The new hire onboarding process plays a big role in whether an incoming employee ultimately succeeds. By having a robust process in place, you’re ensuring that new hires have all the critical information they require. Plus, it helps your company gather what it needs to bring the employee onto your payroll, ensuring full compliance with applicable law. Here are some best practices for onboarding new hires.
Start with Preboarding
Many companies wait to start the onboarding process until the new hire arrives on their first day. However, beginning it earlier is usually a better strategy. Begin providing and gathering critical paperwork about one week before they start. For example, share the employee handbook, give them information about parking, and prepare documents to set up system access. By doing so, the employee doesn’t have to spend their first day at work merely sifting through a pile of forms.
Have a Formal Orientation
A formal orientation helps familiarize new hires with their workplace. Take the time to acquaint the employees with your company’s mission, values, and culture, and introduce critical non-team personnel they need to know, such as an HR representative and company leaders. Go over information about their benefits package, and have a tour of the workplace, ensuring they know how to find areas like the breakroom. That gives them an initial degree of familiarity with the organization, making their transition more comfortable.
Assign a Buddy
Being in an unfamiliar environment is daunting, but it’s less intimidating when the new hire has a place to turn to for support. One simple way to guarantee that happens is to assign them a buddy. Select a team member in a similar role to act as a guide, giving the new employee a definitive point of contact for basic questions. Additionally, provide them with time to bond by allowing them to head out to lunch together, preferably on the company dime.
Schedule a One-on-One with Their Manager
Even if the new hire met their manager during the hiring process, make sure to schedule a one-on-one meeting during their first day on the job. That creates opportunities for the hiring manager to discuss how the rest of the onboarding period will unfold. Have the hiring manager outline how duties will get introduced, as well as discuss their expectations and how they’ll measure success. Give the new hire an opportunity to ask questions, and make sure they know how to reach out if they need input as they get their footing.
Ideally, it’s wise to schedule daily check-ins for the first week or two and transition to weekly ones as they move toward full productivity. That ensures the door remains open and supports ongoing communication.