Employee Onboarding Best Practices
It’s day one for the new hires, and you’re the onboarding manager in charge — the leader of the pack. As they walk through the doorway, you can smell the ambition dripping from their pores. But you know just as well as they do, there’s still much to learn in order to get with the program. You don’t mean to brag, but this isn’t your first onboarding rodeo, and it won’t be your last.
You know you’ve got a good grip on the onboarding process, but you also know it’s time for a change. Your routine is seamless. But that’s the thing — it’s a routine. For people like you, it’s time to shake onboarding and training up a bit.
The Onboarding Process
Onboarding new employees can always be an exciting time for both parties involved. New hires can become enthusiastic, optimistic, and passionate about your company. As a trainer, being able to get that effect from an employee is a big part of what makes your job so rewarding. A seamless onboarding program gives you, the trainer, more opportunity to really learn about the new employees; you learn about them as people, and not just workers.
To reinforce this idea, think of it this way: An onboarding process flow-chart isn’t going to answer, “Why is onboarding important?” This question is answered every time a new employee thanks you for providing insightful information on the day-to-day internal workings of the company. The answer exists in the efficiency that an employee performs in their role. Effective onboarding sets the foundation for great performance.
Along with standard onboarding procedures, you should be able to mix up the activities for onboarding. We’ll jump into those options, but if this is your rookie year in onboarding, it’s important to define and differentiate a few terms.
What is onboarding? Onboarding is the cycle that a new employee or client goes through to become familiar with a company. As simple as that may seem, the onboarding process must be well executed to establish common knowledge and enthusiasm about a company and its product.
The client onboarding process will differ for many, but the one thing that should remain at the highest priority is service. When a client signs a contract, it’s inconsiderate to sever ties and leave them to figure out solutions to their problems. Have a service team in place to solve problems and help the transition from purchase to performance as easy as possible.
When it comes to employee onboarding programs, we’ve got you covered. Whether it’s executive onboarding or onboarding a group of employees, each individual must go through orientation and training. The difference between orientation and onboarding can become confusing, so much so that some may use the terms interchangeably. To us, orientation is simply familiarizing an employee with their new environment. From how to use the coffee-maker to the company mission, an employee should come out of the orientation process informed about the company. This is only a small piece of the onboarding process and can simply be done with an onboarding new employees presentation or elearning lesson.
The onboarding process itself is much broader. It consists of filling out correct paperwork, providing employees with proper materials to reference, having formal introductions to staff, executing team-building exercises to learn about the team, and managing ongoing training. At Lessonly, we break these things down with our onboarding process flowchart. Flowcharts can vary and become quite complex, but ours simplifies the process while simultaneously letting you track and individual’s progress through the stages of onboarding. The flowchart works by aligning onboarding tasks with the time of completion. You can use elearning to quiz employees on information to assure retention along the way.
At Lessonly we split up onboarding into four phases. These phases are known as forming, storming, norming, and performing. A majority of onboarding tasks will be completed in the forming stage. Forming is the period of time, often known as orientation, is the time the new employee learns general company knowledge, day-to-day procedures, and takes some role-specific training.
In the storming phase, new employees tackle the complexities of their job and learn their role-specific strengths and weaknesses. As a manager, it is vital to your employees success that you help them solve problems and celebrate their successes in this phase.
The norming phase is the phase in which an employee becomes adjusted to the norm of their role and seeks out ways to improve or innovate it. The norming phase can last from week two to the seventh month of employment. The entirety of this phase is based upon learning.
The performing phase is the final phase of onboarding. It is when an employee has become confident and successful in their role. Once an employee is performing, they can become a mentor to future employees solely from experience.
As a manager, these phases are necessary to recognize in the employee onboarding process. Though a lot of training and orientation may take place in the first week, managers must be the mentor to employees throughout their first few months. This way, information can be reinforced and actions can be reassured to build up confidence and successes.
Perfecting the Onboarding Checklist
The employee onboarding checklist will help you complete your own tasks in the beginning as a manager onboarding new employees. The new hire checklist for managers will consist of the details under topics and actions you have to provide to the new hires. Some of those topics are as follows:
- Employee Information
- Employee Announcement
- Company Overview
- Office Tour
- Office Policies and Procedures
- New Employee Forms
- Job Overview
- Training and Development
And these are simply some of the top-ranked topics. Each topic is broken down into tasks to cover during the onboarding process. Lessonly has taken all of these topics and created an employee onboarding checklist template so that companies can customize it according to their onboarding process.