The Ultimate Employee Onboarding Checklist for Your New Hires

Dave Evans
Dave Evans  |  November 21, 2018

Let’s discuss the importance of a well-structured onboarding process.

It all starts with being prepared and organized for your new starter. That’s why we’ve compiled the ultimate onboarding checklist for your new hires.

We all know that the first few weeks and months of a new hire’s employment are the most important in ensuring staff retention. In these crucial weeks, it’s important to set the tone for the rest of their working future with your company. This includes what you expect from them, what they can expect in return, and helping them merge into your company environment as smoothly as possible. Getting onboarding right has been shown to increase retention by 25 percent.

You probably already go through the standard onboarding checklist: Reviewing company policies, introductions to teams and colleagues, office tours, filling out necessary forms, and reviewing their position within the company and working hours, etc.

But have you considered the inclusion of employee training in your onboarding process? How about regular progress checking or company socialization?

These small added extras can make all the difference when creating an environment your new hires want to stay and develop in.

A recent study showed one-third of new hires reported that they experienced a poor onboarding process.

So, how can we make it better?

onboarding will not look the same for everyone, as processes may vary depending on an employee’s department, location, and function within the company. A good onboarding set-up should allow for micro-changes, dependent on these varying aspects.

Factors to consider include culture, location, departmental processes, the employee’s learning plan, and who the new starter needs to know in their role.  

Before jumping in to our ultimate onboarding checklist, let’s talk about company culture.

Company culture

Having a definitive company ethos and hiring in-line with it can help make sure your employees are the right people and you have the right bums in the right seats from the get-go.

At accessplanit, we operate every aspect of our business using an entrepreneurial operating system (EOS), and make sure that everyone in the company fits-in with, understands, and lives up to our core values. We hire, fire, discipline, and reward by our four core values, which make it clear for all parties to understand when a member of the team is under or over performing.

This is an important aspect of both the hiring and onboarding processes. It not only helps build a higher staff retention rate, but ensures that your place of work is a harmonious and happy one. So, decide on your core values and live and hire by them.

onboarding checklist to improve retention [8 steps]

The onboarding process must be both clear and engaging for your new employees. Providing ongoing communication, milestones, and the opportunity for learning and development is key.

1. The boring stuff: company policies and safety reviews

Have a company handbook that you can give to all employees and go through any questions they may have.

This should include an explanation of how your company operates, any legal requirements associated with hiring, and any training that they need to take for fire safety or equipment use. Getting the mandatory stuff out of the way at the outset means that it won’t get forgotten about.

2. Timekeeping: schedule overview

Make sure your new starter knows what their schedule is for their onboarding period, where to access it, and who to raise any queries to.

3. Introductions: office tour and colleagues

It’s important that your newbie feels safe and comfortable in their new job.

Show them around the office and introduce them to everyone (yes, even the super shy IT guys). Show them where they can keep food, relax, eat, and make a cup of tea. Go through any unwritten rules with them, but keep it light and informal.

This part is also where you should first introduce your new starter to the colleagues they need to know as part of their role and who they should go to for what.

The onboarding period is hectic, so don’t be surprised if they forget names and positions. Providing access to the company directory (with photos is even better) is useful for following this up.  

4. Employee fit: review of position and company ethos

A clear job description and breakdown of their role is an important step in making your new employee begin to feel like part of the team.

Give them any assignments you want them to complete in the first few weeks. Schedule a few one-on-one meetings to make sure they are on-track and feeling like they have constant clarity on their role.

5. IT: equipment and office technology

Make sure your employee knows how to login and operate anything they will need to use in their new position.

Give them the processes necessary if they forget their password or have any problems with their new tech. Share whether there is any training required in order for them to perform their duties better and, if so, get them booked into a course as soon as is appropriate.

6. Integration: company social media accounts and upcoming events

Company socialization is more important than you think when it comes to employee retention. 66 percent of workers say that social events help them to bond with their peers.

If you have a company WhatsApp, Facebook group, or Instagram, let your new employee know that they are invited to join from the very first week.

Invite them to any scheduled out-of-work drinks or meet-ups, and make sure your team does its best to encourage the new starters to get involved.

7. Up-skilling: training opportunities

Do your new employees require any training to make their jobs easier? Would they like to advance their knowledge in a certain area during their time with your company?

These are questions that a good onboarding checklist should include and prepare for.

Some companies might require mandatory training before the employee starts. For instance: fire safety training, health and safety training, or other role specific training.

For companies with large and varied training requirements, a training management system can help the onboarding process by providing staff with an overview of available courses, automating the admin, and ensuring you have a record of completed training.

8. Check-ins: regular meetings and reviews

As a new starter, a big part of feeling comfortable in a company is receiving enough support from the team in the initial weeks and months after starting.

Touch base every day in the first week to make sure they are settling in okay. Schedule a weekly meeting to make sure they are on-track with their assignments. Have a six-month review to discuss how they are doing and whether a pay-review is in the cards.

Tip:Check out our free employee onboarding roadmap, complete with tips for the first day, week, and month.

onboarding for success

As you can see, successful employee onboarding has many benefits. Remember the eight key steps to include in your checklist and you can’t go wrong!

Looking for a software that can assist with everything we mentioned above? Check out the best onboarding software according to G2 user reviews.

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Dave Evans

Dave Evans

Dave Evans has been an active part of the training, education, and professional development industry for over 20 years. His area of expertise is training technology with his software company, accessplanit, helping millions of training professionals to be more successful.