Onboarding Best Practices

Onboarding Best Practices

by Lauren Molitor | March 1, 2017

0 HIRING. EMPLOYEE SELECTION, Management.Supervision, Temporary and Contract Staffing get connected

onboardingIf you’re a manager or supervisor, you’ve likely experienced the impact of an onboarding process, whether it was great or just so-so.  Chances are you’re already convinced of the value of an organized onboarding process, but you may be at a loss when it comes to implementing one.

Here are just a few of our ideas to get you started.

Before your new employee starts

  • Send them a personalized congratulations message! You just hired someone that you believe is going to contribute to your team, which should relieve some of your stress. Let your new employee know how excited you are for them to start their new position.  Make it personal and stay away from anything standardized.   Your personal touch is much more sincere and will take your new relationship that extra mile.
  • Complete the necessary paperwork before the employee’s first day. Many successful businesses are utilizing electronic signing services in order to complete all paperwork virtually. Even if this isn’t an option for you and your company, you can send your new employee home with the documents to look over and fill out before their first day.
  • Set up their work space in advance – there’s no bigger bummer than showing up on your first day without a place to sit. It’s also important to make sure your new employee will be able to access their email, the company intranet, social media, etc.
  • Create an agenda for the new hire’s first week on the job. This will help guide your new employee and give them an idea of what to do, as well as minimize the dreaded “sitting at your desk, twiddling your thumbs” scenario.
  • Make sure your team knows the new employee start date. They can help welcome their new co-worker on their first day and make it a success.
  • Send a prep email a few days before your new employee starts. This email should contain important information which is often easily overlooked, such as where to park, what time the employee should arrive, what to wear, who to ask for, etc.
  • If you want to go ABOVE AND BEYOND, decorate your new employee’s work space with branded material that welcomes them to your company and your team. Custom t-shirts, work bags, branded pens, pencils, notepads, and coffee mugs are all great and inexpensive gifts you can give to a new hire to make them feel like a part of the team.

First Day

  • Consider your employee’s first day as orientation, not project assignment day. Avoid throwing them into critical work until you see them comfortable in their work space.  The first day is a good time for a co-worker or manager to show your new employee around the office and introduce them to their fellow staff.
  • A (paid for by the company) lunch is a nice way to welcome your new employee to the team. Have a few of the new hire’s co-workers take them out for a get-to-know-you meal. Having personal ties with other employees is a huge pull to stay with a company.
  • Try not to overload the new employee with too much information, but let them know where they can find info they may want to look into on their own time (such as benefits, paid holidays, good lunch places near workplace, etc.).

First Week

  • Assign a mentor – someone who is not the manager, as they will be helping their co-worker get a lay of the land, so to speak. Finding the bathroom and understanding email protocol may seem trivial, but becomes very important when you don’t know where or what they are!
  • Set up a manager & employee meeting. You can use this time to set future expectations, discuss your management style, and get to know your new employee. Set up future check-ins to provide your new employee with time to provide and receive feedback and ensure their success.

First 1 – 3 Months

  • The focus of this time period should be on training. On average, it takes around eight months for an employee to reach their full productivity level. Invest in training opportunities for your new hire now and you’ll have a much stronger worker once their introductory period is complete.
  • Encourage job shadowing. This is one of the best ways to train your employees and it also allows them to get to know their co-workers. Cross-training within other departments also gives the employee an idea of how the organization works as a whole.
  • Complete your first review after 90 days on the job. This is a great opportunity to provide feedback to your employee and also allow them to share any feedback that they might have. If your employee needs additional help or resources, this is a great time to identify and create a schedule to implement those.

Keep in mind, 22% of turnover takes place in the first 45 days of the job. As an added bonus, manager satisfaction is known to increase by 20% when their employees complete a planned and organized onboarding process. By improving your onboarding practices, you’ll retain employees and save yourself many headaches.



For additional information and ideas about how to optimize the productivity of your team, email me at LaurenM@pacestaffing.com or give me a call at 425.654.8788. I’m Lauren Molitor, the Partner Services Specialist at the PACE Staffing Network.  My job is making sure our client partners and partners to-be are armed with the best practices on hiring and managing employees to optimal levels of performance.


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