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Onboarding Best Practices for Welcoming New Hires



The start of a new job is exciting yet unsettling for both the employer and the new employee.

Uncertainty looms over whether or not the two will be a good fit. And with good reason; Recent research by BambooHR found that 31% of people have quit a job within the first six months.

Zappos, the online shoe and clothing retailer, addresses this concern in a unique way: by giving new employees a payout option.

After an extensive five-week onboarding process, employees are offered a couple thousand dollars to leave the company if they don’t feel they’re the right fit, no questions asked.

While this might not be an option for your organization, you’re wise to quell the first-day jitters by developing an onboarding process that makes your new hires feel welcome and sets them up for success.


Prior to the First Day

Manage Expectations
Provide adequate information to your new hire before the first day so they know what to expect during their first few weeks.

Initiate an open line of communication that provides important details and encourages them to ask questions.

Prepare their Workspace
Nothing is more disappointing than showing up on your first day and having nowhere to sit. Make sure they have the basics on hand to thrive at their job from day one:
  • a working phone
  • computer
  • necessary office supplies
  • clean workspace
A welcome note and any company-branded swag can also go a long way. It’s not just a nice gesture, but also helps them feel more like a part of the team right away

Eliminate the Paperwork
No one wants to walk in on their first day to a sea of paperwork (and it’s no fun for HR professional who has to process it either).

Having a cloud-based HCM platform with an onboarding module helps simplify the process. All information is stored in a single system. Your new hire can access, complete, and electronically sign their forms before they first set foot in the office.


The First Few Weeks

Give Them the Lay of the Land
Once your new employee has settled in, take them for a tour of the office and/or facility.

It’s a good idea to introduce them to the neighborhood as well—the best places for lunch, coffee, breaks, and so on.

Did you know that when teachers start a job at a new school, they go on a bus tour of the town so they get a lay of the land?

For your employees, it’s a good way for them to feel more comfortable in the area and making it feel more like home. Or at least less like a foreign country that they feel lost in.

Assign a Buddy
A great way to make sure a new hire is comfortable is to pair them up with a team member, preferably a peer who has been with the company for a while and knows the ropes.

Learning from someone at their level gives the new hire a different perspective of the organization.

Schedule Meetings
Within the first week, all new hires should meet with their managers to discuss roles, responsibilities, and expectations. If the new hire is in a supervisory role, he/she should have one-on-one meetings with direct reports.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to arrange some time with a representative of every department to give the new employees an overview on how the business operates as a whole.

Good onboarding practices benefit both employee and employer.  

A little effort goes a long way in nurturing happy and productive employees who are in it for the long haul.

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