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How to Onboard New Employees and Establish Future Cooperation

The success of every company lies in its employees.

The more knowledgeable and productive employees are in their roles the better the outcome for the organization they work at and the bigger the profits it makes.

What does this mean?

Investing in employees is and always will be the no. 1 priority, especially if to consider high cost of employee turnover.

Apart from selecting the most capable job candidates, the HR or management team needs to ensure that the new employees first and foremost get the right training and the tools they need to carry out their jobs effectively.

Managers also need to ensure employees are happy and satisfied in their roles in the long run. Failing to do so can have serious consequences like employees quitting their jobs as a result, organizations end up losing a considerable amount of time and money.

To avoid this happening to your company, you need to invest in ‘onboarding’.

According to SHRM, a new employee who attends a well-structured employee program is 69 percent more likely to remain at the company for up to three years.

So, what is onboarding?

In human resources terms, onboarding refers to the process of introducing a new employee into an organization. In this process, an employee becomes more familiar with how the company works and develops certain skills and behaviors that help them cope with job demands.

Sounds boring? Well, it doesn’t have to be!

Here are the steps that can help you build a successful—and fun onboarding process for your new employees that will nurture job satisfaction, employee retention, and teamwork:

Step 1: Plan the Onboarding Process

For new employees onboarding starts on day 0. That is, before their first day on the job.

As soon as the candidate accepts your offer, the onboarding process begins and the responsibility to make your company a welcoming and friendly place falls on you.

To plan the onboarding process, you need to come up with a timeline drawing the steps your employees will go through and the milestones you expect them to complete.

For example:

  • Day 1: Welcome the new employee

On the first day, email the department/company to let them know about the new arrival, and organize a welcome party. Give them a tour around the company to offer the chance to meet the new colleagues. Also, prepare the new employee’s office, the supplies, and IT equipment they will need to start work (including the desk, computer/laptop, office key), set up their email account, and complete the HR-related paperwork.

  • Week 1: Introduce the employee to the team

During week 1, make sure that your new employee has interactions with people from all other departments. Check-in with them regularly to ensure that everything runs smoothly, and schedule group or one-to-one meetings. Pick the date and time for training sessions and share with the employee resources e.g. ebooks, articles, blogs, or any other pieces of information critical to getting started.

  • Month 1: Get feedback from your employee

Show your employee how he can carry out his job ensuring he is available whenever he needs help. Explain the training process and allow some time to help him become familiar with the onboarding tools you are using to train your team. To identify any points of struggle ask for feedback through an onboarding survey or interview and conduct a progress review.

  • Month 3-6: Give time to your employee to learn

By now, your employee should be able to work independently with minimal supervision. Make sure you are keeping him involved in any departmental decisions and asking for his opinion regularly. This shows you recognize him as a valuable member of the team. Finally, encourage them to take initiative and ask him what other areas he would like to explore in his role.

The probationary period usually lasts six months. On that day, conduct a performance review to ensure that both parties - manager and employee, are happy with the service provided.

This critical meeting will determine whether the employee is happy in the role and stays or leaves your company.

Step 2: Communicate Your Company Goals and Vision

Every company wants to keep the best of their employees. An excellent way to do this is to create the culture - the rules, the norms, the environment, that make up the ‘character’ you want to represent your organization.

Establishing an organizational culture creates a sense of unity and belonging. It also strengthens teamwork amongst employees as it gives them a purpose and encourages your newest hires to get involved in the discussion of important business matters.

To make things easier, prepare an employee handbook explaining their role in the organization. Say how you expect them to work individually and as part of a group to inspire innovation in your team. Discuss the code of conduct and go through the various procedures required for the department to operate effectively.

Step 3: Choose Your Onboarding Methods Wisely

Focusing on employee training at hand, you need to consider how to deliver it. With the increasing popularity of remote working across the globe, remote training seems to be the most appropriate method given the current COVID-19 circumstances.

Tackle the pandemic-related limitations early on, offering a flexible onboarding process that uses e-learning as the core of your training initiatives. If that’s not possible, consider the blended learning approach - combining face-to-face instruction with remote training.

Here are some ideas you can try out:

  1. Conducting live or recorded webinars
  2. Creating screen-casts
  3. Offering a rich knowledge base with tutorials
  4. Building a shared document storage (e.g. Google Drive & Pics.io)
  5. Creating an online course/program
  6. Using communication tools and productivity apps like Asana, Slack, or Monday.com

Such methods can work great when mixing them together. It’s just a matter of what works best for your company.

And don’t forget to help a newcomer with a step-by-step integration into the working processes. For example, Pics.io has a good practice of using playbooks where the new employee could find relevant information about any working process.

A business playbook in Pics.io is a sort of guideline on how to complete a task or act according to the company’s policy. It could describe everything, from publishing a blog post through organizing a demo call with a client to basic communication rules in the company.

Another good practice to learn from Pics.io is to ask your team to support the newcomer. Regardless of whether it’s a different department or not, everyone should be eager to help & answer their questions. And there are no dummy questions – just people who are afraid of posing questions.

Step 4: Create an Onboarding Checklist

An onboarding checklist can help you tick off those important actions you need to take as part of the onboarding process for new employees.

In a big organization with 100+ employees, it’s easy to forget or skip an important step in this process. Without assigning this task to a dedicated HR manager it's difficult to monitor each individual employee and check how they respond to the onboarding experience.

Smartsheet can help you out with this providing you with a wide variety of onboarding checklists in different formats. Use Excel or their own platform to come up with a checklist or to gather some inspiration.

Step 5: Stay up to Date With Onboarding Practices

Adopting a modern mindset on onboarding practices will ensure that your organization will thrive and prosper for many years to come.

Don’t forget that the workplace is changing fast, and every year that passes calls for additional measures, policies, and techniques that will help maximize the productivity and success of employees.

Here are some suggestions on how to accomplish this:

Use an onboarding platform

Going paperless is an easy and effective way to monitor your employees’ progress reducing several company expenses. But that’s not the only thing you can do.

Investing in an HR tool or better yet an LMS or a course platform is the best way to move forward. Such tools can work as your onboarding platform by collecting, storing, and delivering important information about your employees all in one place. Exploring the advanced lms features can significantly enhance the onboarding experience, offering interactive and personalized learning paths that align with individual employee needs and learning styles. They make it easier to identify any potential barriers in the onboarding journey of your employees and improve areas that need special attention.

Add gamification elements

E-learning provides the opportunity to experiment on the learning material you use to train your employees. In contrast to face-to-face training which most often includes lengthy - or shall I say - tiring presentations, online learning gamification offers a chance of scenery.

Gamifying learning can add some fun to your onboarding process, helping employees absorb the information they receive and retaining longer in their minds. As a result, they effectively apply that knowledge later on in their roles.

Invest in gamified onboarding and hire an instructional design team that can use interactive media to create learning activities with game elements using engaging videos, graphs, and quizzes.

Coach your employees

Coaching employees on their professional development and success is as important as equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to apply in their role. Showing inclusiveness and genuine interest in each employee is key for reducing turnover, cultivating job satisfaction, and establishing effective cooperation amongst the staff.

Ready to Onboard New Employees?

While the future is uncertain for many organizations at the moment, hiring new talent and integrating them into your team through successful onboarding won’t cease to be essential.

Quite the opposite.

This is the perfect opportunity to rethink and re-invest in your onboarding practices. Now is the time to come up with an effective onboarding program that communicates your company values, takes into account employees' needs, and makes use of the best training methods and tools. Doing so will help you attract and keep talented and hard-working employees at a close range.

Are you using any of these practices as part of your onboarding process? What are you doing differently? Let us know in the comments section below!

And if you're looking for an excellent digital asset management solution – Pics.io is the right tool for you. Store, organize, & distribute your files the most productively.


Kyriaki Raouna

Kyriaki Raouna

Kyriaki Raouna is the Social Media Manager and Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she is crafty and musical.

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