A Complete Staff Onboarding Guide

As a business owner, you probably know that recruiting and retaining top talent is a must for ongoing success.

Unfortunately, many companies lose up to 33% of new hires within their first year. While this is true, other companies have figured out how to retain the talent they find.

The key is to have a dedicated budget and staff onboarding process. If your company’s onboarding efforts aren’t well-thought-out, it can lead to high turnover rates.

Now is the time to improve your efforts. Some tips to help you with this can be found here.

Start Onboarding During Recruitment

Onboarding is the ideal chance to get your new employee familiar with your current team. You can start this while you are still assessing the top candidates.

A great way to find the right fit is by introducing potential candidates to the organization’s culture during interviews.

Be sure to let the candidate know what you value in current members of your team, from attitude to perspective, interpersonal skills, and more.

Once you make a job offer, send the individual some practice information. This will help ensure your new hire feels like they are part of the team even before they come in for their first day of work.

Find Out What New Hires Know

Before starting an onboarding process, finding out what a new hire knows is a good idea. This information will let you what they need to be taught.

You can use evaluation tests to determine your new hire’s current knowledge and identify their weaknesses and strengths. After finding the “holes” or “gaps” in their knowledge, you can skip over the things they currently know.

This information also allows you to customize the rest of their training and ensure a higher level of efficiency. You can also use tools like to make the process even more efficient.

Take Steps to Make New Hires Feel Welcome

When you are onboarding a new employee, make sure you take steps to ensure the individual feels like they belong.

New hires are often excited about their position. Because of this, they feel the need to contribute right away and get to know some of their colleagues. You can help this along.

Some things you can do to ensure the new hire feels welcome during the onboarding process include:

Provide Easy Access to Information

If you want to ensure new hires can easily contribute to the workflow right away, be sure they have access to the information and tools they need. This ensures they can dive in and start doing what they were hired to.

Provide Access to a Social Network

Being social is part of people working together. Get new hires involved by introducing them to others who they will be working with.

Assign an Onboarding Partner

This is someone who will work with the new hire for a set amount of time. After the initial training period has passed, they will still remain connected to this individual.

Take Time to Provide an Office Tour

While your office may seem familiar and easy to navigate to you, this isn’t the case for a new hire. Part of the onboarding process should involve a tour.

Show the person where they will work, where the meeting rooms are, where supplies can be found, and introduce them to anyone they will work closely with. You should also include break areas, snacks, and bathrooms on the tour.

Make sure a new hire feels confident to navigate this new space alone and that they know where to find things.

Create a Weekly Itinerary for New Hires

Consider writing out an onboarding plan. This plan can cover 30, 60, or 90 days.

Make sure to outline the specific objectives for new hires and expected growth. This is going to help everyone know what to expect with a new hire.

It will also eliminate the new hire from feeling like they are not meeting expectations since everything has been outlined for them.

Encourage New Hires to Ask Questions

When someone is starting a new job, they won’t know everything. This means they will not always feel comfortable when it comes to asking questions.

Make sure that you let them know who to go to with questions. If you want to maximize efficiency, consider setting up an online portal with some of the most common HR queries. You can also create a “cheat sheet” that offers essential information the new hire may need to know.

If you have an open-door policy, it is a good idea to note that in the handbook you provide to employees, too.

Schedule a First Day Team Lunch

If you want to help break the ice with new hires and create the perfect opportunity for them to bond with current employees, schedule a lunch for the entire team.

You can have something catered in the office or take the team out to a restaurant.

This is an informal setting and gives everyone a chance to talk and get to know one another.

Help New Hires See a Future with Your Company

Try onboarding new hires in a way that will help them envision a long future with your company. This is also going to help build loyalty and psychological trust.

Take time to help your employee learn about the company. This includes everything from stories and intangibles from people about their work experience and time with the company.

By doing this, you can ensure the new hire will be excited and ready to begin working and making a difference.

Assign a New Hire Mentor

Many new hires will have questions they don’t want to take to their manager or supervisor during onboarding and training. Unfortunately, these questions make it more difficult for new employees to “learn the ropes.”

Finding a mentor for a new hire that is on the same level can be invaluable. This individual can help the new person with small issues or questions they may have.

Provide All Necessary Information

You need to make sure new hires have all the information needed to get started. This isn’t just where their desk is and job expectations.

You also need to provide information like key cards, locker information, break room location, logins, scheduling, and other important policies impacting the new hire’s job.

Make sure you add any other information that your worker may require. For example, are there special login credentials if they work after hours? What about the location of the best local coffee shop?

Providing these “tidbits” of information can go a long way in improving your onboarding process.

Give New Hires Company Swag

When it comes to swag, you have a lot of options. For example, you can give them a voucher for a meal at a local restaurant or new gear they can use. There are few people who won’t enjoy getting some type of welcome gift.

You can even give something more unique. For example, is there a company-wide joke you could let them in on? If so, do it.

This is a great way to make someone new feel like an important part of the team.

Giving a gift and a new employee welcome package to a new hire is also a good way to introduce them to the overall office culture.

Consider Job Shadowing

Assigning a mentor (as mentioned above) is useful. You may also want to let a new hire shadow the mentor for a while.

This will allow them to see what the day-to-day job looks like.

Job shadowing will help someone get a slow and steady transition into working on their own. It is also the perfect opportunity for them to ask questions about things that are being done.

Ensure New Hires Are a Good Fit

Did you know you can actually screen out people who are not a good fit for your company? To do this, take a page out of Zappo’s onboarding guide.

With this organization, new hires go through a five-week training period. After that, they are offered $2,000 to, essentially, leave.

Zappos is owned by Amazon, and this company has taken the “Pay to Quit” program even further. One time per year, associates are offered a set payment to quit. The first year, employees are offered $2,000, then it goes up to $1,000 every year, capping out at $5,000.

This program lets the company see what employees are truly engaged and invested in the company. If they take the payout, this is probably a good thing for your company.

Create a Feedback Loop

Feedback seems like a simple concept; however, it is an effective way to determine your employees’ needs. It will also allow you to find out what they think about their work environment.

It is important to create a culture where feedback is not only accepted but encouraged. This is especially true during uncertain times when you don’t know what will be needed from one week to the next.

There are several ways you can collect feedback during the onboarding process. For example, you can use goal and performance tracking software, schedule one-on-one meetings, and send out new hire surveys.

You can also build feedback into the culture by training your new hires on the right way to receive and give feedback. Train your managers on the proper way to set goals and coach employees, especially the new hires, to achieve the set objectives.

Be sure new hires have access to your company feedback system immediately. This will allow you to customize the entire onboarding experience to their specific needs.

Doing this is also going to help you improve onboarding for future new hires.

Offer a Redo

Sometimes, new hires become overwhelmed during the onboarding process. This is especially true when the entire process is crammed into just a few days.

Not only is it hard for someone to fully grasp their position in a few days, things usually change, as well.

Because of this, make sure you are not limiting the onboarding opportunities to your new hires. People who have been with the company for years may need a refresher from time to time.

Be sure you provide plenty of re-dos – for everyone – new hires and old pros.

Involve Executives and Senior Leaders

Your employees don’t just want to know the other people they will work with each day. It’s also important for them to meet company leaders.

Try to involve senior leaders in the onboarding process. This has been proven to positively impact the perception employees have of the company and the onboarding process as a whole.

Even if the company leaders can’t take part in the training for new hires, they can make an appearance. You can also schedule one-on-one interactions to ensure new hires can meet these leaders.

This can help eliminate that feeling of intimidation that some employees feel.

Getting the Staff Onboarding Process Right

When you are trying to develop a staff onboarding plan, there are many factors to consider. The information above provides you with a good overview of what to do and how to make the process as simple and seamless as possible.

As you receive feedback, just remember to adjust your plan to better fit the company, culture, and new hires you have coming in. In the end, the right onboarding process can help you retain the talented people you have hired.

Are you interested in finding more business-related information and resources? If so, check out our other blogs. We also post on topics like health, education, sports, technology, and lifestyle.

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