How to Improve Your Onboarding Process in 5 Easy Steps


The expansion of your team is an exciting process. First, it signifies your company is growing, which is always good news. But it’s also an opportunity to inject new life into your company and make use of people’s diverse experiences and backgrounds to help push your company forward.

However, the administrative tasks associated with adding someone to the team, also known as onboarding, can be a real nightmare for both you and your new employee. There are lots of forms and documents to fill out, and people are always nervous when they’re starting a new job. As such, it’s important to have an effective onboarding process so that people can assimilate more easily and so that you can save time and money.

Furthermore, a good onboarding process can have an impact on your employee retention rates. First impressions are everything, and your onboarding process, as a part of your overall candidate experience, can have a significant impact on whether people decide to stick around after starting. In fact, some 66 percent of employees have indicated that a good onboarding process is a key determiner of their decision to keep working at their new company.

Here are five simple steps to follow to help you improve your onboarding process.


Automate What You Can

Automation has the potential to make everyone’s lives a bit easier, and things are no different when it comes to your onboarding process. Many of the processes that need to take place for someone to join your team can be automated.

For example, you can use standard offers and contracts and send them out automatically. And consider using electronic acceptance so that all the forms and files new employees sign get stored in the right place and keep your records up-to-date.

You can also install automated payroll services to help you get people into your system. With these software packages, all someone needs to do is fill out an online form and they’re immediately entered into the system. This ensures no delays on payday, something that’s always a top concern for new employees.

Streamline the Process

Nothing is worse than coming in on your first day and having to fill out a bunch of different forms and send them off to different departments. Not only does it waste people’s time, but it increases the chances you make a mistake, which will prove costly down the line.

The way to avoid this issue is to have as much of your onboarding process handled by one department as you can. If people are too busy to be able to take on this responsibility, then consider hiring a profession employer organization to help you. These firms can take over your onboarding process and make it quick and painless for everyone involved.

Prepare Your Staff

One of the things that makes new employees most anxious is meeting their new co-workers. People worry about fitting into the new staff and becoming a member of the team. But for new hires to feel welcome, it’s important you work to make them feel as comfortable as possible.

Make it a point of telling people when the new hire is going to come in. Let them know their name and a little bit about them. Ask the receptionist to go out of his or her way to make the person feel welcome by greeting them warmly, offering them coffee, taking them around, etc.

It’s also a good idea to ask employees to try and find time to introduce themselves to the new hire. And you as a manger should walk around with them at some point and make some initial contact between your current and new employees. All of these little things will go a long way towards making your new employee feel welcome their first day on the job.

Make Things Fun

Work is work, as we all know. But many people complain that the first days on a job are exceptionally boring, largely because there’s so much paperwork to do that keeps people away from really sinking into their roles.

Unfortunately, you can’t avoid all of this. But there are ways to make an employee’s first day more exciting. You could think about organizing a special welcome lunch, or perhaps a small party at the end of the day so that people have something to look forward to.

Another option is to make the process more fun. For example, you could gamify some of your onboarding training. This stops people from having to skim through dry PowerPoints, instead giving them the chance to engage with your first-day material in a fun and exciting way.

Show Off Your Culture

Workplace culture is a big reason why people choose one company over another. People want to work in places where the feel comfortable and well-positioned for success. You’ve hopefully put a lot of work into showcasing your company’s culture to people searching for a job, but now that you’ve landed a new hire, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.

Of course, you won’t be able to give a full snapshot of company culture in just one or two days, but there are things you can do to make it apparent that all those things you said weren’t just words. For example, if you’ve advertised yourself as a fun place to work, then make sure to plan something fun for people’s first day.

Or, if you’ve positioned your company as a place that cares about the community, then make sure to include some information about how new employees can get involved with company initiatives in the new-hire training material. You’ll need to follow up with this forever—your culture can’t be just a one day thing—but it’s important to go a little above and beyond on the first day to ensure a good first impression.

Start Improving Your Onboarding Today

As you can see, improving your onboarding process is relatively straightforward. Audit your current processes, and you’ll surely find areas where you can improve. Start implementing them now so that the next new employee that walks through the door is wowed by how easy it is to join your team.

Need help making sure your future employees are wowed throughout the hiring process? Connect with Newton Talent

From time-to-time we have guest bloggers post on our site to help us bring you the latest recruitment ideas and strategies. Please note that any specific product recommendations inferred within these guest posts are made by the author alone and do not constitute a product endorsement by Newton Talent.

Written by Jock Purtle, Digital Exits

Jock Purtle is the founder of Digital Exits, an online business brokerage. He knows that having the right people on board is hugely important for business success and that starts from day one and getting their onboarding right. Jock loves everything about entrepreneurship and is always keen to offer his experiences to others looking to grow.