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How To Absolutely Master New Employee Onboarding

Posted by Optimize | Apr 3, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Photo Credit: Your Best Digs

New employee onboarding is the process of introducing new employees to your company, allowing them to gain skills and behaviours necessary to fit in as seamlessly as possible.

How you introduce your new hire into this process can either make them feel welcomed and positive about their new job, or make them feel overwhelmed and disheartened; it’s important to get the process right. So here are some tips on how to absolutely master new employee onboarding.

Planning Before They Begin

Before the new hire even begins you can start the process of onboarding by making sure you’re in regular contact with them. You’ll need to outline your expectations for them, discuss when they start, how and when you’ll complete paperwork, where they will park (if relevant), how to pay for parking, or where to catch public transportation, and how to get to the office. You can provide a map of the area and suggest any recommendations they’ll need to know. If the employee is relocating, you’ll want to help with the hotel booking, and so forth.


Since new hires often have lots of paperwork to contend with, you may want to have them complete it in advance to make the process easier and more efficient. Get as much done before they begin as possible.


Most importantly, you’ll want to have an onboarding plan in place before he or she (or any employee for that matter) begins. A staggering 15% of employees quit if there is not a good onboarding process in place, but a good onboarding process can increase retention by 25%.


Welcome New Employees

Whether your office has a large group orientation process - i.e. all new employees have a week to three weeks of training - or if you have a small orientation, your company should decide. Strategies that work for big companies may not feel personal enough for a small office, and vice versa.


Whenever your new hire steps on the office floor make sure you have someone in place to provide an office tour. Show them the basics: where they’ll work; where they’ll eat; where they can store their food; the tea/coffee station; bathrooms; copy machines; and anything else they’ll need to know.

Another tip too for smaller offices is instead of having all video training in the first week - where the new employee might feel overwhelmed - ease them into trainings over a few weeks.


Introduce New Hires to Key People

Before s/he begins make sure to email everyone to let them know someone new is starting and to welcome them. Your team can be prepared too to help explain and answer questions if necessary.


For smaller companies, introduce new hires to everyone in the office and let them chat to the new employee about what everyone does; this strategy can help the new hire see where they fit in and how s/he can contribute to the office’s function overall. For larger workplaces, make sure you introduce the new hire to key people such as people on their team, and people they can speak to if there’s a problem or question. It’s also a good idea to introduce new hires to the directors of the companies and any managers - having your company directors out of reach can feel impersonal and elitist and contribute to a new hire feeling unwelcome.


For both small and large companies, make sure the new employee has a mentor who can guide him or her through the new job: 56% of employees want a mentor to help alleviate nerves and show them the ropes.



Provide Written Plan of Responsibilities

Starting a new job is overwhelming, especially when there’s a lot of information to process, so it’s vital to provide a written plan of responsibilities for the first week or two.

You want to make sure that the role meets the employee expectation. There’s nothing worse than starting a new job thinking it will be one way and it turns out another - not in a good way. Make sure you manage employee expectations before this happens.

Provide end goals of what you expect him or her to do over time. This way the new employee can take ownership of his or her role: they can accomplish their long term goals as quickly or slowly as they feel comfortable, but having ownership will empower them and encourage them to be efficient.



Photo Credit: Markus Spiske


Stock The Workstation

An empty desk can feel impersonal, so stock the new person’s workstation with relevant supplies; if s/he comes to a desk with no supplies, the new hire will have to hunt around and ask other workers for supplies, which can feel like you haven’t prepared for their arrival.

Think of ideas to make the new employee feel welcome: set up email and any logins needed; set up any software s/he needs and explain it; provide a stack of business cards and a nameplate too, if necessary for their particular role.

Explain Company Culture

You want your new hire to fit in as soon as possible, so be sure to help the new hire avoid any embarrassment by explaining the company culture. Explain the dress code, any policies, late policies, benefits, after work drinks, early Friday leave - basically whatever the new person should know when he or she starts.

Make sure to include him or her in work banter too - ask questions - and make them feel part of the group as soon as possible (but also establish a healthy balance of work first - i.e. that work chatter is generally kept to a minimum).

Meet Regularly to Assess Progress

Make sure that you meet within the first few weeks to see how the new hire is settling in. Schedule one on one time to make the new employee feel heard. Are they enjoying the job? Do they feel comfortable? Are they able to address any needs and concerns? How do they feel they’re doing? Set progress goals for the next period too.


office team meeting


Think Beyond Week One

Make sure that the process doesn’t simply end after the first week or few. Provide feedback after 90 days and consider performance overall and how the employee is fitting in and working. Make sure it’s a good fit for everyone, and help the employee reach work goals with support. Re-assess what support he or she needs, or if he or she is getting along just fine.

Creating a great onboarding experience will keep employees happy and help them stick around. To customise these tips for your company, think of each step and consider how you were treated when you first began - did the company have it spot on or were there ways the onboarding process could have been improved? Discuss the onboarding process with the management team and employees to make sure you have a direct plan on how to welcome people effectively - and how to retain them.


Here are some email templates to help you get started - from asking a potential hire to interview to hiring to first day emails. Check them out below:

Our email templates have pre-written emails to help you invite candidates to interview, send out onboarding and welcome letters, reject candidates en masse, offer a candidate the job, and much more. All you have to do is download, edit, and send. Download your free templates now:

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Topics: Hiring

Written by Optimize

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