10 ways to simplify the onboarding process for new employees

When you hire new employees and add them to your team, it’s just as important to have an effective onboarding plan as it is to find the perfect candidate. Your employee onboarding process is crucial to staying compliant with state and federal laws. But it’s also crucial to retaining your team. 

According to a recent survey, 69% of employees said they are more likely to remain in their role longer if their employee orientation made them feel welcome and prepared on their start date. 

If you don’t have a team of HR professionals working for you, your onboarding checklist can become tedious. 

Take a look at our tips on how to simplify the employee onboarding experience by establishing a simplified onboarding process. This way you can ensure you are increasing employee engagement and retention. 

1. Be ready for day one

Before sending out any job offer letters, you should have a clear onboarding program to keep things simple and streamlined. Compile a written manual with actionable steps for a general approach to onboarding every employee.

2. Prepare necessary documents

You and your new hire need to fill out several documents before the employee’s first day for payroll purposes and more. These include Form W-4, I-9, and direct deposit paperwork.

A great tactic for how to simplify employee onboarding is to use a software like Homebase that sends your new hire paperwork to your team member before they walk through the doors on their first day. 

3. Assign required reading

Before the first day, send the new hire a welcome letter. Include the information they need to feel prepared when they start. Send them a copy of your employee handbook that details working hours, acceptable dress code, benefits, company policies, and more. 

Providing the details before the first day can help reduce first day jitters. They won’t be burdened with the nervousness of asking too many questions. It will also simplify the process because you won’t have to go over everything in as much detail. 

With more time cleared up, you can set up short meetings. Let your new hire meet with their colleagues so they can get acquainted with their role and your business. 

4. Prepare benefits package

If you offer paid leave or other benefits, have them included in the employee handbook ready to go. You can check out our article on how to offer the best paid leave plan for your business if you are looking to implement new policies. 

You should also send benefit documents and forms in advance. This way the employee can review and complete any necessary steps before they start the job. And you can reduce the amount of time taken up with paperwork on the first day. 

5. Make the first day special

Your new employee should be welcomed by the team on their first day and treated as an essential and exciting addition, regardless of the role he or she is fulfilling. The most important part of making an employee feel welcome is to make them feel valued, comfortable, and included. Keep it light, keep it friendly, and remember that onboarding is all about human interaction. A positive first impression can make all the difference in providing a positive employee experience. 

6. Assign a mentor

Designate a point person that helps guide the new hire through workflows and helps them acclimate to the company culture. This point person should make them feel comfortable at lunchtime, and be available to answer any questions the new hire may have as they familiarize themselves with their role within the company. 

7. Visually represent your team 

Put names to faces instead of simply providing an organizational chart with names printed on it. Whether you introduce your new hire to each employee individually or even just give photos to help the new hire recognize everyone, adding a visual aspect to a list of employees will reduce your new hire’s anxiety about meeting new people and approaching them for help. 

8. Personalize the experience 

While your onboarding process should be laid out beforehand, each employee is different and you should avoid making your new hire feel like there’s a lack of connection. 

Tailor your approach to each employee, and give mentors the rundown on the new hire’s previous experience and other details so they can figure out the best way to communicate with them and provide training materials where necessary. 

9. Lay out the rules 

Now that your new hire is somewhat acquainted with the culture of your business and the team members he or she will be working with, it’s time to inform—without overwhelming—the employee on the procedures and policies that are crucial to your business. 

As mentioned before, it is a best practice to send the new hire your employee handbook and new employee forms before their first day. However, it’s a good idea to highlight some important aspects, including benefits, and organizational charts. 

10. Ask for feedback 

Feedback is an important step in your onboarding process as it helps you improve any areas in which your process is lacking from an employee’s perspective. It also helps simplify the process even further in the future because your new hire can point out any steps that feel wonky or a waste of time. 

After your new hire has been on the job for about 90 days, collect feedback from him or her on how the process went. Ask them what worked, what didn’t work, and take a good look at the feedback. Then, consider making changes where needed. 

Bottom line 

Regardless of what industry your business is a part of, a great onboarding experience is crucial to crafting a successful team, but can be difficult without a human resources team to back you up. Instead of hiring an HR manager, consider utilizing an online resource.

For example, Homebase HR Pro offers expert advice from certified professionals who can help you create simplified onboarding policies that work for your business. Sign up today and optimize your employee onboarding experience to benefit both you and your new hires. 

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