Employee Onboarding

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In business, employee onboarding refers to the specific processes to bring new hires on board and integrating them into the company. Research has shown that a complete onboarding process has appreciable benefits to both the employee and employer:

  • Improved job performance
  • Cultivation of a sense of belonging and company commitment
  • Better job satisfaction
  • Higher likelihood of employee retention
  • Clearer understanding of employee roles in the organization
  • Improved productivity
  • Cost savings

As a business owner, hiring manager or HR professional, you understand that making a new hire is more than just finding someone to fill a position. It’s an investment in the success of your organization by attracting qualified candidates to realize company objectives, both short-term and long-term. The onboarding process is crucial to an employee’s performance and productivity, so it’s in your best interest as an employer to have a comprehensive onboarding checklist.

Starting a New Hire Without Proper Onboarding

Imagine that it’s your first day with your new employer. You’ve shown up to work bright and early, ready for the next phase in your career. You’re greeted by a receptionist who doesn’t know you from any other visitor. You are directed to have a seat in one of the armchairs, where you wait until someone remembers that you’re here. At some point, you go through an orientation session. You might be introduced to the team you’re working with, as well as where certain equipment and supplies are located.

It seems that you’ve gone through most of the day without a clear understanding of what the expectations on you are, what your role is and where you fit in with the team. You’re missing certain tools that prevent you from hitting the ground running. The lack of a clear onboarding process sets a negative tone not only for your first day but the first few months or more in your new role.

Understanding the Importance of a Checklist

Business processes benefit from having a formalized checklist, and new employee onboarding is no exception. Such a checklist helps to make sure that all necessary activities are included, and that these activities are properly sequenced.

Furthermore, a checklist can be used to make sure that all responsible parties are aware of which activities have been completed and which ones remain. In particular, a new employee onboarding checklist can help make sure that the appropriate resources, including tools, equipment and other people, are available at the right time.

Many business processes start and begin over an extended period of time. An employee onboarding checklist is especially useful for maintaining progress for a particular process, phase or project that lasts for several weeks, months or even years.

Developing an Employee Onboarding Checklist

Now that you understand the need for an onboarding checklist, it’s time to develop a checklist template. Creation of this template should be a collaborative process that includes an operations director, HR personnel, IT pros, new employee committee (if available), administrative staff, a group/discipline lead and other team members as necessary. Each contributor provides input on the various requirements of the onboarding process:

  • Human Resources: New employee paperwork, benefits, company handbook, high-level policy, orientation
  • Operations Director: Formalized offer letter acceptance, company welcome, company culture, orientation
  • New Employee Committee: company welcome, first-day lunch, showing the ropes
  • Group/Discipline Lead: Discussion of role/expectations, mentoring, partnering, work assignments, training materials
  • IT: Employee workstation including computer and phones, network account, email access and security access/badge
  • Administrative: Office supplies, cubicle/office assignment and identification

Depending on your organization’s structure, some responsibilities in the onboarding process may be shared by various personnel. The contributors are responsible for creating the onboarding checklist template. Senior management or HR can be tasked with making sure that each part of the process is properly assigned and completed.

Organizing Your Onboarding Checklist

Logically, the checklist template should be sequenced based on a timeframe. A typical onboarding checklist may follow this scheduling outline:

  • Before the First Day
  • First Day
  • First Week
  • First Month
  • First 90 Days (or end of probation/initiation period, as per organizational policy)

Under each header, the requirements of the checklist can be further broken down by functional responsibility. For example, before the first day, what are the responsibilities of senior management, HR, IT, admin and other staff? Each responsibility should be clearly stated and written in terms of actions to be completed where applicable.

Refining the Onboarding Checklist

For a greater level of control and responsibility, consider building a new employee onboarding checklist that requires staff to sign and date when activities are complete. This helps keep a record and makes sure contributors are accountable for adherence and completion of the checklist.

Assigning dates to headers and the various activities and responsibilities helps team members stay aware of incomplete actions. A more functional checklist process can even notify staff of upcoming or missed deadlines, especially if some requirements are contingent on completion of previous requirements. For example, a signed-off acceptance letter from the new hire could prompt HR or a manager to let IT know what type of equipment to procure:

  • Computer type: A field inspector needs a tablet or laptop, while a drafting technician needs a desktop with two large monitors.
  • Cell phone: Certain management positions require the use of company phones, but some roles don’t require much in the way of external business communications.
  • Software package: Different positions require different types of software, and additional user licenses may need to be procured.
  • Other equipment: Other tools and devices need to be purchased based on the job function of the new hire.

When you consider the implementation of an electronic onboarding checklist template, the options for functionality and efficacy rise considerably.

Onboarding With Fluix

Fluix is a multi-purpose asset management platform that provides a powerful, flexible and scalable option to standardize and streamline your business processes among various teams. Build an onboarding checklist template to implement a process that requires input from multiple personnel. Not only can you develop a template that notifies others in real time, but electronic documents can be associated with various activities in the onboarding process, providing a process system that is current and accessible.

Fluix gives you a lightweight cloud-based system that doesn’t require knowledge of special programming or proprietary operating systems. With our free, no-obligation 14-day trial, see firsthand how Fluix can help you establish or improve your new employee onboarding checklist.

Make Employee Onboarding Faster & Easier

  • Acclimate new hires to the company
  • Keep track of what they do in their first days
  • Evaluate onboarding experience
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