Master the onboarding process: 5 steps to impress new hires

July 4, 2024
4 minute read

We've all been there. It's Sarah's first day, and she's a bit flustered, juggling unfamiliar equipment, a tidal wave of new procedures, and frustrated customers – all while waiting for her uniform and login details.

Sound familiar? A messy onboarding process can sink or swim your new hires, especially in industries with high turnover like retail, hospitality, and healthcare. But what if Sarah's experience was different? Imagine a world where she walks in with a welcome kit and a pre-loaded tablet, ready to learn the ropes from a friendly mentor. This is the power of a masterful onboarding process.

Your onboarding process is a critical phase in the employee lifecycle, setting the stage for a new hire’s success and long-term engagement. Organisations with a robust onboarding process see an 82% improvement in new hire retention and a 70% boost in productivity (Brandon Hall Group).

Here’s how you can streamline your onboarding process in five simple steps.

1. Pre-boarding: lay the groundwork early

Pre-boarding is the phase between the job offer acceptance and the first day. It’s a golden opportunity to make a positive first impression. Did you know that companies investing in a strong pre-boarding process can see a 50% improvement in new hire retention? (SHRM).

  • Send a welcome kit - Include company swag, a personalised welcome letter, and essential information about the first day.
  • Set up accounts and access - Ensure all necessary accounts and accesses are ready before the new hire’s first day.
  • Introduce the team - Send a team introduction email or create a welcome video to help new hires feel connected from the start.

2. Create a structured onboarding plan

Having a structured onboarding plan ensures consistency and covers all necessary bases. Companies with structured onboarding programs enjoy a 60% year-over-year improvement in revenue! (Root)

  • Develop a checklist - Include tasks such as completing paperwork, setting up workstations, and scheduling training sessions.
  • Schedule regular check-ins - Plan weekly check-ins during the first month to address any concerns and provide support.
  • Assign a mentor or buddy - Pairing new hires with a mentor can accelerate their learning curve and integration.

3. Leverage technology for efficiency

Technology can automate repetitive tasks and provide a seamless employee onboarding experience, however 36% of HR executives said that lack of technology prevents them from automating and organising onboarding programs. (Kronos).

  • Use onboarding software - Platforms like Journeys by 50skills can automate onboarding paperwork, track progress, and provide a centralised hub for all onboarding activities.
  • Implement e-learning modules - Online training modules can provide flexible learning opportunities and ensure consistent knowledge transfer.
  • Utilise communication tools - Tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams can facilitate communication and collaboration from day one.

4. Focus on culture and engagement

Integrating new hires into the company culture is crucial for long-term engagement. Deloitte’s research shows that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success (Deloitte).

  • Organise welcome events - Host virtual or in-person welcome events to introduce new hires to the company culture and values.
  • Encourage social connections - Create opportunities for new hires to connect with colleagues through team lunches, coffee chats, or social activities.
  • Share the company’s mission and vision - Help new hires understand the bigger picture and how their role contributes to the company’s goals.

5. Gather feedback and continuously improve

Continuous improvement is key to a successful onboarding process. Gallup reports that only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organisation does a great job of onboarding new employees (Gallup).

  • Conduct surveys - Gather feedback from new hires about their onboarding experience and identify areas for improvement.
  • Hold exit interviews - Learn from employees who leave during the onboarding phase to understand what went wrong and how to fix it.
  • Iterate and improve - Use the feedback to refine your onboarding process continuously, ensuring it remains effective and relevant.

A streamlined onboarding process not only enhances the new hire experience but also boosts retention and productivity, especially in high-turnover industries. By focusing on pre-boarding, creating a structured plan, leveraging technology, emphasising culture and engagement, and gathering feedback, you can create an onboarding process that sets your new hires up for success.

Imagine being able to send a welcome kit, request login access from the IT department, send a team intro on Slack, schedule regular check-ins, gather feedback and much more, all with the click of a button… That’s exactly what’s possible with Journeys by 50skills. Automating your onboarding processes allows you to focus on what truly matters—building a strong, engaged team.

Ready to streamline your onboarding process? Schedule a demo and see firsthand how we can help you boost productivity and impress your new hires.