboarding tips from @ClearCompany’s latest post:

Use Software For New Hire Onboarding

Utilizing technology in the employee onboarding process can make a huge difference when it comes to completing the required documentation fast. With onboarding software, new employees use an employee portal to fill out the required paperwork before their first day of work —no paper required. HR teams can easily access digital files and spend less time tracking down documents and entering new hires’ personal information manually.

HR can use an onboarding system to set up team member introductions to help new employees get to know their coworkers before their first day. Hiring managers can set goals for new hires to meet during onboarding. Schedule check-ins at 30, 60, and 90 days to ensure new employees are on track for a successful onboarding process.

Use these tips to attract, engage, and retain candidates with an effective new hire onboarding plan. Your onboarding plan has a major impact on employee retention, job satisfaction, and performance. It’s important to consider how you can set every new employee up for success from the moment they’re hired.

ClearCompany’s powerful Onboarding software gives HR teams the ability to automate tasks, improve communication, and provide an excellent employee experience. You can create a successful onboarding plan with ClearCompany’s paperless Onboarding tools, whether your employees are remote or in-person. Sign up for a demo from the ClearCompany experts today.

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