Onboarding Plan: 15 Steps to Ensure a Great Employee Integration Experience

BY Karolina Majcher
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Take a trip down memory lane to your first day at work – remember the mix of excitement and nerves? Whether you felt the good vibes right away or stumbled through some awkward moments before getting the hang of things, we’ve all been there. Now, let’s talk about onboarding.

Onboarding is the GPS for new hires, helping them navigate the maze of office life. Although it’s good to organize the steps into a checklist, a well-done onboarding isn’t just about ticking boxes – it’s the process of building a relationship that boosts efficiency, lowers turnover, and shapes a company’s success story.

In today’s world, everyone’s all about employee well-being, and the job market is a real battlefield. So, onboarding has to be more than just a “hey, welcome.” It’s an art form that shouts, “We’re committed, and we value hard work and growth.”

This article spills 15 onboarding steps that go beyond the basics. Stick them into your company routine to create an experience all about teamwork and shared success.

15 essential steps of an effective onboarding plan

This comprehensive onboarding plan is organized into three sections: actions before the start (Pre-onboarding), actions for the initial days (Onboarding), and activities for the first months of employment (Lasting onboarding)

Make sure to run through these steps to get your new team member all set up for smooth sailing at work and ready to tackle any challenges that come their way. Take them through each stage, and you’ll be on your way to having another happy and confident employee in your crew.

(© Prostock-studio – stock.adobe.com)

Pre-Onboarding: Tasks Before New Hire Start

  1. Prepare all documents needed

It’s important to complete all necessary paperwork on the first day. This ensures a smooth and legal introduction for the new employee to get acquainted with the company and their role.

  1. Setup workspace

Make sure the new employee’s workspace is ready for her/his arrival. Both of you want to avoid an awkward situation where the new hire is left waiting for a place to sit. A prepared desk or office reflects the employer’s readiness and professionalism.

  1. Send a welcoming E-mail

Take the initiative and address potential questions, reassuring the person that the company is ready and waiting. Some people may have doubts about the first day or company specifics. Ease their uncertainty by confirming the meeting time and place, and clarifying what to expect on the first day – dress code, what to bring, confirm the meeting time and location, and who to contact at the reception.

  1. Prepare a welcome pack

A small gift is always a nice touch! Especially on the first day when stress levels are high, a welcome gift in the form of office gadgets with the company logo can positively impact the employee’s well-being. It contributes to building a friendly atmosphere and a sense of belonging.

  1. Acknowledge the team:

Don’t let anyone be surprised by the new person. Inform your team that a new team member is joining. You can also briefly describe their role and profile – this positively influences the team-building process and demonstrates the company’s preparedness for the new addition.

(© insta-photos – stock.adobe.com)

First Day & First Week

  1. Assign a “buddy”

Nobody knows the ins and outs of a role better than someone who’s been there. Show empathy and ensure that someone familiar with the environment and position introduces the new employee to this world. The buddy can show and explain the new colleague all around. The buddy will also be a great support by addressing the employee’s questions on the go.

  1. Conduct induction and training

Let them get to know the company thoroughly! Ensure your company has a standardized induction training program that regularly acquaints newcomers with the company’s history, values, strategy, and goals. This basic knowledge is crucial for the journey toward success. Additionally, depending on the role, assess any areas requiring additional training – safety, technical aspects, and software. A well-prepared employee is a vector towards success.

  1. Introduce to the team and culture

Initiate new connections by introducing the newcomer to the entire team, department, and key contacts they’ll encounter on their path in your company. The previously assigned buddy is excellent for this role. They’ll familiarize the new colleague with the local culture and unwritten rules, such as lunchtimes, the team’s daily rhythm, and communication norms.

  1. Review benefits

Even if it was discussed during recruitment, meet with the employee to review all benefits, terms, and opportunities.

  1. Set expectations

Communicate the company’s expectations for the specific position. Emphasize why you believe the person is a good fit and the direction they should aim for to quickly align with the company’s goals.

(© insta-photos – stock.adobe.com)

Lasting Onboarding: First Quarter Development

  1. Discuss development

Identify any necessary training needed or professional development opportunities. It’s not just about helping our people succeed – it’s like adding extra sparkle to the success of your awesome company. Always look for your team’s superpowers and grow them.

  1. Provide regular feedback.

Feedback is one of the best tools for improvement – honest and adequate talk can do miracles to align a new hire’s abilities and expertise with the company’s objectives. Have regular talks about performance, always recognize achievements, and discuss areas to improve.

  1. Provide goal setting

Collaborate to discover, define, and set long-term goals and objectives that align with both employees and the company’s broader vision. By doing this, both sides are set up to work towards shared aspirations, fostering a sense of purpose and direction.

  1. Promote networking opportunities

Encourage new employees to participate in exciting industry events, conferences, and local networking opportunities to enhance professional connections and broaden their industry engagement.

  1. Make regular check-ins

Provide ongoing support – Schedule regular check-ins even after the onboarding is finished. Beyond performance evaluations, focusing on the executive’s well-being and job satisfaction.

Get the feedback

During or after finished onboarding process, it’s good to ask the implemented, familiarized hire about their opinion.

A survey is a simple and helpful tool for highlighting areas needing improvement and company strengths.

What questions you can ask a new hire to asses your onboarding process?

  1. Rate the recruitment process.
  2. Evaluate the first day.
  3. Assess the buddy.
  4. Rate interactions with supervisors, colleagues, benefits, work culture satisfaction, and overall opinions about the company.

By asking for feedback, you can continuously improve the onboarding process provided in your company, contributing to the satisfaction of employees and the success of the company.

Track the process: Onboarding Checklist

To simplify your process, download our onboarding checklist to track the process of distributing tasks and covering all important steps. It’s a game-changer for task management.

Download our FREE onboarding checklist here.

Featured Resource: Onboarding Checklist

That’s a wrap! Our 15-step onboarding plan ensures smooth integration for new team members. It’s all about making small adjustments to your onboarding approach to ensure it’s as awesome as it can be for everyone involved…

Remember not to overlook feedback from employees – it will help you refine and improve your onboarding process.

Happy onboarding!

Published: 6 February 2024

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