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On-site employee onboarding
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Employee Onboarding Process: Best Practices, Checklist, and Tools (2022)

Learn how to create a better onboarding experience for your employees, with our onboarding checklist, the tools to use, and a must-see list of 9 best practices.

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  • Everyone starting a job wants to create a good impression on their new teammates, but what if the team isn’t creating a good impression on them?

    A successful employee onboarding process is essential to providing all the key tools a new hire needs for a positive start to their role. It sets the tone for how the team works together and communicates and it reduces new hire turnover. Great employee onboarding can even minimize your workload.

    So read on to learn more about onboarding processes, the tools you should be using, and how to create a better onboarding experience for everyone.

    What is an employee onboarding process?

    Employee onboarding process definition

    An employee onboarding process is every action taken to integrate a new hire into their role, the team, and company. It starts from the time they accept your offer of a position, and continues until they’re ready and able to take on all their responsibilities as laid down in your formal job description.

    Why is employee onboarding important?

    Employee onboarding is important because the first days, weeks, and months of employment are essential to their acclimatization to a new role and working environment. According to g2.com, 30% of employees leave a job within their first 90 days.

    First day of an employee onboarding

    And with it costing an average of over 50% of an employee’s annual salary to replace them, it’s clear that first impressions are crucial – as much for new hires as for hiring companies.

    This means good onboarding, including intern onboarding, has a real impact on business performance, as you communicate company culture and provide new hires with all the essential tools for success. Ultimately, if you get your onboarding process right, it will save your business time and money in the long run.

    Pattern Pattern

    Onboard employees

    Onboard employees at scale with Livestorm

    What are the 5 C’s of employee onboarding?

    The 5 C’s of employee onboarding help you to focus on some of the most important objectives for onboarding new hires. These can vary across different industries but these are the most common:

    • Compliance relates to understanding company policy, procedures, and processes.
    • Clarification establishes expectations of the new hire’s role and performance.
    • Culture includes communicating company and department missions.
    • Connection is about building positive relationships within the organization.
    • Check back is the ongoing review of the onboarding process.

    As you’ll see, there’s a lot of overlap with the four phases of employee onboarding, which we discuss further below.

    What are the three types of employee onboarding?

    The three types of employee onboarding are:

    But no matter where or how you onboard new hires, your goal is to provide them with the support they need to fully integrate into the team so they can successfully tackle the challenges of their role with confidence.

    So how to best approach and structure onboarding, and what are the most important aspects to bear in mind to help minimize new hire turnover? Read on to learn more.

    How do you onboard a new employee?

    The key to a successful company onboarding is to never forget the human aspect. Employee wellbeing is crucial to their feeling confident in a new role, which leads to better teamwork and communication, and overall business performance.

    Welcoming a new employee

    Throughout the process, there are useful practices you can put in place to help you save time, giving you more opportunities to connect directly with new hires. Remember, the objective of onboarding is to help establish a successful employee-team relationship for the overall benefit of the company, while minimizing new hire turnover.

    So here we look at best practices, onboarding tools, and ways to streamline the process. Also, take a look at our employee onboarding checklist. But first, we look at how to structure the onboarding process, and how long it should take.

    How long does the onboarding process take?

    Most HR professionals agree that a complete onboarding process should take place over a minimum of three months. However, a new hire can start to take on the bulk of their responsibilities after the first four weeks, depending on the nature of their role and the company culture.

    To help bring structure to onboarding, we can divide the process into four distinct phases, which we discuss next.

    The 4 phases of employee onboarding

    Here are the four phases of onboarding, which help to give structure to the overall onboarding process and match your activities to the employee’s developing experience as a new hire:

    Employee onboarding checklist

    1 - Pre-onboarding

    During pre-onboarding, you organize and prepare paperwork including contracts and banking details. This is also when you confirm schedules, payment rates, and organize the use of accounts and equipment.

    2 - Introductions

    This phase of the onboarding process normally takes place during the newcomer’s first week. This is an opportunity to meet the team, helping the new starter to get a sense of their new working environment, the culture, establish who their points of contact are, and how to orientate between different departments. It’s also when we want workers to develop a rapport with teammates and build trust.

    3 - Discovery

    After their first week on the job, new workers can start learning about the company and department missions. They can also start putting into practice the principles that underpin how they should approach tasks, problem-solving, and communication. Discovery can also be when new hires undertake role-specific training and take on a level of responsibility.

    4 - Review

    As a new hire begins to fully take on their new role, perform their essential duties, and adopt a degree of autonomy, you have the opportunity to meet with them, gauge their happiness and comfort, and where necessary, organize further support. You can also look to gain feedback on the onboarding process, which you can use to improve it for future new starters.

    Employee onboarding checklist

    Compare this checklist with how you currently integrate new employees into your company and see if there’s something you could add to or take away from your existing onboarding process.

    Job confirmation

    • Obtain acceptance signature
    • Confirm start date and schedule
    • Send the job description
    • Send welcome email

    Paperwork

    • Send the employment contract
    • Send the tax forms
    • Send the banking form
    • Send the non-disclosure form

    Operations

    • Create all their new accounts
    • Ensure access to all shared accounts, hardware, and software
    • Organize provision of equipment where applicable

    First days

    • Introduce them to the team
    • Provide orientation
    • Introduce to training plan

    Follow-up

    • Exchange feedback on first days/weeks, including the onboarding process
    • Provide additional support, orientation, and/or training where required
    • Suggestion: Have face-to-face meetings with hires after week 1, 4, and 12

    With so much of the onboarding process centered around administrative tasks and documentation, there’s lots of room to streamline activities with digital tools and onboarding automation, which we talk more about, below. And remote workers can be onboarded with video if you use the right tools.

    Note that with an automated onboarding process, you’ll not only be saving hours by avoiding repetitive tasks and manual input, you’ll also be making your new hire’s tasks far more adaptable to any kind of onboarding – in office, remote, or hybrid.

    With automated workflows, digital tools, and online interactions, onboarding processes are efficient, easy to track, and versatile.

    What are the best employee onboarding tools?

    At Livestorm, we use a range of tools to help automate onboarding and facilitate the introduction of new team members (our Stormies), which can be utilized across all three types of onboarding process for automation, efficient documentation, and great communication.

    Zapier

    Zapier is an automation app you can use to connect and integrate your various online tools. With those integrations in place, you can set rules to build automated onboarding workflows.

    For example, when you receive a job acceptance signature, with your Zapier rules in place you can automatically trigger a number of responses, like:

    • Alerting the HR team’s Slack channel with news of the acceptance
    • Sending out a welcome email to the new hire via Gmail
    • And creating a scheduled list of tasks for you to complete in Asana, such as preparing legal paperwork using Juro, or meeting the team via a Livestorm welcome event.

    Livestorm, to automate your onboarding

    How would we be able to successfully onboard new hires without a video engagement platform for natural and intuitive face-to-face interaction?

    Whether you’re in the office or remote, you can use Livestorm to bring teammates together, provide synchronous and asynchronous training, and fully engage employees in their tasks.

    Here are some of the benefits of using a video engagement platform such as Livestorm for your face-to-face meetings during onboarding:

    • It’s simple to integrate an online tool into an automated onboarding workflow
    • With Livestorm, you have unlimited event replays for recorded introductions and training material
    • Livestorm’s a browser-based platform, so it’s super-easy to use, with no app downloads required
    • You can share media and your screen for new employees to follow along
    Pattern Pattern

    Onboard your employees at scale

    Get new employees up to speed at scale with Livestorm

    Asana

    Asana is a user-friendly project management tool you can use as part of an automated onboarding process to create, share, and track tasks.

    Juro

    Juro makes document and contract creation fast and scalable, so especially if you’re a big team regularly creating, managing, and customizing paperwork, you’ll find it useful for saving time and answering in-doc questions.

    Gmail

    Connect Gmail via Zapier with your other tools to send and collect paperwork during the pre-boarding process, including legal documents, tax forms, and the employment contract.

    Notion

    You can use Notion to manage internal documentation, like processes, employee directories, and banking and tax information.

    Typeform

    Use Typeform to create, manage, and share online questionnaires. For new hires, you can use it pre-onboarding for retrieving information like contact and bank details, normal working hours (for flexible working), or the important things like birthdays and preferred cake.

    Slack

    Slack is a fantastic tool for internal communications, but you can also use Zapier to integrate it with other apps to automate alerts, reminders, and share documents, videos, and presentations.

    What are the best practices for employee onboarding?

    Put into place these employee onboarding best practices to be a hit with your new hires:

    1 - Automate

    Automated onboarding processes use digital tools to trigger and set up key events. This allows new hires to efficiently complete tasks and participate in activities online, while minimizing the need for your manual intervention.

    Automate onboarding with Livestorm

    With onboarding automation, you can track the progress of new hires, introduce them to the key tools they’ll be using in their day-to-day for internal communication and project management, and maintain a structured, consistent introduction for all new starters.

    And with less time spent on those manual tasks, you can give more time to new hires in the form of personalized support.

    2 - Set up accounts and organize access pre-boarding

    Before they arrive, have the new employee’s accounts ready and waiting. So, set up their email, add them to Slack and other internal communication apps (also to any relevant channels of communication within those), and provide them with access to shared folders and files (for example with a shared Drive folder).

    Doing all this before a new arrival’s first day will help give them more time to interact with teammates and familiarize themselves with the company’s way of doing things instead of making multiple requests to see documents they have to complete.

    3 - Share the first-day schedule in advance

    It’s reassuring for newcomers to have a clear view of what to expect from their first day so, before they begin, share their schedule with them so they can prepare mentally, start things off with confidence, and look forward to meeting the team.

    4 - Prepare and involve the team in welcoming new hires

    Engage the team in welcoming new colleagues aboard by sharing with them there’ll be a new arrival, who it is, and on what date.

    Some of the team can reach out with a recorded welcome message while others connect with a call that you schedule.

    Involve team in employee onboarding

    Welcome messages and calls from teammates are important to help foster a positive atmosphere among workers, and promote positive communication – which is why they should be part of the onboarding process.

    5 - Assign a buddy

    At Livestorm, something our onboarding reviews highlighted was the value of pairing starters with an experienced team member who could show them where to go and who to speak to, giving them a helping hand throughout their onboarding.

    So we introduced a buddy system as standard practice so new hires always have someone to turn to and never have reason to feel alienated or lacking proper informal support.

    6 - Organize a team social

    A virtual team breakfast or lunch gives new hires a taste for the camaraderie they’ll experience in the workplace, it’s suitable for in-house and remote teams, and is something you can set up as part of your automated onboarding to-do list.

    With a video engagement platform, you can even suggest some icebreaker activities so everyone gets the chance to share their backgrounds and start developing a rapport with each other.

    For example, you could place team members into a breakout room and set them the task of finding out surprising facts about each other, which they can then report back to the rest of the group.

    7 - Offer recognition for progress

    Create milestones throughout the onboarding process so whenever your new hire completes one, they receive some recognition for their continued hard work.

    Give feedback during employee onboarding

    For example, when an onboarder completes part of their training, has their first call with a client, or has a successful evaluation, you can recognize their progress by sharing it with the team in a dedicated Slack channel for wins, successes, and accomplishments.

    8 - Conduct regular check-ins and boarding-process feedback

    A regular 30-minute check-in gives you the chance to ascertain how well they’ve settled in, see if they have any unaddressed needs, and set goals for the weeks or months ahead.

    9 - Never forget the human aspect!

    The time saved with streamlined organization and automation allows you to focus more on the human aspect of onboarding.

    Newcomers need company and department missions, access to files, and orientation, but they also need to experience the company culture, meet the people, and grow into their new role with confidence.

    Better onboarding means better team performance

    Fantastic employee onboarding minimizes new hire turnover, contributes to a positive working atmosphere, and facilitates good communication within and across departments.

    But successful onboarding processes need to be well organized so your new hires can be made to feel special, fully supported, and truly part of the team.

    Some best practices that will help you achieve this include:

    • Automating tasks
    • Using software for communication, documentation, and orientation
    • Implementing a buddy system to provide additional support
    • Recognizing onboarding milestones
    • Always remembering the human aspect

    By using digital tools and a video engagement platform for regular face-to-face meetings, you can make an important contribution to developing positive lasting relationships and an ideal working environment for new employees.

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