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How to Improve Your Company’s Onboarding Checklist

How to Improve Your Company’s Onboarding Checklist

Onboarding Checklist Essentials

The work involved in hiring a new employee is time-consuming. However, once a new hire accepts your offer, your work has just begun. How you onboard new employees helps determine how well they will integrate into company culture and meet the expectations of their new roles. Therefore, your company needs to adopt an empowering onboarding process that helps prime new hires for success. Here we look at ways to improve your company’s onboarding checklist to help fuel engagement and ensure retention.

Start with the Basics

There are 10 common elements every organization should include in their basic onboarding process:

  1. Ensuring the terms of the offer letter are reviewed and agreed upon.
  2. Sending all required paperwork including benefits package sign up prior to their first day.
  3. Setting up necessary authorizations and security access such as security pass cards, access to secure portals, etc.
  4. Assigning someone to greet the new hire on their first day and provide an office tour.
  5. Arranged meetings with their manager and co-workers.
  6. Personal equipment set up such as their phone and computer (or sending equipment to remote workers).
  7. A formal training schedule.
  8. Assigning a mentor or new hire “buddy” to help them in their first week.
  9. Scheduled progress meetings to ensure they understand their roles and are acquiring skills to complete their tasks successfully.
  10. Identifying areas requiring improvement to ramp up training as required.

These items ensure each employee has a solid foundation for orientation and the onboarding process. From here you can create customized checklists suited to the specific role. Onboarding software can help streamline the process so everyone receives the same treatment and opportunity. Self-directed benefit enrollment also makes the process easier.

Customize Checklists to Align with Roles

The basic HR onboarding checklist applies to all employees in all roles and levels. However, you may also require a more defined checklist tailored to the role. This would include:

  • A more detailed description of business objectives and how they relate to their department and more specifically their new role.
  • An introduction to the systems and tools required to perform their duties on a day-to-day basis whether it is specific to their department, or company-wide systems.
  • A review of their typical duties starting with the basics, so they understand their core function and responsibilities.

This is one of the most important checklists, as it provides the information employees need to fill their roles quickly and effectively.

Expectations Checklist

Many new hires fail in their roles or find their roles aren’t what they envisioned when management doesn’t provide a checklist of expectations. The onboarding process must include setting up new hires to succeed by building strong relationships with their team and managers. A one-on-one meeting with direct reports and their new managers to review expectations and objectives of the department helps new hires more easily step into their roles with goals in mind. 

A discussion about working styles can help managers get to know new hires better, so they use the best approach whether the worker needs more nurturing or works best on their own. Through the checklist of expectations, you avoid disappointment and frustration. Items might include:

  • Daily deliverables
  • Sales or production target numbers
  • Examples showing the level of quality they should aim for
  • Proper channels of communication   
  • Milestones for training
  • Acceptable work attire
  • Company policies that impact how they perform their job or language used when communicating with coworkers
  • Management of customers

This checklist will vary depending on the role or even the manager’s style.

Company Culture Checklist

Understanding the company culture helps new hires immerse themselves in their roles and interact with coworkers, customers and managers appropriately. Therefore, your onboarding checklist should include elements that introduce new hires to your company culture such as:

  • Acceptable interaction, sharing of ideas and management style
  • Company vision, mission statement and beliefs
  • Leadership directives
  • Team dynamics and communication channels
  • Conflict resolution process          
  • Consequences of company policy non-compliance

This helps new hires avoid unintentional missteps that might sabotage their success.

Training Checklist

Training on business systems and job-related processes also requires a place on your HR onboarding checklist such as:

  • Shadowing or time spent with different members of the team to experience workflow and how related roles impact the overall function of the department
  • Identifying training/teaching opportunities to improve efficiency and engagement

Introducing a training portal where new hires can access related training, handbooks, procedural manuals, etc. helps empower employees to discover learning opportunities to enhance their careers.

Onboarding is essential to help new hires enter their new roles. It is not just about the paperwork and general orientation of the building. Instead, it gives new hires the tools required to adapt to your company culture with a clear understanding of the traits you value. A comprehensive HR onboarding checklist provides the stepping stones for every new hire’s success.

About the Author

Kayla is the Marketing Manager at Paypro Corporation overseeing all inbound and outbound marketing and sales efforts. She has 7+ years of experience working within the B2B and SaaS based solutions space and thrives on creating messaging and campaigns that introduce products and services to those who need them most.

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