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Eight useful tips for successful onboarding

January 25, 2018 - 5 minute read

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High quality onboarding is like a cheat code for your business - it helps new employees get off to a flying start and ultimately results in higher productivity and increased profitability. If you follow the following 8 steps, you’ll make sure that all new colleagues quickly find their feet within your organisation.

1. Expectation management

Once you’ve reached an agreement with a candidate, provide them with a clear view of the follow-up process, up to their first working day and even the following period. State what information they’ll receive, who they can contact with questions, what time they’ll be expected on their first day of work, and who their key colleagues and stakeholders will be. Be concrete.

2. The onboarding checklist

An onboarding checklist provides a clear framework to follow for anyone who is responsible for the onboarding of new employees. It is the document that ensures all points are remembered and the onboarding experience is consistent no matter who carries it out. If you don’t already have an onboarding document, don’t worry: your friends at Speakap have got your back. Download our onboarding checklist via the button below.

Download our free onboarding checklist3. Create an onboarding experience

The central principle running behind the onboarding experience is that onboarding goes further than simply telling an employee what they’ll be expected to do. After all, the corporate culture and working methodology are every bit as important as the content of the role itself. A great onboarding experience helps a new recruit integrate well into all facets of the organisation: operational, social and strategic. This maximises the chance of a high-functioning, long-term colleague.

4. Pre-boarding is where it all begins

The phase prior to the start of employment is known as pre-boarding. Successful pre-boarding increases a new recruit’s motivation for being successful in their new job. Pre-boarding can be divided into the factual pre-boarding and its tone of voice:

  • Factual pre-boarding means new employees knowing who their colleagues are and where they can find information, such as rosters.
  • Tone of voice is about the company pro-actively responding to questions and demonstrating enthusiasm about the new collaboration.

5. Take advantage of the internal social network

Get new colleagues involved immediately through your internal communication channels. Once the employment contract is signed, add new employees to the company’s internal social network so that they can get used to the communication structure in the organisation, read about topics that play internally, and maybe even post an introduction about themselves, giving them a sense of belonging before they even set foot in the building for day one.

pre-boarding timeline message

6. Provide insight into relevant documents

Give new colleagues access to relevant documents so that they can already read through them before they start. If there’s a company handbook, an explanation of the working processes, or even just a presentation about the company’s objectives, those are all ideal starting points. This way, on those first few busy days in the workplace, things they read about earlier will work faster, while they can focus on learning the role instead of taking in all that extra information they consumed earlier.

Sharing documents for pre-boarding purposes

7. Determine the main points to be communicated on the first working day

The first time a new recruit enters their new place of work, they invariably arrive with spirits and motivation high. It’s the employer’s job to grab this motivation with both hands and to nurture it further. Start with a clear explanation of the first working day, running down the schedule hour-by-hour if needed. The more executive the position, the more it helps to be concrete. Cover subjects like where information can be found, the first tasks they can dive into, how to prioritise their responsibilities and all the tools they will require access to. Using an onboarding checklist as a guideline ensures that you focus on the right topics.

8. From successful onboarding to long-term success

Thanks to excellent, informative pre-boarding and high quality onboarding, by the time just a few weeks have passed, your new colleague will likely feel settled; the workplace will be familiar, they’ll know all their close colleagues, and they’ll be confident enough to make decisions on their own.

Now is the time to walk them through all the possibilities to flourish into a productive colleague who gets immense satisfaction from their work. For example, encourage them to place an update, some fun fact about themselves or even their early successes on the internal social network. It will provide interaction with other parts within the organisation, as well as earning recognition for the work of the employee and their team. It may even inspire other new colleagues to do likewise.

Want to learn even more about onboarding? Of course you do… download our eBook 'The foolproof process for exceptional onboarding’ now.

Download free eBook about onboarding