Steps to Creating a Great Onboarding Experience

Nextep Weekly Tip

An employee’s first day at a new job can set the tone for the working relationship going forward. In fact, according to research by Brandon Hall Group, organizations with a strong onboarding process can improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by more than 70%.

Though the employee may feel stressed or nervous, the employer can take steps to create a positive experience that impresses the new hire and keeps them engaged, and contributes to the overall employment rate of retention and longevity with the company.

“According to a Gallup study, only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job onboarding new employees.”

A defined onboarding program should be established to help set expectations for new hires and ease the administrative burden. While onboarding programs set the schedule and process for completing required paperwork like the I-9 and W-4, it should go beyond the documents and include orientation, training, and building rapport with team members. 

Steps to welcome an employee

An onboarding program doesn’t require a large budget. There are several inexpensive ways a company can make a new employee feel welcome:

  • Provide the associate with a tour of the building. Point out important areas the employee will need to access regularly, such as the timekeeping system, restroom, break or lunch area, water fountain, office supplies, and department manager’s office.
  • Introduce the new employee to all other employees working in the building if the company size permits it. Do not limit greetings to those working in the same department.
  • Treat the new hire to lunch on their first day. Ideally, the entire team or department would attend to help the parties get to know each other.
  • Prepare a schedule before the new employee’s arrival. The employee’s time should be planned out completely for at least the first week and provide enough training materials that they’re not sitting at a desk twiddling their thumbs.
  • Check on the new employee frequently, allowing them to feel reassured that there is support available.
  • Have a designated workstation, computer (if necessary), login info, and keys or pass cards available on the first day. If secured access is required to the building, give the employee clear instructions on entering, or have an associate available to grant access when the employee arrives.
  • Provide a mentor or designated contact to help answer questions during the training.
  • As with any company program, consistently evaluate the effectiveness to find areas that are successful and ones that need improvement.

If you’re not looking to create an onboarding program yourself, Nextep has end-to-end HR solutions to make the process simple for your business. Contact us today to find out how!


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