10 Tips for Onboarding a New Hire

People shaking hands across a large conference table.

Onboarding a new employee is a crucial factor in employee experience and one that is often overlooked by employers. While only 12% of employees state their company does a good job of onboarding, there is much room for improvement. Having a thorough onboarding process will not only help new employees thrive and feel connected but also increase employee satisfaction and in turn retention. We’ve outlined a few onboarding strategies that can be implemented to help set your company apart from your competitors.

1. Early Communication

It is important to help set your new hire up for success by communicating with them in between their offer acceptance and start date. This will keep them engaged and get them excited about their first day. 1-2 weeks before that start date, they should receive a welcome email detailing all of the information they will need including arrival time, who to meet upon arrival, parking, dress code, etc. A new employee may be nervous enough on their first day, so set them up for success by making sure all of this basic information is clear to them.

Having the new employee’s manager reach out to check in and ask if they have any questions before starting may also be a great way to help them feel welcomed, included, and ready to jump in headfirst into their new role.

2. Get their Workspace and Equipment Ready

Make sure that on their first day, a new employee walks into a fully set up and ready-to-go workspace. The last thing they want to deal with on day one is figuring out how to connect their mouse or keyboard! When it’s feasible, reach out beforehand for their equipment preferences.

Additionally, make sure they have all usernames, passwords, and email addresses set up before their arrival. Provide them with a list of all of these topics right away to allow for a smooth first day.

For remote employees, make sure they have all of the equipment needed and provide them with anything needed before day one.

To make a new employee’s arrival a bit special, include a few branded gifts in their workspace such as pens, notepads, mugs, etc. You could also opt to create a larger welcome package!

3. Create a Welcome Package

Instead of, or in addition to the branded items mentioned above, you could give them a welcome package on their first day. This may not be possible for every company depending on size and budgets, but it can add a truly special touch for a new employee.

Ideas could include branded items for their workspace, clothing, snacks, etc. However, you can get creative and find a gift that is in line with your company culture, and mission, or even tailor it to their particular job.

If they are a sales person who will be on the move regularly, items such as a backpack, travel mug, water bottle, or on-the-go lunch kit may be a nice idea. If your company culture is focused on health and wellness, maybe a pampering kit. For a tech company, you could look into branded headphones, tablet cases, etc.

Get creative when you can and set your employer brand apart from other companies with a few fun gifts to welcome your new hires!

4. Provide New Hire Resources

While a welcome gift is optional, new-hire resources are a must. Provide your new employee with all of the information they will need to navigate the company. This may include a facility map, organizational chart, company mission, company directory, policies, and procedures, or even important contact info (i.e. who to call when they have a technical issue).

5. First Day Announcement

Announcing a new hire’s first day to employees is an important step to keep your existing employees informed as well as foster potential relationships between new and existing employees.

In larger companies, an email announcement is probably the best way to accomplish this. Include a few career accomplishments and personal (conversation starter) facts about the new employee in that email. However, smaller companies may have more of an opportunity for in-person introduction to staff, or maybe even a welcome lunch to help the new person meet everyone in a more casual environment.

6. Meet with Key Staff

With a small company, a new employee will most likely meet everyone right away. However, in larger organizations, this may not happen organically and it is important to ensure a new hire meets those people who will be their key relationships. Whether this entails scheduling a meeting or a small lunch, make sure a new employee meets the right people to set them up for success.

7. Pair them with a Peer

Creating a peer mentorship program can be a huge benefit to help new employees feel welcomed and provide them with a resource for any simple or day-to-day questions. You should pair them with a peer who is of similar level and role, and this person can be their main contact throughout the first few weeks of employment. While a direct supervisor can be a resource as well, a new hire may feel more comfortable asking a peer questions about culture or advice on how to navigate the workplace.

8. Create a Formal Mentorship Program

While 91% of employees with a mentor report being satisfied with their jobs, only 37% of employees have one. This stat makes a mentorship program seem like a no-brainer for most companies. While this probably won’t be something to spring on a new hire on day one, once they are more acclimated, introducing them to a formal mentor is hugely beneficial to help employees on their career path, in turn leading to increased retention and employee satisfaction.

9. Have a Thorough Training Program

According to a poll of over 34,000 exit interviews, at 22%, the leading reason many employees leave is a lack of career development. It is imperative to have systems and procedures in place to get new hires trained, but also to make sure they have an adequate amount of time to learn and get up to speed. According to Gallup, “new employees typically take around 12 months to reach peak performance potential”.

10. Feedback from Employees

After your company has a thorough onboarding plan in place, it is important to continually improve upon it. The best way to find any gaps in strategy is to ask those who went through the onboarding process themselves. It is best to wait a few weeks to reach out to new employees for feedback, as they will probably be too overwhelmed within the first few days of a new job to give thoughtful feedback.

 

We hope these onboarding strategies gave you some ideas on how to optimize your procedures and make new employees feel at home right away. While we cannot help you with your onboarding directly, we are experts in finding those candidates for you to hire. If you find your company is struggling to find high-quality candidates, reach out and we can discuss how we can assist!