5 Tips for Smoother Onboarding

Employee onboarding, the orientation or mainstreaming process of a new position, is a period of transition for both employee and employer. For relocating employees, the first days on a new job are a chance to make a positive impact in their new position. For employers, it’s an opportunity to gain confidence in their investment in talent.

Managers also feel the pressure too. It’s their job to make new employees feel welcome, help orient them to their new position, introduce them to the company culture and their department colleagues, as well as establishing the responsibilities of their new job.

Much like the first day of school, in the first days of a new job, there’s a lot of ground to cover. An effective onboarding helps reduce the potential for mistakes and embarrassment and reduces stress for everyone involved.

Effective employee onboarding has additional benefits: it helps make new hires feel welcome, and supported in their new positions. In turn, this gives them the confidence to dive into their new responsibilities with greater focus and less downtime.

The following five tips provide a handy quick employee onboarding checklist for managers that can help to get a new employee and those he or she will be working with, acquainted and quickly up to speed:

1. Send the new employee your employee handbook, benefits information, and your new employee orientation manual or process in advance of starting. This gives the new employee a chance to read everything in advance and prepare any questions they may have for their onboarding meeting.

2. Make sure your new employee has your contact information in advance of their first day at work. This allows you to stay in touch in the weeks before the employee starts and begin to build a positive working relationship. It also communicates to your new employee that they are supported and that you can be viewed as a positive resource in their new position.

3. Send an employee introduction letter by email to members of the new employee’s department. If the employee will be joining a department where employees do not typically receive communications by email, you can print the letter and post it in the department.

4. In the employee introduction letter, include the new employee’s position and title, a brief description of his or her background, and an outline of their areas of responsibility. You may also want to include a photograph of the new employee and indicate where their work or office location can be found.

5. Consider hosting a short welcome reception for the employee and their coworkers some time on the first day of work. An informal gathering, with some food and drink, provides a good opportunity for coworkers to greet their new teammate. The end of the day is usually a good time to do this as it gives everyone an opportunity to relax after the day’s work is completed.

Employee onboarding is a necessary element in the retention process for both the organization and the employee. It helps make the new employee feel welcome and establishes a foundation for future success. It doesn’t take much time to make a new employee feel welcome. But that small investment of your time has the potential to bring you great returns in better job performance, employee satisfaction, and employee retention.