How to Onboard New Employees With Tips

Updated January 16, 2023

Onboarding is the process of providing new hires with the necessary resources to enable them to fit into a company's culture. Onboarding new employees helps them become familiar with a company's values and their products or services, and facilitates a friendly relationship with coworkers. Understanding how to create an effective onboarding plan for new employees can help you attract and retain top talent. In this article, we provide the steps for how to onboard new employees, share tips, and discuss the benefits of onboarding.

How to onboard new employees

Follow these steps when learning how to onboard new employees for an effective and productive start:

1. Send a welcome message

Also known as pre-boarding, you may send a welcome message to new employees before they start. This can help them prepare and know what to expect on their first day, which can also save time in the onboarding process. An introductory email contains the following:

  • a copy of the company handbook

  • all paperwork they need to fill out, such as tax forms

  • the location of the job, as well as the date and time to arrive

  • access to the employee web portal

  • an agenda of their first day or week at work

  • a list of documents they need to bring with them on their first day

  • an overview of the company dress code

  • instructions or directions on how to get to their new workplace

Pre-boarding can make a good impression on new hires and make them more excited about starting their new opportunity and becoming a member of the team. It's also good to prepare new hires' working spaces in advance. For example, ensure their phone and computer are functioning properly, and the desk space is clear.

2. Show them around the workplace

Set time aside to give your new hire a tour of their new work environment. Typically, a member of the human resources department or the employee's team leader or manager can do this. This helps them learn the layout of the office, warehouse, restaurant, or other space where they'll be working.

During their tour, ensure you introduce your new hires to other staff. Introducing them to coworkers helps them fit in with the organizational culture and to make friendships, which are key for a pleasant work environment. It also provides an opportunity to meet their new colleagues in different areas of the business and improves their ability to collaborate in the future.

Related: How to Create a New Employee Orientation Program in 8 Steps

3. Introduce them to the HR department

New employees can benefit from meeting with the human resources department during the onboarding process to learn more about whom they can contact with different questions and concerns. For example, they may like to meet with the payroll team to give them banking details or tax forms they've filled out before arriving at work.

They can also discuss work and safety policies and review the code of conduct. Health insurance and other benefits are also important to discuss with the HR team, so ensure the new employees know where to find that team and how to contact them.


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4. Set them up to meet with their manager

It's important for the new employee to meet their new manager on their first day if possible. The manager can provide an overview of the team dynamic and introduce them to their other colleagues within the team. They may also review the job description and expectations of the role, as well as help them set professional goals. They also get an opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification if they have any questions related to their role.

RelatedHow to Set Long-Term Goals: 5 Helpful Steps for Success

5. Introduce them to their workspace

Take your new employee to their workspace and assist them in getting comfortable. Hand them a building key, a parking card, or any other items they might require. Also, help them set up their IT equipment and provide instructions on how to use them. It is important to allow them about an hour or two to become accustomed to their new software systems and work surroundings. Ask if there are any additional resources they need to do their work.

6. Offer consistent basic support

New employees require the company's support when learning their roles and how to adapt to the company's culture. In the course of your new employee's first month at the job, you can arrange an activity-filled social gathering. During their first week at work, you can:

  • Check-in with your new employee.

  • Send them links to useful articles or e-books to read.

  • Create their profiles on the company's website.

  • Organize and schedule all necessary training sessions on company software.

7. Ask for feedback

Keep communicating with the new employees to get feedback about how they're settling into their new role and the company. You can do this through online feedback forms or arrange physical interactive sessions. Asking for feedback can help improve employee morale and make them feel like a valued member of the team.

8. Follow up on their progress

After three months on the job, new employees may have settled in on the job, and their productivity may have started to increase. Further, the manager may have regularly issued them reports of their progress, development and reviewed their goals and achievements. You can request these progress reports to follow up on the new employee.

Related: The 6 Types of Work Environments

Tips for successfully onboarding an employee

The following tips can help you develop an effective onboarding process:

Help the new employee learn the company's culture and values

Unwritten rules and values create the company's identity, and the earlier new employees become accustomed to them, the smoother the process of onboarding becomes. Familiarize them with your firm's definition of success, and encourage them to work towards it. Let them know it's okay to take some time to get accustomed to it.

Set goals and targets

Every firm should have a solid plan with goals to measure its success. Your firm's goals should be attainable within a time-bound. Your onboarding process may include steps on how to set up new employees with attainable goals as they try to learn and match up to the rest of the team. By helping new employees set and achieve their goals, you create a sense of victory and energy among them. Consider creating and implementing an efficient onboarding strategy for success.

Personalize each process

It's important to approach each employee with a unique process. As roles vary according to position, every new employee needs to be supported to varying degrees. It can also be helpful to adapt your onboarding process based on their level of seniority, as entry-level employees may need more guidance than people in management positions with previous work experience.

Use onboarding technology

With the rapid growth of digitalization, you can manage an onboarding process and other HR-related tasks using web-based tracking tools. They are effective and manage high employee retention rates. Using these tools will also make the process faster and easier for you because of the automation feature.

Related: Tips for Successfully Navigating Your First Day at a New Job

What are the benefits of onboarding?

By learning how to onboard new employees successfully, your company can benefit in the following ways:

Increased productivity

Proper introduction and familiarization with the new working environments can help employees feel prepared and confident in their role. As a result, it can increase their productivity and how they work with their department or team. With a proper process of onboarding, new employees can start executing their duties immediately.

Improved communication

The introduction stage of an onboarding process is essential for improving communication between new and existing employees. It helps in founding long-term relationships among staff, which can improve the way everyone works together. It can also benefit the organizational culture and team morale.

Increased employee retention

The onboarding process helps make the workplace enjoyable. This is because the new employee gets to integrate with the rest of the team with ease, avoiding any awkward interactions, or slowing down of productivity. With a properly executed onboarding strategy, a company can maintain its employees for years. A healthy employee retention rate is typically a reflection of your team's job satisfaction.

Enhanced responsiveness

When conducting an onboarding process, companies get to analyze their goals and achievements with each new hire. While the new employees apply the policies set by the company in their routine duties, they can also offer helpful feedback about their onboarding experience. Be open to changing the onboarding process as new data and feedback become available.

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