While onboarding practices will vary by company and job role, having a thorough process in place before a new employee steps through the doors is critical to success.
Here's what you need to know about 8 free new hire checklists to use for the onboarding process:
- 1 in 10 employees strongly believes that their organization does an excellent job onboarding.
- When bringing on a new hire, remember to communicate clearly and have a set plan for their first few weeks (and months) of work.
- Onboarding is the first chance a new hire has to see how your company truly operates.
Onboarding is the process of introducing new employees to their new company and job role. Onboarding helps new hires familiarize themselves with:
- The company culture
This information sets them up to succeed in their roles from day 1. However, just 1 in 10 employees strongly believes that their organization does an excellent job onboarding.
So, how can we make it better? This article will discuss the best practices for employee onboarding, including eight free new hire checklists you can use for your next hire.
Best practices for employee onboarding
Employee onboarding aims to help new employees acclimate to their new roles as quickly and efficiently as possible.
An effective onboarding program will do more than just show your employee around the office. It should also help them understand how they fit into your organization’s culture so they will become productive and empowered workers.
Onboarding programs vary widely from company to company. Below we’ve provided some best practices.
Make onboarding part of your company culture
The first step in designing a successful onboarding program is making it part of the company’s culture. You must ensure that the new hire’s manager and coworkers are:
- Aware of the process
- Empowered to help
If an onboarding program is new to your company, ensure everyone understands its purpose and why they should be part of it. Your current employees will also need guidance in learning how best to support new hires during their first weeks at work.
Mentors are people who can help new hires navigate the company culture and get settled in at work. Mentoring relationships are incredibly valuable, as they can help new employees with:
- Career development
- Understanding the company’s culture and expectations
- Relationship building within the department
Having a mentor is one of the top reasons employees stay engaged at work.
Mentors play an essential role in helping new employees fit into a new organization by making them feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Mentors can approach this by offering advice on how the new employee can best do their job or simply being there when they need to see a friendly face. In fact, according to Gallup’s research on employee engagement, having a mentor is one of the top reasons employees stay engaged at work.
Have a plan
When bringing on a new hire, remember to communicate clearly and have a set plan for their first few weeks (and months) of work. Starting a new job is overwhelming, so ease some stress by informing new employees of the onboarding process and timeline. Ensure you set expectations and inform them of resources available to help them become comfortable with their new role.
It’s vital to ensure that your onboarding program is simple, straightforward, and easy to digest. A new hire onboarding template is one of the best ways to streamline the process.
8 free new hire checklists
A new hire onboarding checklist is a way to organize the onboarding process for every new employee. A well-thought-out onboarding program ensures team members have the information they need to succeed and meet their goals. 77% of employees who underwent a formal onboarding process met performance goals.
An onboarding checklist can help employees stay organized on their first day, week, month, sixty, or ninety days. Onboarding checklists can also assist managers and other staff members, like information technology (IT) department workers, in setting up new hire laptops, phones, and email accounts.
Here are eight example checklists to help you.
Pre-onboarding checklist for managers
- Receive the signed job acceptance letter
- Assign the employee a mentor if possible
- Enroll employees in the HR system
- Order computer equipment and a phone
- Prepare a welcome email to send to the new employee
- Prepare a welcome package with company swag or other materials
- Request office and network access (keycards, passcodes, etc.)
- Send an email to the relevant department introducing the new hire
- Send employee forms they can complete ahead of time
- Set up a designated workspace
- Set up meetings with key members of the team in advance
Onboarding checklists can assist managers and other staff members, like information technology (IT) department workers, in setting up new hire laptops, phones, and email accounts.
New hire paperwork checklist for HR managers
- I-9: verifying the new hire’s identity and eligibility to work in the US
- W-4 for federal tax compliance
- A state tax withholding form, if applicable
- A direct deposit form
- Pre-employment checks such as background, drug, etc.
- The employment agreement
- Employee benefit enrollment forms
First day of work checklist for employees
- Introduction to colleagues and department
- Review of the employee’s workstation and devices
- Facility tour including entrances, restrooms, kitchen, standard meeting rooms, fire drill procedures
- Log in to the workstation and ensure all equipment is working properly
- Introduction to the online training portal
- Introduction to human resources (HR) systems
- Review of HR paperwork
- Review of employee guidebook or manual
- Welcome lunch with the department
- Meeting with supervisor
- Arrange role-specific training
First week of work checklist for employees
- Schedule one-on-one meetings with the manager and all key people in the department
- Check that all technology needs are met
- Attend required training
- Plan additional role-specific training if needed
- Schedule team-building activities
- Set short-term goals with the supervisor
A detailed and organized onboarding process instills your new hire with confidence from the start.
First month of work checklist for employees
- Complete a first-month onboarding survey
- Schedule a meeting with the supervisor to get any lingering questions answered
- Check-in on short-term goals
- Set long-term goals with metrics
Remote hire checklist for managers
- Send IT hardware
- Order computers and other technology remote workers need
- Help new remote employees complete HR paperwork using an e-signature tool
- Familiarize them with the company culture
- Send your employee handbook in digital format
- Train them on how to use your company’s communication tools
- Develop and share a task calendar
- Define short-term and long-term goals
- Schedule weekly one-on-one meetings
- Schedule meetings with team members and managers
- Arrange role-specific training
- Train on computer security
- Train on password management and data encryption tools to protect devices
IT onboarding checklist
- Exchange mailbox
- Anti-spam system
Hardware and file access
- Workstation setup
- Print drivers
- Network – company-wide
- Network – department
- Personal storage
- Physical desk phone
- Phone network
- Directory setup
Onboarding checklist for managers
Ensure you set expectations and inform your new employees of resources available to help them become comfortable with their new role.
- Define the schedule and duties
- Confirm start date, time, location, and contact person
- Email link to company/department onboarding webpage
- Discuss relocation if applicable
First-day action plan items to discuss / welcome packet
- New employee documentation/checklist
- Time-off policies: vacation, sick leave, reporting guidelines, etc.
- Job manual
- Employee handbook
- Week-one schedule
- Department organization chart and contact info
- Building/campus map
- HR paperwork
Onboarding is more than simply making an employee feel welcome. It’s the first chance a new hire has to see how your company truly operates. Companies with a poor onboarding process may make workers feel buyer’s remorse. In contrast, detailed and organized onboarding instills confidence from the start. In fact, organizations with an excellent onboarding process increased new hire retention rates by 52%.
While onboarding practices will vary by company and job role, having a thorough process in place before a new employee steps through the doors is critical to success. It demonstrates that your company is committed to:
- Making it part of your company culture
- Investing in mentorship
- Having a thoughtful plan
Onboarding is a process that can be improved upon by adding more personal touches and making sure new hires feel welcome from the beginning. It’s also important to remember that onboarding isn’t just HR’s responsibility. Everyone in your company should be involved in welcoming new employees.
An onboarding checklist can help employees stay organized on their first day and beyond.