Creating a New-Hire Onboarding Program

hands with you're hired sign indicates the start of a new-hire onboarding programThe objective for the new-hire onboarding program is to make certain that the individual succeeds at his/her job and becomes a contributing member of the organization. As the employer, start by identifying the fundamental information your new hire needs to quickly assimilate to effectively complete job assignments. Think through what the first day experience should be and what materials, in the form of a welcome packet, will be delivered to the new hire. Clearly define to the new hire what additional training will be necessary during the provisional period to make this individual feel comfortable in the new job.  Here is a sequence of steps for your new-hire onboarding program to ensure a successful acclimation to your business and its culture.

Communicate with the New Employee Prior to Arrival

After the prospective employee has been hired, send a welcome packet that provides the overall picture of the organization, information about the core values your company embraces and background about the company culture.  Maybe there are activities scheduled in which members of the organization participate.  Convey the human side of business that your new hire will be joining.  Secondly, a FAQ sheet is helpful that outlines hours of work pay days, dress code and other fundamental policies and procedures.

Introduce the New Employee to the Workforce Staff Prior to Arrival

It is helpful for the staff to know a little bit about the new hire prior to his/her arrival.  Ask the new employee to share some background information that can be shared through an email or memorandum.  Just something that allows everybody to know there’s a new person on board. If your staff knows a little more about the new employee’s favorite hobbies or interests, it makes it easier for them to extend a warm welcome.  Breaking into a new culture is one of the most difficult obstacles for any new person.

First Day Welcome

One important welcome message should come from the company owner or CEO.  Extend a personal welcome to the new hire and take the time to answer any questions he or she may have.  Warm and fuzzy is a good feeling on the first day of a new job.  In addition, host an informal reception at break time to allow the staff to come and meet the new hire.   Even if you provide donuts, fruit and coffee, the gesture is a way to celebrate their decision to join your team.  We also suggest that some staff members take the new employee to lunch so that the person begins to feel at home and to build comradery.  Refer to the checklist that is included at the end of this article.

Review Policies and Procedures

Make sure you review the company mission, vision rules and values of your company.  Part of the day will include the completion of paperwork.  That is part of the onboarding process.  The new hire must be given a copy of the employee policy handbook, which can be reviewed and signed, acknowledging that they understand the policies.  In addition, the company’s benefit programs, payroll, training and performance appraisal procedures must be reviewed.  Outline acceptable work behavior including the treatment of other employees and customers.

Tour the Workplace

Host a tour of the workplace so that the new employee becomes familiar with the surroundings, including the lunch room, meeting areas and restrooms.  Show them where different departments work and the workspace where this new hire can call home.  Review workplace safety and emergency procedures.  This person will feel more welcomed if their desk has been equipped with office supplies, stationary, telephone and computer.  Such advanced preparations make fitting into a new culture that much easier.

Create an Orientation Schedule

Plan the appropriate office visits with key people and departments through approximately the first week of employment.  Ideally, the agenda can be structured with one or two visits in the morning, followed by a lunch with a fellow employee.  Leave the afternoons for the new employee to get accustomed to the new job.

Assign a Battle Buddy

In the military, every soldier is assigned a battle buddy to assist each other in and out of combat and to watch each other’s back.  Even though companies are not battle grounds, the idea of assigning a buddy is a good one.  Your new employee should be paired with an experienced staff member to answer any questions during this training period.  This mentoring process offers another way of learning company procedures and who to contact when questions arise.  Choose your mentor wisely.  They are the voice of the company for new hires.

Orientation Review

After the first month, convene an unofficial review.  By talking to the new hire, you can learn what worked and what didn’t work with your onboarding process.  This two way communication allows you to learn how to improve your onboarding process while answering any lingering questions the individual may still have.  This allows you to ensure that your employee is feeling comfortable and contributing to the organization.

Designing the Welcome Package

Some companies opt to include welcome kit materials in tote bags emblazoned with the company’s logo instead of a traditional folder.  Include a Checklist that itemizes what is contained in the package.

Welcome Materials
  • Welcome letter from the CEO
  • Training schedule and orientation events
  • Background on the company culture, and employee testimonials about why they like their jobs.
Company Information
  • The company’s mission and vision statements, core values
  • The organizational chart and key contact information
  • Payroll and holiday Schedules
  • Key policy instructions
Other Helpful Information to Include in the Welcome Package
  • Recommended nearby eateries
  • Map of the local area with places of interest
  • Public transportation or parking information
  • A business management book fellow employees find helpful
  • Small promotional items, pens coffee mugs, etc. displaying the company’s logo

Download Creating a New-Hire Onboarding Program as a pdf

Dr. Ann Gatty is president of Strategic People Solutions, a business consulting firm, helping businesses add value-assets to their businesses. For the past twenty years she and her husband, Gene, have been providing leadership development programs, business implementation strategies, and solving HR employment issues. Ann has recently created The Business Sphere of Excellence® a strategic business planning model used to construct annual and long range business plans helping businesses run more efficiently and profitably. Dr. Ann Gatty is an expert in understanding and creating a diverse workplace culture. She currently focuses on improving workplace productivity, leadership development and women entrepreneurs.
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