What does an employee onboarding checklist entail nowadays? Let’s dive right in.
First impressions matter, especially on the first day of work. But it isn’t just important to make a good first impression on the rest of the team as a new hire – it’s also important for a company and staff to make a great first impression for the new addition to the team.
A poor onboarding process can spell higher turnover and can cost you first rate talent. Good onboarding, on the other hand, can boost your new hire’s confidence in their decision to work for you, can increase their productivity and cohesion with the rest of the team, and can help you smooth out the bumpy ride that is the first few weeks of integrating a new employee into the company. If you’ve been using the same onboarding process for the last few years, it might be time to make some changes.
Here’s the ultimate onboarding checklist.
Onboarding in 2022
Onboarding is, in theory, the same as it ever was. But there are a few things that sets the 2020s apart from previous decades. For one, the role that virtual onboarding plays is greater than ever.
In addition to an extraordinary rate of growth in the adoption of telecommunications tools, web-based company portals, and company-specific intranets, we’ve had a devastating pandemic that forced digitalization at a rapid rate and pushed millions of businesses to reconsider their stance on work-from-home policies and the possibility of a virtual workspace.
The modern office space in 2022 is flexible, to the point that new hires might not necessarily be local university graduates or renown local industry experts, but could be overseas talent, project managers in different time zones, or experienced marketing savants located in another continent.
Local matters, more than ever. If most of your clients are located within a single global region, it makes sense to hire people who understand that region best – those who live in it.
But not every team member must be local, and even if they are, they might not necessarily need to show up to work in the office every day. Onboarding someone who won’t really share a desk with the rest of the team most of the time is very different from the typical onboarding experiences of yore.
But it doesn’t have to be harder. Let’s go over a simple step-by-step onboarding process in a modern flexible work environment.
Get Your Paperwork in Order
First and foremost, all the proper documentation should be prepared and handed over. There’s no better way to arouse suspicion and distrust in a new hire than onboarding them into the company and benefiting from their personal investment, experience, and labor, while making them wait another week or two for a finalized contract.
Get your paperwork in order before your new hire is set to get started, from safety forms to the code of conduct, data security, work policies and procedures, and critically, compensation. Be sure to give them the opportunity to review these policies and ask questions.
Make A Request for All Devices and Equipment
Some companies have their own warehouses for employee devices and equipment, from laptops and docking stations to job-specific tools, like virtual clipboards, mobile delivery devices, and two-way radios.
But if you need to requisition devices for your new hire, putting in the request for them as soon as possible can avoid an awkward situation on day one when your new hire has shown up to work, and doesn’t have anything to work with.
Setup Accounts and Credentials
Information is just as important as the devices it’s displayed on. Securing proper credentials for your new hire is important, so that when they’re ready and eager to get started during day one orientation, they’ll have their own email account and portal login ready to go to get started within the company’s online infrastructure.
Plan Your Orientation Structure
What should day one look like? Planning an orientation is critical because it’s where the real first impressions come into play.
It’s one thing to display expedience and due diligence throughout the hiring process, but a poor first impression of the working conditions can be a tremendous setback to trying to excite a new hire about their future at the company.
What do you need to go over during the first day of orientation? That depends on the company you’re leading, and the job you’re offering.
If you want your hire to have a comprehensive idea of the business you’re running – for example, when hiring someone in a managerial position with experience from another company – it helps to give them a broad but detailed overview of the entire business, from the ground floor up. This can include building tours, manufacturing tours, meeting with engineers and workers alike, meeting with other managerial staff members, and getting a tour of the offices.
If you’re hiring a programmer for the development team, then their onboarding orientation will look very different. Use day one as a means to introduce them to the workflow and working philosophy of the development team, the tools they will be working with, the workstation they have, and the people they will be working with.
Onboarding Considerations After the Pandemic
Because COVID severely limited the physical contact between people, a lot of businesses had to get very creative very quickly to make their onboarding process work.
Since then, the options for combatting COVID have greatly expanded as contact tracing and on-site testing capabilities have multiplied, and global supplies for PPEs and appropriate masks have recovered. Here are a few crucial security and safety concerns to keep in mind:
Practice Proper Safety Measures
Continue to minimize human contact, especially indoors. If you’ve reopened your offices, then chances are that you are continuing to deploy appropriate cleaning measures to regularly disinfect surfaces, while continuing to mandate masking and social distancing, as per local guidance.
Consider scheduling the orientation day on a week when foot traffic in the office is relatively low. As temperatures rise, keep the office floor well-ventilated to prevent stagnant air and an increased risk of infection.
Consider Virtual Onboarding
A lot of the difficulties surrounding safe onboarding during a pandemic can be minimized or even eliminated via a virtual orientation.
Once your new hire has access to their work credentials and necessary equipment, they can get started at home and communicate with a peer mentor to help show them the ropes, and get them acquainted with their first few tasks.
Onboarding Through Coworking
There are limitations to virtual onboarding, especially with regards to the social bond between a new hire and the rest of the team.
If your business hasn’t regularly reopened their offices yet, you can use a coworking office to temporarily provide a physical space for your new hire and a chosen peer mentor to work through the orientation phase, and get your hire acquainted with the company before transitioning into a work-from-anywhere model.
Setup A New Hire Announcement
You might want to consider avoiding something like a welcoming party or an in-person announcement throughout the office if that’s something your new hire might not necessarily be comfortable with.
A welcoming announcement email can inform everyone that a new position has been filled, while providing other employees with the initiative to reach out to the new hire and introduce themselves.
Schedule Regular Check-Ins Throughout the First Quarter
Once orientation is over, it’s up to the new hire to see that they fit into the company culture and workflow, right? Not necessarily.
Be sure to check in with them frequently throughout the first month to answer questions and ensure that they’re getting along in their new position. You can sidestep complaints and frustration by regularly checking in and ensuring that any questions and concerns are addressed before they are given time to foment.
After the initial month, consider scheduling another check-in the month thereafter, and after the first quarter, to find out how your new hire has settled in, and whether they’re a good fit all-in-all.