A 6-point employee onboarding checklist for swifter staff integration
The message is pretty clear: for new starters to stick around, it’s worth putting in the groundwork to make it happen. So is there something missing from your current onboarding efforts? Follow this checklist to get it right…
1. Pre-hire: set the scene through employer branding
A big part of onboarding involves avoiding “nasty surprises” for new starters. With the right employer branding, the seeds for successful onboarding are actually sown before new employees apply.
Employer branding provides a picture of your company; what you stand for, what you can offer and what it’s really like to work for you. It has three essential elements:
It’s compelling. From ‘quick tour’ videos through to job ads, an employer brand helps you stand out.
It’s truthful. This is especially important from an onboarding perspective. After all, to save everyone’s time and effort, you want prospective employees to figure out for themselves whether they’re a good fit for your company. It profits no-one if employees sign up to a different deal to the one they were promised.
It’s consistent. A brand portal provides an ideal base for everything brand-related, including guidelines and marketing assets. Especially where there are multiple people involved in content creation, this helps prevent your message getting confused - or getting it just plain wrong!
2. Post-interview: present a welcome package
This is a good way of building anticipation, easing nerves and giving your new recruits something to focus on in that gap between job acceptance and the start date.
As well as a guide to their first day, it could include potted bios of the managers they’ll be working with - as well as Q&A type info covering the role and the company in general.
3. Ask new starters to configure their settings
This is especially relevant where it’s a senior position - or the type of role with considerable autonomy over workplace setup. Does the new starter prefer a desktop or laptop? How many screens? Any seating preferences? It’s much better to have this done in advance than have the new employee stand around while IT fixes it on the first morning.
4. Appoint a mentor
Mentors aren’t just for junior roles. After all, even senior appointees need to know the sandwich shops to avoid and where to get a key for the office bike lockers. As well as for formal procedures, a mentor can be just as important for helping new starters get to grips with the wider work culture.
5. The new member team meeting
Try to pencil this in for as soon as possible after the new starter arrives (and definitely day one if possible). From it, they should come away with a good grounding on who everyone is, who deals with what - and where they fit into the big picture.
6. The early feedback sessions
Lack of communication regularly tops the poll of employees’ gripes about their employers. This can be especially frustrating if you’re new and no-one from management has told you if you’re meeting expectations - or even asked you if you’re ok...
A 30-day probation period is standard for many roles - but just be aware that if you’re on tenterhooks for constructive feedback, it can seem like a lifetime. With this in mind, and separate from the more formal probationary assessment procedure, pencil in a brief meeting for, say, 48-hours after the start date - and arrange a similar meeting a couple of weeks later. It can be just what’s needed for soothing any teething troubles - on both sides.