A quick employee onboarding checklist
- Send your new hire a clear welcome email which includes reporting time, documents to bring, parking space details, dress code or anything else you see necessary.
- Loop in another person over email whom they can reach out to in case you don’t show up on the new hire’s first day.
- Ensure IT has created their network credentials and has a ready-to-issue laptop.
- Email their team a short and interesting introduction about them. People can use the information to start conversations with them.
- Get their ID or badge ready before they arrive.
- Have a nameplate in their place. It will show them you were thoughtful and prepared.
- If there are any difficult process or software they will be using on their job, hand out guides to help them start off. It will also work in favor of reducing the time to productivity.
- Give them access to any software or systems they’ll be using.
- Make sure they have a phone set up. Show them how to use it if you think they’d need it.
- Get someone to take them on an office tour covering the cafeteria, restrooms, nap rooms, lunch hall, copy machine, etc.
- Point them to whom they should talk to if they find themselves having more questions.
Learn how to create an employee onboarding checklist and assign the different items to respective stakeholders and follow it up to completion with an employee onboarding software.
Why is the employee onboarding process important?
Helps make a great first impression
As a company, it’s important for you to make a good first impression with your employees. It’s something they’ll be left with for a very long time. It sets the precedent for everything you are going to say, do or expect. There are a handful of companies out there that invest in employee onboarding and reap great ROIs like employee experience and magnanimous customer service delivered by their happy employees. One such example is the Zappos onboarding program.
First impressions start forming as early as during their screening process or the interview phase with you. It’s built on very simple things such as arriving punctually for interviews, arriving prepared, passing on updates as and when necessary without keeping the candidate in the dark, offering them a break or a snack if they are expected to hang around for longer, etc.
Gives them a pleasant first day
Most first days are about sitting in a conference room and waiting for someone to arrive in the first few hours. Then being led to a team and pointed to a laptop and maybe a few introductions. But with a proper new hire onboarding plan in place you can give your employees a memorable first day. One that shows their first day in your company is important to you as much as it is to them. Showing them that you prepared to receive them tells them that they are significant and that the organization values the employee’s choice of choosing the organization and their presence.
Be thoughtful. You can show your thoughtfulness in things as small as introductions. Instead of introducing them to their team or peers on day one. Inform the team about them, hand over some interesting facts about the newcomer with which the team can start striking conversations.
Quickly ramps them up for success
New employees take as much as 90 days to settle in and start contributing significantly. This can, however, be reduced if they have an onboarding process that equips them with the friendships, processes, and resources that they would require as they settle in.
Introduce them to the people they will be working with. It’s not enough to just walk them across the team and tell people their name and designation. Hear their stories, maybe make them write it down. Tell your stories - the ones from the company, the team, and the individuals. Then tie them together.
Point them to the resources they’ll need - it may be the communication apps you use, team’s to-dos, the knowledge of who to go to for what, etc.
Build a culture where peers volunteer to help newcomers settle in and start belonging. It’s very different when achieved as a team. Employee onboarding is not an HR or manager-only task. You will notice that when done collectively your new hires settle in faster and start contributing much earlier than they are expected to.
Helps them make new friends (directly impacting retention)
What attractive compensations and benefits can’t achieve, social circles can. Good friendships make employees think twice before leaving.
Matching your new hires with a peer in a buddy program can help them have someone to introduce people to them and vice versa. Create opportunities for them to interact with each other beyond the work set up. Maybe make it a thing in the team for everyone to take the new employee out for a coffee or break within the first three months. Introduce them to people with the same interests as them. Introduce them to any clubs functioning in your company - books, movies, etc. After all, an employee spends a huge chunk of their awake hours with the people at work and it wouldn't hurt to be friends with them.
Establishes the values and culture of the organization
Your formal onboarding process plays an important role in sustaining the values and the culture of your organization as you grow. You may have already discussed or checked for culture-fit in your interviews with the candidate but the first few days are when you can in action and words establish what you stand for.
Introduce them to the values you uphold, give them short movies or stories on how people achieve it in their everyday roles. Otherwise, it would just be in handbooks and on the walls.
Clarifies the new hire’s role
A lot of a screening process and an interview only look for what the candidate is capable of. It’s only when they get on the job, they get a real sense of what they ought to do on the job.
You can start by repeating or clarifying what their day-to-day work life will involve - their role, responsibilities, significance in the bigger picture and more. You can have the manager talk to them, and also someone in a similar designation or role, so they can get some first-hand stories and people's experiences.
Helps engage them
Your employees bring their best to work only when they are really engaged or in other words involved. Onboarding gives you an opportunity to engage them in the processes, engage them with their teammates or peers, and invites them to partake in the vision and mission of the organization.
Encourages open communication and feedback
Onboarding encourages your new hires to connect, communicate and speak up from their very early days. It helps them overcome fears of being wrong or being judged.