Early days of onboarding make a big impression on employees. Check off these tasks to engage new hires before they even start work.
A new worker’s first interactions and experiences with an organization have a lasting impact. Make sure they are positive, productive, enlightening, and even fun. Use this checklist to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks as you’re getting new workers up to speed.
Start as soon as new employees accept the offer:
- Welcome them to the company and tell them how pleased you are to have them working with you. Consider having board members or other leaders send welcoming letters or emails.
- Discuss commuting/parking options.
- Make sure they know where to go and who to ask for on their first day. If they need to wear specific clothing or bring any equipment or materials, give them a written list of these in advance.
A week before new employees’ start date:
- Send agendas for any meetings they will be expected to attend in the first week.
- Give new hires a chance to ask any and all questions they may have. Make it clear that there are no stupid questions and that you want them to feel comfortable and welcomed.
On starting day:
- Make sure new hires’ desks or workstations have all necessary tools, materials, and equipment. Have a welcome card, flowers, and/or a mug to make new employees feel at home.
- Once new hires are settled, make introductions to fellow team members.
- Make sure new employees know the layout of the building. If necessary, supply a map showing where everything is located.
- If you haven’t planned a formal welcome lunch, arrange for someone to eat with the each new hire—even if it’s just in the cafeteria or breakroom. Consider having a coffee and cake break in the afternoon to welcome new workers and give them a chance to get to know their coworkers.
- Assign each new employee a buddy for the first few weeks to help them settle in and feel comfortable.
During the first week:
- Go over the company’s history, mission, and values. Some kind of interactive, multimedia program might be most engaging.
- Make sure each new employee is familiar with organizational leadership, departments/units, etc.
- Use a Wiki or Slack channel to share a directory of resources and groups.
- Provide an overview of the company structure and how each new employee is likely to interact with different teams.
- Arrange for one-on-ones with team leaders, department heads, or others new employees are likely to interact with on a regular basis.
- If this hasn’t been done already, have each new hire meet with HR to go over compensation, benefits, etc.
- Make sure new employees understand protocols for requesting time off, calling in sick, etc.
Of course, onboarding doesn’t end after a week or even two. Over the next few months, seek feedback from new employees on the onboarding experience and their suggestions for improving it. Find out if they have any issues or concerns you can clear up for them. Reassure them that they are a valued part of the organization and that their input and opinions are welcome.