Tips for Onboarding New Employees

Tips for Onboarding New Employees

When bringing on a new employee, it’s important to make them feel welcome in their new work environment. A formal onboarding process can introduce new hires to your company culture, help them understand day-to-day operations, and provide them with realistic expectations for their new job—which can help increase employee retention!

In fact, research by Brandon Hall Group found that organizations with a strong employee onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. First impressions are everything! This is when a new team member forms their opinion about the organization and whether the role will be a good fit in the long term—which can increase morale. And with increased productivity comes a financial benefit to the organization.

But how do we create an effective onboarding process for their first few days on the job? I’ve put together some of my favorite tips to help make a positive onboarding experience for both you and your new team members!


What are some best practices for orientation, training, and welcoming a new employee?

Have a plan

One of the most important aspects of onboarding and training an employee is having a plan. Onboarding checklists can help you keep track of what new hires need to learn during orientation and the steps necessary for teaching them. Using a plan can reduce the time integrating new hires into the team takes.

Make room for the new hire

Making room for new hires means more than having a job opening; it’s making sure the employee feels like part of your organization. To do this, it helps to have an established vision and mission for your organization. There are clear, specific answers to questions like:

  • Who are we?
  • What do we do?
  • Why do we do it?
  • How do we define success as a team?

This can help new hires feel they understand their job, their goals, and their role within the organization. Onboarding is a process where an employee gets to decide whether this is the job they want. Making it clear how they fit into the organization and what they can expect from the job is the first step toward creating employee satisfaction.

Train your managers

If you’re not onboarding new hires yourself, it’s important that your managers understand the process thoroughly. It’s helpful to create clearly established goals and plans for the process, so your managers can provide new hires with the same information and experience every time. This way, each new team member can begin their journey with your organization from the same starting point.

Check-in Regularly

Often, onboarding ends during a new hire’s first few weeks. However, there’s still an adjustment period. For some, this adjustment period could be brief—a few days or a few weeks. For others, this could take longer—maybe even a few months. During this time, new team members can learn more about their job, the organization, and the rest of their team. It’s helpful to check in with them regularly to assess how they’re adjusting.

I prefer a 30-60-90 day cadence. This has a few benefits. It helps your new hires understand that you’re interested in their growth and are available to help. One-month intervals can give your new hires enough time to assess their own experience and prepare questions for their next check-in meeting. Regular check-ins can also help you track their progress to better understand how well they integrate into their roles.

Go interactive

Ensuring that training is impactful and that there are clear measurements for proficiency is vital to successful onboarding. Gone are the days of sitting in front of hours of videos to train staff. Organizations should get creative with their onboarding and training by gamifying the process, offering hands-on and interactive learning, as well as connecting new employees with tenured staff to help increase connection and real-life experience in the role.

This doesn’t just improve the employee experience—it can help you assess their skills in real time.

Hire an onboarding liaison

An onboarding liaison (or onboarding specialist) is a human resources professional who oversees the entire onboarding process. They can work with you to establish your goals during onboarding and create an onboarding program that meets your expectations. They manage the entire process and ensure that employees get the resources they need during this crucial time.

What are the potential pitfalls?

Not onboarding properly can have potential pitfalls. These pitfalls could affect a new employee’s performance—which can affect your organization’s long-term success. This increases the need for proper onboarding procedures and management. Some of the most common pitfalls of improper onboarding include:
  • Increased employee turnover
  • Reduced productivity
  • Employee disengagement
  • Failure to meet expectations of assigned roles
  • Failure to meet organization goals

Onboarding is one of the most foundational elements of an organization. You need to ensure you have a plan and put some strategy behind how you can ensure your employee onboarding is successful. The future of your business and organization depends on it.