What is Employee Onboarding?
Remember your first day working for your company? When you
walked in, you looked around and wondered, “Where do I start?”
Ideally, there should have been someone there to show you
- How to find your computer, log in, access the network
- Meet your team members, see where they work, and
- Spend time with the HR manager and go through the
Employee Handbook, Training Manual and other policy documents
That’s all part of onboarding. It’s the process of getting
you on board, i.e. understanding where you fit into the company and how it
What is Employee Onboarding Important?
Employee onboarding serves three interrelated purposes.
- Ensures new recruits feel comfortable, prepared, and
- Helps them understand their role faster, embrace your
values, and work with clients
- Improves employee satisfaction and retention rates
This article explores the best practices for employee
Employee Onboarding – Prep Work
To prepare for a new hire's start date, create an agenda
for the first week on the job.
- Schedule times for the new hire to meet with key staff
- Provide staff with the new employee's resume and job
- Encourage them to arrange a meeting and describe their
own position, how their role interacts, and how they might work together.
- Assign a mentor to the new hire for any questions,
- Help them find friend and build a network within the
- Share information about resources and facilities
- Outline your organizational culture and goals
Employee Onboarding – Technical Setup
Setup a workstation and provide them with the necessary
equipment to get started, such as paper, pens, computer, phone, keys, and
- Setup voicemail and email
- Put your organization chart, staff list and phone
directory on their desk
- Leave your employee handbook and other documentation
Make sure all administrative forms, such as employment,
bank details, and benefits are ready to be processed on day one.
Employee Onboarding – Day One
Your first day of a new job can be difficult. You can
reduce their anxiety by:
- Making sure someone is available to greet the new
- Gives them an office tour
- Introduce them to staff members
- Shows them the fax, lunch room, and restrooms
You can balance out this information overload with a nice
lunch; for example, make it a policy to treat new employees to a free lunch.
Later, schedule a meeting with their line manager. They
should review the role and responsibilities and discuss their expectations for
the next 30-90 days.
Employee Onboarding – Getting Settled
The first week focuses on the exchange between the new hire
and other staff members, primarily with their line manager.
During the first week, the supervisor and new hire should:
- Discuss company policies, management style and processes
- Agree on expectations
- Create a timeline for deliverables
It is also important for they interact with staff that may
not be on their team. Schedule at least one meeting with different staff
This gives them time to learn about the company from
different perspectives and to create relationships with key staff members.
In addition to interacting internally, if appropriate,
ensure that they meet in person any necessary partners, funders, Board members.
Employee Onboarding – Monitoring
Employee onboarding doesn’t stop after the first day.
Instead, continue the induction phase past the first week and into first three
months, if necessary. Look for ways to integrate new hires into other business
units and the organization as a whole.
After three months:
- Ask the line manager to provide feedback on the new
hire's performance and
- Solicit feedback from the new employee
Depending on your company culture, involve a member of the
human resource department if it seems appropriate.
One key to effective employee onboarding is creating
opportunities for feedback into the onboarding process.
Encourage new hires to share ideas on improving the operations, strategy, or
Employee onboarding is an iterative process that evolves over time. Although
this requires an investment of time and energy, it pays dividends for your
organization for years to come.