Onboarding Essentials

Onboarding Essentials_Line of young business people sitting waiting for their turn for interview

Onboarding is a normal occurrence at every company, but not every company does it well.  The employee orientation process is essential because it can make or break the retention strategy.  So, how does it go from “run-of-the-mill” to exceptional?

Onboarding Best Practices

Onboarding is about making sure the employee feels empowered and knowledgeable about their new role.  And it’s a process that takes some time.  In some instances, the amount can reach the year mark.  That being said, here are four steps to ensuring success on a fairly regular basis.

  1. Preform all logical tasks before the employee’s actual start date.

According to SimplicityHR, the best way to start an employee off is to make sure all of their legal paperwork is filled out and is in place before the day they’re to report for duty.


This documentation can be a hassle.  That and it’s a grueling task to complete on the first day of employment.

  1. First day welcomes

HR should go out of the way to make the new employee feel welcome.  Here, the smallest of details count.  A plant on the employee's new desk for instance or a greeting card signed by the new employee's co-workers goes a long way.

This doesn’t mean throw out an orientation process.  This should actually be kept in place.  Make sure it presents an overview of the company with information the new employee can start using on Day 1.

  1. Make connections

“According to one estimate, 60 percent of managers cite failure to create positive and effective working relationships as the primary reason new hires leave."

It's important to help new employees find his or her place on the team and feel accepted by those individuals and the company as a whole.

This consists of team lunches, maybe even a buddy system so the employee has a fellow co-worker to ask the questions he or she would not ask of HR.  It’s also important to make connections with other departments.

  1. Conduct regularly scheduled check-ins and expectations.

Check-ins are meant to gauge how the employee is feeling, find out if there are questions or pain points, and generally, get a sense of how they are doing.

It also gives HR and managers a chance to reinforce the duties and responsibilities of the new employee.  Employees who do not understand their jobs cannot perform them effectively.

Why Onboarding is Essential

Onboarding can easily be one of the best experiences or worst experiences of your new employee’s life cycle with the company. And it can be costly if things do not go well.

Consider the statistics:

  1. Companies lose 25% of all new employees within.
  2. Up to 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days.
  3. 32% of global executives rate the onboarding they experienced as poor and replacing each failed executive can cost a business up to 213% of his or her salary.

Understand, a company never gets a second chance. The key is to make sure new hires feel welcomed, valued, and prepared to take on the onboarding process.