March 13, 2024

Hired someone new? How to smoothen the employee onboarding process

Minutes to read
Minutes to read

If you have just hired a new employee, ensuring the person has everything they need to get acclimated to their new position is essential. An effective onboarding process helps new team members be more productive from the get-go and also feel more engaged with your company culture.

This article will cover everything you need to know about the employee onboarding process and why it's vital to retaining new hires. We'll go through the different steps you can take to make the entire experience more manageable and give you a few ideas to automate your onboarding process for new employees. So, let's get started!

What is employee onboarding, and why does it matter?

Onboarding refers to the process of providing new hires with all the training and information they will require to assume the responsibilities of their new position. The goal of onboarding is, then, to acclimate new employees into their roles, what’ll be expected of them, and what the company culture is. This process is typically carried out by the employer, although different people can also contribute to the process by covering various aspects of the business. 

A good onboarding process begins with acclimatization. Here we’re talking less about explaining where the toilets and canteen are and more about how the new person’s role contributes to the company’s overall success. According to Gallup, good onboarding can lead to more engagement, which in turn provides better results such as higher profits, lower turnover rates, more quality for products, and better customer evaluations. 

In short, onboarding integrates a person into a company and provides them with knowledge, training, and support to become a more engaged and productive team member. 

Onboarding vs orientation: How are they different?

Orientation has the primary purpose of letting someone know things like their start date, routine tasks, and the paperwork they will need to fill in. It usually takes just a few hours or a day. Onboarding, on the other hand, is a more extensive process that involves training and the transfer of knowledge and resources so the new employee can succeed in their position.

Tips for making the employee onboarding process easier

We've determined that an effective onboarding program can integrate a person into a company and provide them with knowledge, training, and support to become a more engaged and productive team member. Now, how do you actually go around making sure your new employee has everything they need to get to speed fast? Here are some handy onboarding process tips. 

1. Prepare an onboarding kit or employee handbook

It's likely your new employees will know little about how you do things at your company. One thing you can do is send them a message containing some contextual information, such as your company's mission, strategy, and structure. You can also include more detailed logistics like where to park, who to contact first, and whether there's extra hire paperwork to complete on arrival. Don't forget to also keep your handbook updated, as it's supposed to be a living, breathing document and not something set in stone. 

2. Give them a warm welcome

A good employee onboarding process is more than schedule and job duties; it's also making sure the new employee can meet everyone on their team. Many companies use a "buddy" system, asking existing employees to accompany new hires for a week or two to help them acclimate to the new surroundings and do some relationship-building. The buddy system is, in fact, a great way to create a warm and supportive environment for your new hire!

3. Have an employee onboarding plan

The first week is paramount, so you should always make sure the new hire has access to all handover documents that have been prepared in advance. An onboarding checklist or transition plan can be highly beneficial. The person should know why something matters in context. For example, "a presentation next Friday will decide whether we win the client" or "this contact is the main decision maker on the project". The day-to-day job of a new joiner can be broken down into dealing with teams, projects, roles (within teams and projects), activities (parts of a role) and processes (a type of activity). The new employee should quickly get familiar with the people they will interact with in all areas of their job and when certain events, milestones and meetings are set for.

A plan that takes all of this into consideration is a great way to ensure your new employee onboarding process succeeds. You should also try to accompany your new hire through their first week; for example, by sending them a list of daily tasks and checking in frequently in case they have questions. These initial tasks should be, ideally, easily achievable. You can add more challenging assignments as the work progresses and the person feels more comfortable.

4. Don't dismiss culture and success measurement

Employees should be immersed in your company's culture from day one. You can start doing this by sharing your business' vision, mission, and core values, but you should also see that the person can align their own beliefs and behaviors with what they are reading. It's also a good idea to explain to new employees how you will measure success, so they can empower people to work independently and make autonomous decisions.

5. Check in regularly

We mentioned it can be a good idea to check in regularly during a new hire’s first week. This process, however, should not wholly disappear once this time expires. Ideally, you will want to meet with them down the line, with some regularity. This should help create a culture of engagement right from the get-go and show people you care about their professional development.

6. Use onboarding software

You can automate a lot of the employee onboarding process flow by using specialized software to ensure your new hires have everything they need to do their job right from day one. These solutions don't just deal with the typical onboarding checklists but can also help staff understand their place in your universe, making them ready to win hearts and minds. 

Why you should consider using an onboarding solution

We've covered why employee onboarding is vital to ensure new hires feel like they belong - and make them more productive, too! If your company recruits people frequently, you might want to consider a tool that can make the job easier for your managers and their new staff. 

With imprend, you can simplify both the onboarding and employee handover processes so all teams, roles, responsibilities, and documents (plus events, milestones, and more) can be captured and shared more easily.

Try imprend today and let our app do the heavy lifting when it comes to onboarding and transition.

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