When it comes to onboarding new employees it’s important to set the tone from the outset. After all, this is the first impression that you are giving your new employee of your organisation and culture. No matter how strenuous the recruitment process was, onboarding is a key part in ensuring employee retention and a happy workforce.

With that in mind, let’s delve into our 9 key onboarding tips.

9 tips to ace onboarding

1. Communication is key

You’ve spent the time, expense and resources on attracting the best talent, don’t allow communication to be the reason your new recruit decides to take another offer prior to the start date. The pre-onboarding process could last anywhere from one week to three months. During this time, it’s imperative to keep communication clear to allow the relationship to develop between your company and your new employee. Overcommunicating will be much better received than under communicating.  Arrange a phone call the week before your new employee is due to start to answer any questions and put their mind at ease!

2. Ensure all HR documents are sent prior to start date

The first few days of onboarding can feel quite heavy from your new employee’s perspective if they are having to read every employee document, whether that be the offer letter, contract or employee handbook. A great way to allow your new starter to digest and sign the information and ask any initial questions is to send all the relevant HR documents with good time prior to their start date. Don’t forgot to ask for their proof of right to work and new starter documentation.

If you don’t have a paperless HR process, we recommend taking a look at implementing a HR system such as Breathe to digitalise and reduce admin on all aspects of HR. A HR system is especially important if your team are remote working to allow all documentation to be in one place.

3. Brief your team

Hopefully your team were aware throughout the recruitment process that your organisation is expanding. Once contracts have been signed, it’s courteous to brief everyone in your organisation about your new starter including their name, job role and who they will be reporting to. This will hopefully create a warmer environment as everyone in your company will have received the same information. From here you can plan 1-1’s and work collaboratively together to create a memorable onboarding experience.

4. Create a detailed induction plan

We all know the feeling of starting a new job without a clue of what to expect or where the day will take you, and who likes that feeling? To allow for a smooth onboarding process during the first week, it is recommended to create and send a detailed induction plan to your new employee at least the week prior to their state date. This added bit of attention to detail and reassurance will be greatly appreciated by your new employee and begins the process of demonstrating how your company values your employees.

What should I include in an induction plan?

With any induction plan, it’s important to personalise it to your new team members role and their strengths.

  • A branded company PowerPoint is a nice touch to start the ball rolling on making your new employee feel welcomed. It’s always great to start with a welcome to the team message and use their name throughout the PowerPoint.
  • List who they will be reporting to throughout their induction alongside their contact details.
  • Clearly state your employer brand including your organisational values, culture, missions and goals.
  • Explore an overview of your key product or service offering.
  • Pencil in for team introductions including an explanation of what each person in your organisation does.
  • Break down each day into manageable chunks of time throughout the first week, with a brief overview of each task. This is especially useful if you are remote working or have online meetings with others. A breakdown of week two would also be ideal.
  • End the week with a debrief, exploring how they felt the first week went and answer any queries they had.
  • An additional detail that may be an added benefit includes or how to enter the building on the first day if they haven’t previously visited you or the dress-code.

5. Equipment and systems

Before the start date, it’s important to consider what resources will be needed for your new employee to do their job effectively. For instance:

  • Do you need to order a laptop, mouse, keyboard or work phone?
  • Or if you have existing equipment available, check that this is up to date and ready to be used.
  • If you work in an office-based environment is there an available desk or do you need to plan for extended seating?

By taking the time to ensure all equipment is set up with any software or work email addresses needed, this will save valuable time during the induction days; allowing your new team member to get stuck into their role without any hinderance. (Remember to set up a Microsoft Teams or Zoom account!)

If this position is permanently remote, consider how you will get these items to your new employee or whether it’s best to have a face-to-face meeting.

6. Cover key safety points

On their first day it’s favourable to give a tour of your office or work location. Cover all key safety points such as pointing out fire exits and fire extinguishers and what to do in case of an emergency. Or who to notify if there is an accident in the workplace. Be sure to point out key areas such as the toilets, kitchen and fridge. If the role is office based, it is beneficial to cover correct seating position and height of technology to reduce any strain or injuries. Also cover any employee wellbeing or mental health procedures you have in place.

7. Assign a buddy

Depending on size of your organisation, it’s a great idea to match your new starter with a buddy. This employee needs to be happy and agree to be the buddy as they may be someone who the new starter shadows or goes to regarding any questions they may have about the role or your culture. Take some time to carefully select this buddy as you don’t want any internal frustrations to be passed on.

8. Team lunch

A great way to ensure team bonding from the outset is to set up a team lunch on their first day. Whether that be ordering something in or going out for lunch, it’s a brilliant opportunity for you all to get to know each other better. Be sure to check with everyone attending about any dietary requirements and preferences.

9. Welcome gesture and branding

When it comes to welcome gestures and company branding, this is by no means essential however it is a nice way to ensure a positive and memorable onboarding experience. Think about what you may like to receive if it were your first day.

  • An effective gesture is a welcome card signed by your team or their line manager!
  • Does your organisation have any branded stationary that could be laid out on their desk?
  • If you all bring in your own mugs for that essential tea or coffee break, could you get them a nice mug?

And there we have our 9 key tips for onboarding new employees! If you require assistance with your recruitment process or HR support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to see how Norton Loxley can assist you.