Great Employee Onboarding Tips

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Great Employee Onboarding Tips

Onboarding is important — really important. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. Furthermore, 54% of companies with onboarding programs reported higher employee engagement. WIth that said, we went looking for some top tips for facilitating the best employee onboarding processes. Here are the eight tips we found:

tip 1 — Arrange One-on-One Time with Direct Managers

Linkedin says that a whopping 96% of 14,000 global professionals surveyed cited that spending one-to-one time with their direct manager was the most important aspect of their onboarding experience. Time spent with managers can be an easy way to help employees break the ice with their superiors and can help establish a solid foundation for a good rapport between managers and employees.

Tip 2 — Set Expectations and Goals Early

What's the second most important aspect of onboarding? Linkedin knows and says that it's setting expectations and goals early. This is crucial to a new employee's success for both the employee and employer because doing so establishes realistic expectations from the get go and helps to avoid uncertainty about job expectations. It's also important that these goals be set in increments, as 60% of companies set long-term goals or expectation that may be completed at the three-, six-, and nine-month marks.

tip 3 — Plan and organize

Planning and organization is almost always a good place to start for most things and employee onboarding is no exception to that. In fact, being well planned and organized is one of the best employee onboarding tips because successful onboarding is a process and, as such, needs to be carefully structured. A great way to keep the onboarding organized is to create a checklist. That checklist helps to streamline the flow of the onboarding process, which can be rather detailed, and also helps to avoid mistakes or problems during the employee onboarding process.

tip 4 — Automate

Automation is one of the top tips when it comes to employee onboarding for a few very important reasons. First, automation saves that precious, priceless commodity called time. Second, automated onboarding tools simplify what can otherwise be a somewhat complex onboarding process, as it provides a better experience for both the employee and employer. Through automation and related technologies, such as a web-based employee onboarding systems, employers can better standardize, streamline, track, and coordinate every step of their employee onboarding processes.
Simply put, automated onboarding technologies make life easier for employers and employees alike — a true win-win. These reasons make automation not just a tip for the best employee onboarding, but also one of the top onboarding trends for such.

tip 5 — Be creative, unique, and personal

As the saying goes, first impressions are lasting impressions. That's exactly why employee onboarding shouldn't be dull. Companies that get creative, unique, and personal with their employee onboarding provide a great welcoming experience to their new colleagues, which in turn can actually benefit the company too by creating a strong company culture.

Some simple, yet effective ways companies can welcome new hires from the get-go on the first day include decorating their desks or giving them welcome gifts such as flowers, lunch certificates, or even a simple coffee mug to help ease their first-day stress. A few other ideas for welcoming new employees and making a good impression on them include giving them small gifts such as a branded notebook, pens, T-shirt, or water bottle.
Sure, personalized onboarding requires a little extra effort, but it's totally worth it because it forms a connection with the employees right from the beginning.

tip 6 — preboarding (translation: onboarding that Starts before the first Day)

Onboarding should start before the employee starts their job. For an employee to get off to a good start, they need to be ready to do so. That's precisely why it's incumbent upon companies to make sure those employees are ready to go before their first day. This concept has earned the nickname "preboarding." The sooner that onboarding starts, the better, as it can have a big, positive impact on an employee's readiness for the job and the work productivity to follow.

As an added benefit, early onboarding that starts before day one gives employees the chance to get to know the company better when they actually have the time and space to do so, before they get busy with their work. Plus, early onboarding that starts before day one even helps from an employer branding standpoint!

tip 7 — Make the Process Cross-Departmental with Collaborative Onboarding

"Cross-departmental onboarding" is a fancy way of saying that collaboration is the name of the game when it comes to onboarding. Regardless of the preferred term, onboarding that is collaborative is essential because it builds rapport among employees outside of just their respective departments. The ultimate goal of collaborative onboarding is to foster a strong sense of community within the company, which is achieved through such interactivity and involvement across the organization. Collaborative onboarding also helps to reduce/eliminate feelings of isolation that new employees might have in their brand new 9-5, which can provide greater levels of comfortability and confidence.

Tip 8 — Double-Down on Company Culture, Values, and Principles

Here's an alarming statistic: 81% of new hires fail due to a lack of cultural fit. Here's an easy way to lower the odds of that happening: Share the company's value proposition, mission statement, and/or principles with employees as part of the onboarding process. This is important in both the short-term and long-term because a poor cultural fit will impact employee engagement and performance.
Companies such as Zappos use the onboarding process to screen whether employees are a good fit for the organization to make sure values and principles match, including through the company's "Pay to Quit" program.


We explored different websites that can provide the best employee onboarding tips such as HBR, SHRM, the Balance Careers, and media websites such as Forbes and we were able to see different lists of the best or top employee onboarding tips, best practices, and even trends. We went through the lists one by one and selected eight best employee onboarding tips that were considered top or best tips found in two or more sources.