Onboard Employee 101: Setting Up Your New Employees for Success!

The onboarding process plays a crucial role in welcoming newcomers to the company.

It’s the first real impression the company will give to the new team members and it will largely shape their opinion, as well as how they feel about working for your company.

From us to you: You don’t want to rush through onboarding a new employee, or you may regret it.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how could you implement an effective employee onboarding process by understanding the basics of the process, its 3 major phases, and the benefits your company could get out of it.

Let’s get started!

Single white piece of paper with employee handbook written on it

Onboard Employees: Basic FAQs

What exactly is employee onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the process by which new employees become familiar with an organization, often including tasks like learning about company culture, coworkers, and benefits.

Who should onboard new employees?

When we talk about onboarding new hires, everyone in the organization plays a role. It’s a common responsibility to make newcomers welcomed and part of the team from day one.

However, depending on the size of the company and the steps involved, new employee onboarding can be led by either the HR team, the new employee’s manager, or other team members.

For small business owners, you may have to wear all three hats and describe all elements of the work, and firm yourself.

When does onboarding begin?

You should be onboarding your new employees as soon as they accept their job offer. This helps give them a sense of security which is important when you’re starting a new job.

How do you onboard a new employee?

A proper onboarding should run through 3 major phases:

  1. The pre-job starting phase: Before the first day of work.
  2. The new employee introduction phase: The first day and week of work.
  3. The ongoing onboarding phase: The first few months of work.

Now, let’s see what happens in those phases and how you can help get your new employee all set up!

Group of multicultural employees onboarding a new team member to the office

Understanding the Several Phases of a Successful Onboarding Process

1. The pre-job starting phase: Before the first day of work.

The onboarding process always starts before new hires even arrive at their new workplace.

It’s a good idea to get in touch as soon as the candidate accepts the job offer, and go over onboarding details with your new employee. The goal is to prepare them correctly for what’s to come.

In this phase, you should find out if the person has any specific needs or requests that could help them fit in well.

Do they need a specific orthopedic office chair because of an atypic condition? Do they need an ergonomic up-and-down desk? Is the office space fully adapted if the new employee uses a wheelchair?

You should also make them feel expected in the office and inform them of common details they might want to know before their first day.

A simple email, or a video if you want to make it even more special, will do. Let your new employee know the office address, the start date of the contract, typical working hours, excellent restaurants and cafés in the area, or the company dress code.

You can also send in advance the new hire paperwork, the company handbook as well as the employee handbook.

This will allow them to have the time to read those, show adequate business etiquette when walking in, and ask you any questions before the first day.

Pro tip: Shipping them a welcome package with corporate gifts and goodies can make an employee feel part of the family right away.

2. The new employee introduction phase: The first day and week of work.

Once your new employee or new employees (high-five to bulk hirings anyone?) are set up for coming into the office for the first time, the real deal happens on their first day of work.

It’s crucial that you and other employees make newcomers feel welcome and taken care of.

For instance, it’s always nice to ask the new employee’s manager to give the office tour, show them the office kitchen and introduce them to the other team members. This is also a perfect time to review the job description, company’s history, and job duties around a cup of coffee.

It can also help ease your new hires to attribute existing employees as their buddies or mentors to show them the ropes and take on some responsibilities for them until they’re all set up.

To ensure a smooth onboarding process, make sure that any technical or logistical issue is fixed prior to the arrival of the new employee.

Think about creating in advance the new employee’s email account, setting up their desk with necessary office supplies, having training materials ready, etc.

After that first day, the onboarding experience can continue in several ways to make sure they appropriately understood the company’s culture and to build relationships with other team members.

A nice way to do so is to schedule regular 1 on 1 meetings with existing employees so that everyone gets an opportunity to meet the new hire.

It’s also a great opportunity for that team member to explain their job title, mission in the organization, and to share what they’ve been working on up until now.

You could also think about organizing a team-building activity for the new hires.

Be original, think about some fun icebreakers to relax everyone, a virtual picnic in Paris, or any other entertaining group activity. Keep it light and fun and maybe save the problem-solving activities for another time.

Finally, if you’re part of a large company, it may be interesting for all new hires to be introduced to other employees by the hiring manager.

The HR team can, for instance, think about a scavenger hunt in the office to get to know the workplace. That way, new employees can meet their co-workers during the onboarding process and hopefully feel less alone.

3. The ongoing employee onboarding phase: The first few months of work.

After this first week, the onboarding plan continues along the first several months of employment, in particular during the probation period.

This phase allows new employees to connect deeper with their teammates, managers, and to work on an employee-company long-lasting relationship. That’s when an employee fully integrates into the organization.

During the first months, managers should regularly check in on their new hire(s) to ensure that they understand their tasks correctly and are not facing any issues at work that could jeopardize their role in the company.

Organizing team events to strengthen relationships between team members and new hires such as Friday Happy Hours.

Pro tip: It’s valuable for upper management to ask new hires about company rules, software, equipment, etc in order to get a fresh perspective on what may be improved. They will have an open mind and may offer useful suggestions!

What Are the Benefits of a Solid Employee Onboarding Process?

As a business owner, onboarding employees is one of the most important things you can do to ensure success. Let us tell you why.

Reduce employee turnover

A good onboarding program will not only make it easier for new hires to get acclimated but also increase retention rates by helping them feel more connected to the company culture and to others.

Individuals who are at ease in a workplace have less incentive to leave it.

Improve productivity and engagement

Onboarding new employees can result in increased employee engagement since the new hires feel more included, committed to their job duties, and are happier overall.

This also leads them to take on additional responsibilities without being asked which is great for productivity!

Create a positive culture

An effective onboarding process will help you build an engaging company culture that your employees will enjoy being part of.

This is the best recipe for retaining great talent in your organization!

An employee onboarding program can be very valuable for your employees to be set up for success. It also helps to challenge your organization, improve engagement, create a positive culture that will retain great talent, and much more!

If this sounds like something you want to implement within your company then let us know. We can design a custom virtual team-building activity that will help you onboard remote employees with ease!

Our team is ready and waiting to work with you on implementing these principles into your onboarding program so don’t hesitate to get started today!

And let’s keep the conversation going… What are some ways that have worked well for onboarding new hires at your organization?

Have you already set up an original way to onboard new employees? Do you follow onboarding checklists? Let us know. We love to share great ideas.