A Step-by-Step Guide to On-Boarding New-Hires

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Many organizations struggle to on-board and engage new employees effectively which poses challenges in setting them up for success in their new roles. As a result, we've compiled a step-by-step guide to help you successfully on-board and engage your new-hires.

Step 1: Communicate with the new-hire.

On-going communication with the new-hire is essential for effective on-boarding. The new-hire's immediate supervisor and HR liaison should not only call or email new-hires at least once to answer questions and welcome them prior to their first day, but also send them information such as:

  • A schedule or agenda
  • Expectations for their first day (dress code, start time, etc.)
  • Directions to your facility and instructions for parking
  • Overview of their orientation
  • Pre-hire documents that need to be completed

Step 2: Engage the new-hire prior to their start date.

On-going communication with the new-hire; inviting them to company events and training; sending them small gifts, cards and notes; and including them in your organization’s communications and activities are ways that you can engage new-hires and show them that you are excited for their arrival.

Step 3: Set them up for success.

Set-up a new-hire's workspace and all of the information and tools they need (i.e. computer, software, phone, login information, keys, business cards, badges, etc.) prior to their arrival. Also, be sure to give them a tour of your facility and consider making their workspace look inviting by adding a welcome banner or decorations.

Step 4: Create a schedule.

An organized and scheduled approach to on-boarding works best. Create a schedule for at least the new hire’s first day and first week with times allotted for training, orientation, meetings with their manager, time with a mentor and peers, and various on-boarding activities. Be sure to review the schedule with the new-hire on their first day or prior to their start date.   

Step 5: Introduce the new-hire to your team.

Introduce your employees to the new-hire. Send an announcement with their name, picture, bio, or an overview of their professional background and encourage other staff members to welcome them to the organization. Some employers also have staff "meet and greet" events and post new-hire information within their intranet, newsletter, or other company communication.

Step 6: Provide an orientation.

Orientation programs should focus on the company's big picture and share the organization’s history, mission, vision, culture, and values through discussion, stories, and presentations. Consider having your President, CEO, or a prominent leader from the C-suite present these parts of the orientation. Also, be sure to provide an overview of:

  • Employment policies
  • Operational procedures
  • Benefits
  • Compensation
  • Organizational chart

Step 7: Treat them to lunch.

On the first day, treat your new-hire to lunch on the company. Specifically, provide them the opportunity to have lunch with their immediate manager, other team members, or even a company leader.

Step 8: Invest time in plenty of training.  

When new-hires feel properly trained and are given access to the appropriate information, resources, and development, they are more likely to be satisfied with their on-boarding experience. Do a thorough training needs assessment of your new-hire and be sure to set aside time for the following types of training:

Step 9: Give them a mentor.

Providing a mentor, buddy, or sponsor to new-hires has become a more common practice in on-boarding programs. Mentors, typically high-performing peers who are positive role models, help acclimate new-hires to your organization. They can be an informal resource that new-hires can access to answer their questions, provide guidance, and help them socialize.

Step 10: Provide one-on-one time.  

Provide plenty of initial one-on-one time for the new-hire to meet with their manager and coworkers to understand their department’s operations, their performance expectations and job responsibilities, and the culture of their work group. The more employees are able to interact and get to know these individuals, the more quickly they will feel comfortable in their role. 

Step 11: Customize your program.

On-boarding should not be one-size-fits-all. Different levels and departments at your organization will have different needs with regard to how new-hires are on-boarded. For example, at the leadership level, the organization’s strategy, change management, and new leader assimilation likely should be emphasized; whereas at the lower-levels, greater focus should be placed on on-the-job learning and procedural training.

Step 12: Follow-up.

Follow-up with the new-hire after various intervals (i.e. 30, 60, or 90 days, 6 months, etc.). This is an opportunity to gather feedback on your on-boarding program and gauge the new-hire's performance in their role. It's also an opportunity provide follow-up training and further support.

Every organization - large or small - can take advantage of these best practices to create an on-boarding plan that helps every new-hire succeed.

Additional Resources

New-Hire Training
Does your new employee need job training? ERC offers training at our Workplace Center and also offers training opportunities from Supervisor and Manager training to Technical Skills training.

Other On-Boarding & Hiring Resources
ERC Members have access to resources at various stages of the hiring and on-boarding processes. These resources can help make these processes more efficient and effective.

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