How to Onboard a New Employee

Top tips on how to successfully onboard and integrate your new hires into your organization.

  • Roni Misano
    Roni Misano

    November 07, 2022

  • How to Onboard a New Employee

    Hiring new employees is vital for growing and maintaining a healthy business. But how can you ensure your new hires hit the ground running and enjoy their new roles? Research suggests a robust employee onboarding process can boost retention rates by 82% and productivity by around 70% for new hires. So, if you’re looking to implement an effective onboarding process and are unsure where to start, we've put together a helpful guide below.

    What is employee onboarding?

    Onboarding encompasses all the processes involved in integrating a new employee into your organization. As well as helping the employee learn more about their role and meet their coworkers, it represents an opportunity to teach them about your company’s mission, vision, and structure. Onboarding processes differ from company to company. Broadly speaking, however, they should include activities that support the employees’ professional development, introduce them to new coworkers, and help the new hire feel welcome.

    How does onboarding improve employee performance and workforce retention?

    Onboarding processes help new employees acclimatize to their roles and bond with coworkers. By ensuring they feel welcome and supported, new hires are more likely to feel engaged and motivated to work hard and help your organization reach its goals. In the long term, engaged employees will be much more productive and less likely to search for new jobs. By reducing turnover, you can avoid costly hiring processes, enhance team morale, and avoid disruptions to the workforce.

    How long does it take to onboard a new employee?

    The onboarding process will be more intense during the first two weeks of employment. However, most managers believe new hires should undertake onboarding activities for at least three months. It takes time for employees to settle into new roles, even at later career stages.

    What to do before your employee’s first day

    The onboarding process involves preparation to ensure the first few weeks go as smoothly as possible (and you fulfill your legal duties). Key tasks to complete include:



    • Organize relevant paperwork your employee will need to sign, such as an employment agreement, an employee handbook, an IRS form W-4, and an IRS form I-9.

    • Prepare your new hire’s technology, such as a headset, phone, laptop, desktop computer, keyboard, etc.

    • Create your employee’s personal accounts for services such as email, customer relationship management (CRM) software, productivity platforms, human resources software, and more.

    • Produce a schedule for the employee’s first day, including a welcome lunch.

    • Schedule meet-and-greets with your new hires and their fellow team members.

    • Provide any relevant information your employee may need in advance, such as information about parking spaces or office access.

    What to include in your employee’s welcome pack

    A welcome pack will make your new hire feel welcome and ensure they have resources on-hand to help them navigate their new role. You may wish to include:



    • A letter welcoming them to the company

    • Information about their online accounts and tech devices

    • Human resources documents

    • Information about office amenities and company benefits

    • A copy of the schedule for their first week

    • A company pen, mug, or t-shirt

    • A small gift or gift card

    • A notebook

    What to do during your employee’s first week

    The first week of your new hire’s employment is fundamental in shaping their attitude toward your company. To ensure they feel as welcome and motivated as possible, try to include the following activities:



    • Ensuring someone is available to welcome the new hire on their first day.

    • Providing a comprehensive office tour.

    • Hosting face-to-face meetings with various members of the organization.

    • Filling out forms and conducting necessary admin before starting work.

    • Setting goals for the employee’s first month or so in the job.

    • Providing the new hire with a mentor or “buddy” to show them the ropes.

    • Inviting the new hire out to lunch.

    • Scheduling regular check-in meetings to assess how the employee is adapting and answer any questions they may have.

    How to onboard a new employee remotely

    Onboarding a remote employee involves slightly different tasks than onboarding an office-based employee. However, the fundamental principles are the same. Here are a few adjustments you’ll need to make:



    • Host plenty of video calls to ensure the employee feels connected to their new colleagues.

    • Send a welcome pack in the mail.

    • Organize virtual lunch meets or after-work drinks, so the employee benefits from social experiences.

    • Provide your employee with a remote “buddy” to help them navigate the company and its culture.

    The bottom line: Don’t cut corners

    Onboarding a new employee can be time-consuming and a little daunting. However, your new hire and your company will enjoy significant benefits if you get it right. So, remember to go the extra mile for your new hire and listen to their needs. You won’t regret it!

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