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A Practical Guide for Employee Onboarding: 10 Helpful Tips

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

Useful suggestions for your employee onboarding process to welcome new hires!

Onboarding a new hire in business comes from the phrase when "onboarding" a plane and receiving instructions for the flight. Efficiently welcome your new employees with this helpful guide!

What is Employee Onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the process of incorporating new employees into your company and introducing them to the company culture and procedures so that they can become productive team members.

"Onboarding" refers to the processes by which new hires are integrated into the organization. It includes activities that allow new employees to complete an initial new-hire orientation process, as well as learn about the organization and its structure, culture, vision, mission, and values. For some organizations, the onboarding process consists of one or two days of activities; for others, this process may involve a series of activities spanning one or many months.

10 Tips to Improve Onboarding New Hires

Here are ten suggestions for onboarding success gathered from credible business experts:

1. Create an Onboarding Process

The onboarding process should be an experience your employees will appreciate and remember; developing a detailed plan for each step can help you stay on track. If you simply throw together some paperwork, pass the new employee off to someone else, or wing it, you miss out on valuable opportunities to engage your new team member.

2. Reflect The Workplace Model In The Process

If the company has chosen a hybrid model, for example, that should be mirrored in the onboarding process. A mixture of in-person and virtual meetings gives recruits an authentic representation of the workplace and a chance to meet colleagues face-to-face. Further, it allows the managers to explain the company’s hybrid model and convey employee expectations. It should also be a time to establish the company’s culture and values.

3. Customize Onboarding For Each New Hire

New hires need to properly understand their unique role in your company to create value. This is where an effective onboarding plan is incredibly valuable. Beyond the general organizational orientation, a manager or leader should customize the onboarding plan for each new hire, with required reading and scheduled times for meeting people and shadowing others.

4. Set a Reasonable Pace

Onboarding is more of a marathon than a sprint; rushing employees through the process can backfire. Giving your new hires the time to settle in slowly can help them fully integrate and become a part of your corporate culture. Try to rush them through the process, and you’ll miss out on valuable opportunities to bond with your new team member; you’ll also be forcing them to choose between mastering their job duties and learning about the company’s culture. Allowing new hires the time they need to feel at home can boost retention considerably.

5. Give a Realistic Idea of the Job

Overstating or overselling the job can lead to problems during the onboarding process or the first few months. A new hire with overly high or unrealistic expectations can feel let down if the job responsibilities or opportunities are underwhelming. Make sure your new team member knows what they are signing on for, what to expect from the job, and what they need to do to be successful in the role before you make a hiring decision, and you’ll be less likely to lose a talented employee who becomes disappointed with the company or job.

6. Help Them Transition Into Your Cultural Norms

Onboarding is not limited to the technical aspects of the new role; it also includes a successful integration into your organization’s cultural norms. When designing the best onboarding strategy for new hires at any level, consider what resources and relationships are essential to their understanding of the written and unwritten norms for operating successfully within your organization. Examples of these norms could include mutual respect, professional communication, positive attitudes, and more!

7. Help Them Envision Their Future At Your Company

To build psychological trust and commitment, onboard new employees in a way that helps them visualize a long future at the company. Take the employee on a journey of discovery about the company that includes realities, intangibles, and stories from people regarding their work experience and tenure at the company. Ultimately, they should feel enthusiastic and ready to make an impact.

8. Explain any Company Specific Jargon

Your business may have a particular tone, culture, and language; dropping a new hire into the mix without clarifying your lingo sets them up to be outsiders. Ensure you explain the corporate buzzwords, lingo, and acronyms you use and any inside jokes, traditions, and other important parts of your company’s culture. Think of it as giving your business a glossary or a translator, and make sure you interpret things for your new hire as they settle in. Giving your new team member some context and insight allows them to be part of the team and truly get the style and theme of your business culture.

9. Managers, Get Involved

The manager of a new hire plays a vital part in that employee’s success. For many employees, their relationship and comfort level with their manager or supervisor is the key factor determining how long they will stick with a company. If you delegate so much that you are unfamiliar to your new team member, you should consider getting more involved in onboarding.

10. Have All Tools And Resources Needed Ready To Go

Give them the tools and resources they need to be successful. Some people hit the ground running and want to perform right away. To do so, they need access to the necessary tools and resources. Nothing is more demotivating than starting with a company that isn’t prepared for you to do your job immediately. Be ready for your new employees!


Forbes - Onboarding Tips - Successfully Onboarding

Photo: Getty/nathaphat

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