12th December 2018
Onboarding – exactly what it says on the tin. It’s the action or process of integrating a new employee into your company.
The process of onboarding doesn’t stop at simply providing a brief induction; it’s a means of introducing the new team member to your company and helping them to settle in quickly, allowing them to proceed successfully and productively in their new role.
Let’s take a look at the onboarding process a little more closely.
What to Include in your Onboarding Process
When people think about onboarding new staff, they usually jump straight to HR tasks such as getting forms read and signed or where training should begin; but there is so much more to consider than just meeting job requirements. It’s important to think about how you want to conduct your onboarding in advance. Planning your process efficiently will make your onboarding experience much easier.
First thing’s first. Before their start date, think about the following:
- What equipment will the new starter need? Consider whether you will need to order new supplies to accommodate them. For example, a desk, chair, phone, laptop or computer or any other tools they will need.
- Where will they sit? Think about it logically. Do they need to be close to a certain colleague or team in order to carry out their work or will they require an office? Make sure that their workstation is set up and is ready for them upon arrival.
- Do they need any accounts or logins? Make sure that they have a working email account and are set up with any important system logins that might be needed ahead of time. You don’t want to be stuck trying to arrange things when they arrive.
Be Warm and Welcoming
We’ve all been there. It’s your first day in a new job. You don’t know what to expect, what your new colleagues will be like or whether you will even enjoy the role; so to feel nervous or uncertain is more or less a given thing. This is why, as an employer, the onboarding process should begin the moment your new hire steps through the door.
Make sure that there is someone available to greet them when they first arrive and take them to where they need to be. A friendly face is sure to beat the nerves down and will help them to make that first connection with a member of their new team.
Explain what is Expected
The culture of a company is a vital aspect of its success, so it’s a good idea to let your new starter know how things are done from the offset before they have an opportunity to develop their own habits and find it difficult to conform to the way of the business. Take some time to show your new recruit around, explain the company’s ethos and values and discuss how they are put into action from day-to-day.
Take the opportunity to cover any behaviours or processes that you might have established to ensure your company culture is maintained.
Areas that you might want to cover here could include:
- How you expect employees to conduct themselves at work.
- Limitations on work friendships or relationships.
- Company relationship with customers and how they are handled.
- Mandatory attendance at company or team meetings.
Deliver a Brief on the Working Environment
Your new starter wants to settle in quickly just as much as you would like them to, so talking them through their new working environment and the processes involved in their new every day is crucial.
- Their working pattern and how soon before their work starts that they are expected to arrive.
- How lunch periods work. Does everyone break at the same time or are there separate lunch hours so that there is always someone available to hold down the fort?
- The rules and process for booking holiday.
- The process to follow when they are sick.
- The dress code. Try not to be vague on this one, as ‘smart casual’ to one person could be interpreted much differently to another. Be more specific about the types of clothing that are and are not acceptable.
- How and when they will be paid – this would also be a great time to double check that you have all of their payroll information on file.
- Workplace policies and where they can be located.
Other areas that you might need to cover could include where the kitchen is and what is available to them in there, parking, smoking areas and whatever else you think is relevant to them when they start.
Discuss the Job
Of course, there will be plenty of time for new starters to get to grips with their new position, but it doesn’t hurt to take a minute and cover the basics of their new role, including:
- Their job description. They should already be aware of this, as it would have been available when they applied for the job, but a refresher is always good.
- Key people who they should be aware of in the company and what their roles are.
- Key suppliers or customers and how they are handled.
- KPIs and targets, if these apply.
- The company’s reporting structure and who their direct line of management is. They should know from the offset who they can go to if they need anything.
It may be a laborious task, but HR demands paperwork. Contracts need returning, photo ID and proof of address needs photocopying and documents confirming the employee’s understanding of various policies and procedures need signing. Set out an hour in the morning to ensure that any mandatory documentation is completed and returned so you can move swiftly on to the fun stuff.
Getting to Work
Finally, once you are happy that your newest recruit has been shown the ropes, properly briefed to what is expected of them and they have read or signed all of the appropriate paperwork, it is time to move on to the job itself. Training is the next and last article on your onboarding agenda and should be set out before the employee’s hire date.
Establish what training they will need and decide who is best to do it. Also, it’s worth considering how long you would like to give them to complete their training before they should be able to carry out the role efficiently – you can then work out the best gameplan moving forward.
Creating and Managing your Onboarding Process
The recruitment stage of bringing on fresh faces is only the beginning if you want to retain new talent and make sure that you are hiring people who are a good fit for your company’s culture. Delivering a thorough onboarding process is essential to ensuring that your new hires feel happy, welcomed and, most importantly to your company, that they want to stay.
It’s for these reasons that every company should have a streamlined onboarding process and to help you out, we have put together this useful checklist template – all you need to do is customise it to suit your needs and away you go.
If you are looking for a way to automate your staff onboarding processes and store important files in one easy to access location, Staff Squared could be the answer. Why not sign up for your free 14-day trial today to see how our software can help improve the way you manage your HR?
Clarisse works on our Customer Care Team to provide all of our customers with the very best care and guidance when using their HR software.