It isn’t always easy welcoming someone new to your team, especially when you are working remotely. Finding ways to make them feel connected to their coworkers and the culture can be tricky, and the importance of creating an enjoyable onboarding experience cannot be overstated. 33% of employees say that they would leave their job due to a negative onboarding experience.
Taking the time to create a standardized onboarding process will lead you to greater new hire productivity and reduce potential employee turnover. Embracing effective onboarding strategies can make the difference between a loyal and engaged workforce and one that is disconnected from their goals. Follow this new hire onboarding checklist to ensure your process is effective and enjoyable.
Bonus Material: Check out our advice for overcoming the 5 most common onboarding problems recruiters face.
Before the First Day
Nearly every organization faces troubles with employee retention. Often, the onboarding experience can directly influence whether a new hire is likely to stay with your company. Having an outstanding employee experience reduces the chances of turnover within your company.
Did you know? Companies with a successful onboarding program increase employee retention by 82% and raise productivity rates by an additional 70%.
From the moment they agree to your job offer, you need to prepare to welcome your new hire and make the transition as smooth as possible. The following are some initial steps you can take to get your new hire engaged with the company before they even begin their first day:
- Send a welcome email. In a personalized greeting, introduce the new hire to the company and provide them with all the information they need for the first day. That should include their start time, names and pictures of team members, and any information they’ll need for onboarding purposes.
- Set them up in your systems. Ensure the employee has access to your intranet, voicemail, and email. Walk your new hire through your benefits package, and show them how to log in and manage security to their various accounts.
- Send them their paperwork. A Paperless onboarding system makes it easy for your new employees to fill out and sign all of the necessary paperwork before they arrive for their first day. This includes I-9 compliance, E-Verify, W-2 form, 401k enrollment, direct deposit, emergency contact information, etc. You can avoid spending time on paperwork on their first day and get straight to tours and introductions.
The First Day
The first day of any new job is filled with a lot of emotion. There is excitement for starting a new role and some anxiety over starting fresh within a company. Your onboarding process should help reduce these anxieties and create an enjoyable experience for your latest addition to the team.
Did you know? According to recent research, up to 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days in their role. Employee turnover is extremely costly, which is why you want to create a welcoming environment from the moment your new employee steps into your office.
With traditional onboarding processes, the first day typically consists of filling out paperwork and signing documents. But, since you’ve already started the onboarding process with your new employee, you can focus more of your efforts and attention on creating connections and building professional relationships. Make sure that your newest hire feels welcomed to the team and feels comfortable working alongside their coworkers by:
- Introducing them. Introduce everyone to your new hire, especially to their team and direct managers.
- Setting an assignment. For their first task, give the employee something relatively simple to accomplish. This will help relieve some jitters and give you a basis for tracking their upcoming performance.
- Providing a schedule. Give your new hire a schedule for their first week, including any required or suggested training.
The First Week
Good or bad, you will make a lasting impression on your new hire. Up to 16% of all new hires leave their job within the first week due to a poor onboarding experience. When you fail to invest the necessary time and resources for a robust and positive onboarding experience, you put yourself at risk of losing your new hires.
Tip: Surveys are great tools for evaluating the sentiment of your new hire. You can quickly gather insight into your onboarding strategy’s effectiveness and identify what areas of your program need some extra attention.
To ensure your new hire has an outstanding first week, you should focus on meeting their workplace needs. Does your new hire have all the supplies and tools they need to complete their job? Have you answered all the questions they have about their role and your organization? Take time to check in with your latest employee to ensure they aren’t feeling lost or overwhelmed. Now is the time to pull out all the stops and do everything you can to help them decide they want to stay. Start by:
- Touching base frequently. Send an email or check-in often and ask if they’re having trouble with anything in particular. Give them help where they need it.
- Explaining performance reviews. Set some time to go over your performance review and goal-setting processes. Make sure they know what’s expected of them.
- Checking up on systems. Ensure your employee has all the tools and functions they need to succeed. Make sure they have a clear understanding of how to use these platforms.
The First Month & Beyond
Onboarding doesn’t end after the first week. Your employee’s onboarding experience continues well after they start their role. As your employee progresses through the onboarding process, their productivity should begin to improve. Most organizations estimate that any given employee takes around 5 months to become fully operational.
Did you know? 77% of new hires who hit their first performance milestone had formal onboarding training.
The best way to expedite the time to full productivity is to have frequent check-ins with your employee. Use these informal conversations as a springboard to see what parts of the job your new hire is struggling with, and brainstorm ways you can help them to overcome these hurdles. These check-ins are also great opportunities to discuss the goals and career plans of your new hire. Investing in your new employee’s development will help them quickly reach full productivity and help you curate a highly engaged workforce. You should:
- Give feedback. Make time for frequent one-on-one meetings to discuss the employee’s progress. Invite the employee to give you feedback in return and let you know how to help them better.
- Touch base on training. Ensure the employee is attending and completing any necessary pieces of training. Ask if there are any training sessions your employee is interested in or thinks would help them be more productive.
- Celebrate. Recognize your new hire’s achievements, anniversaries, and milestones as they hit them. Make sure they’re being recognized for good work, and make sure to celebrate when they finish the onboarding process.
Your onboarding process leaves a lasting impression on your new hires. By following this new hire onboarding checklist, you can create an engaging onboarding experience that will lead to new hires that are motivated and engaged with their work. ClearCompany has a proven track record of helping organizations create a robust and enjoyable onboarding experience. Our paperless Onboarding System streamlines your process, engages new hires, and tracks compliance with federal and state standards. With our customizable and integrated platform, hiring teams can create an onboarding experience that fits their specific needs and works alongside their existing talent management solutions. For more information about how to build an effective onboarding experience, reach out to one of our experts and sign up for your free demo now.
As a Marketing and Event Manager, Meredith coordinates best-practice content and brand-awareness events for ClearCompany. With her career in HR tech, Meredith works closely with HR practitioners and is passionate about providing them with the tools and information they need to succeed.