Top 5 Employee Onboarding Best Practices

Mark Jones
September 16, 2022
employee onboarding best practices

Employee onboarding best practices are the anchor to stop you from going adrift.

Surely, you’ve had that sinking feeling? The one where you’ve invested in a super new hire, but it didn’t work out. When it comes to new hires leaving early, you’re not the only fish in the sea. Gen Z spends just over two years in one job. That doesn’t seem long, leaving you with the feeling that something’s off.

What’s more worrying is that 30% of employees leave a job in the first 90 days. Maybe the answer is to be more realistic with new hires. By that, do we mean to tell them Gary in HR has a habit of misplacing paperwork, usually passports? No, there’s a better way. 

The truth is that excellent onboarding leads to 69% of employees staying with you for up to three years. Want in on some of the action? We thought so. That’s why Process Street has written this article to point you in the right direction.

These are the 5 best practices for employee onboarding:

Onboarding tip #1: Use preboarding to get a quick start

Not only can preboarding give you a quick start, but it can also show how organized you are. It’s really up to you how much or how little you cover in preboarding. The golden rule is to try and see it from a new hire’s perspective.

Think about the journey your new hire went through before starting their job. Your new employee likely checked out your reviews before applying for your vacancy. 86% of job seekers now research an organization as routine. 

Another thing to remember is that LinkedIn lets job seekers see how long employees stay with you on average. If they spot that people are leaving in under a month, they’re less likely to apply to your vacancy. With that in mind, it’s essential to make a great impression immediately. 

Using a workflow that integrates preboarding with the onboarding process streamlines your employee’s first contact with your company – and makes sure nothing gets forgotten.

A good example is our pre-made New Hire Onboarding Process Template below, which includes all of the essential preboarding tasks to get your new hire started off on the right foot.

Show workflow  
New Hire Onboarding Process Template
Click here to add this workflow to your free Process Street account.

Preboarding lets you get out of the starting blocks quickly. You can also take a fresh look at your policies and also policies you don’t have. For example, have you explored neurodiversity inclusion, and do you have a policy regarding it? Fresh thinking is your best move, especially as diversity can improve the output of your unit.

Seeing diversity as variety entails a more positive stance toward diversity and understands differences as a source of relevant knowledge or experience among unit members.”

Annette Risberg, Heike Mensi-Klarbach, and Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger, Diversity in Organizations

Provide a buddy

Most organizations provide a buddy on a new hire’s first day. A buddy helps a new hire make an immediate personal connection and learn the unwritten rules of your organization’s culture. New hires with a buddy were 36% more satisfied in their first 90 days. 

But what about giving your new hire a buddy before day one?

Remote employees would be grateful to have a buddy during preboarding. It would also supply the human touch at all onboarding stages. If you bombard a new hire with paper forms to fill in, you may make the experience too impersonal. By offering them a buddy before they begin, the buddy and new hire can work together online using workflow management software.

Onboarding tip #2: Have an onboarding roadmap

A good roadmap for onboarding is as valuable as a treasure map, especially when the best practice is one that encourages new hires to stay with you. Processes can quickly spiral out of control like a spaghetti junction. Keeping on top of them is not easy, which can be off-putting to new staff members.

Almost a third of employees employed in their current job for less than six months are already job searching.”

Mark Stein and Lilith Christiansen, Successful Onboarding

One way to keep your onboarding streamlined and heading in the right direction is to keep your documentation organized. Workflows are a list of the tasks that make up your process. You’ve probably used a similar technique in your daily checklist for some time. However, have you thought about online process transparency

Learn the basics in 3 minutes by watching the video below:

Employee productivity and confidence can be boosted with process transparency. Workflows, especially at the onboarding stage, can make a process as clear as crystal. Workflows also provide roadmaps that both experienced and new HR staff members can follow. 

One step to using optimized workflows is to think about a bad first day you once had in a new job. You may have been left clueless about:

  • The area your new organization was in
  • Transport options to get you to work
  • The hierarchy of the organization 
  • Computer passwords
  • Company software
  • Requesting time off

Thanks to workflows, your new hire can access all of the above. Wherever they are. 

Utilize onboarding templates

Whether office-based or remote, your first contact with new hires may be by email. At Process Street, we designed a pack of employee onboarding email templates. The idea was to supply 10 templates that HR managers could paste directly into their emails. The templates also guide HR staff through preboarding, onboarding, and right into a 90-day meeting.

What about using email templates in an optimized workflow?

By using our workflows, you can cut down on data entry. Variables in the workflow will take the information you have entered and automatically place it in emails you can send directly in your workflow.

Onboarding tip #3: Use your new hire’s insight

employee onboarding best practices: User Your New Hire's Insight

Asking for feedback during preboarding may seem like jumping the gun, but it can provide insight that gives you a winning edge. By asking for input before day one, you can get an idea of the onboarding experience a new hire is having.

Workflows make the overall experience of onboarding faster and more effective. There is no end to the edge that they can give HR managers. For example, mailing paper documents can be a thing of the past with digital signatures. Employees can complete surveys online without creating a paper trail.

With the dawn of virtual reality recruitment, you will likely see a shift to more verbal and video communication. It’s also worth noting that Gen Z prefers multiple screens with images when communicating over long distances.

Don’t forget to Zoom

Gain new hire insight via Zoom meetings. Whether you love Zoom or hate it, the number of participants in daily Zoom meetings has often increased by 30%. Although sometimes awkward, meeting face-to-face – even online – has benefits.

You can also easily record Zoom meetings and training sessions. This will allow your employees to go back and revisit in their own time, ultimately aiding in prompt query resolution.. When setting up your new hire tasks, you can arrange to meet with them on Zoom to discuss their progress. Remote workers will also feel less isolated if they have regular contact, even before their first day. 

I enjoy Zoom meetings. Although, I find it’s too easy to interrupt people if you can’t see them. If someone has their camera turned off, we can easily miss body language signals that guide healthy conversations. To help you and myself, I’ve collected a series of tips.

 Here are five steps to improving video meetings:

  1. Make sure you have a good microphone
  2. Don’t have a distracting background
  3. Have an agenda for your meeting
  4. Be on time
  5. Make a backup plan in the event of internet problems

Onboarding tip #4: Involve your entire organization

employee onboarding best practices: Involve your entire organization

Involving your entire organization in onboarding makes new hires feel welcome and offers them mentoring opportunities. By building critical relationships from day one, a new hire will see future opportunities and be able to understand your organization’s culture.

We’ve created a welcome email to greet new hires in our email onboarding templates. The idea is that human resources can arrange a lunch for the new hire. Other employees can then meet the new hire informally in a canteen or different location. In the email, we suggest HR places a photo of the new hire so that other employees will recognize them.

Workflows are fun

Create online workflows that give insight into the different departments of your organization. This task needn’t be difficult, but your entire organization could benefit from your new hire understanding what each department does. The new hire could even use the workflow at the preboarding stage.

As well as arranging introductory meetings with the heads of other departments, you can create a workflow with a set of tasks. The workflow will take the new hire into what a department does. It can also include videos of existing employees explaining their roles, and you can end the workflow with a short reminder of the information provided.

Onboarding tip #5: Plan beyond the first year

employee onboarding best practices: plan beyond the first year

This article discusses preboarding a lot, and planning beyond the first year is just as important. One idea is to use a 30-60-90-day plan. The plan encourages new hires to stay with your company long-term. It also helps them to adjust to your organization’s culture.

If you’re interested in using a 30-60-90-day plan, Process Street has created a template you can utilize. We’d suggest using it with your free Process Street account. We’d also be happy to hear from you if you’d like a free demo.

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Be smart about documentation

Treasure talented staff and treat them like gold without exceeding the gold standard. How to best do this? You can move all your documents online, ensuring process transparency and ease of use for all employees. What’s more, it’s now possible to do this for free.

At Process Street, we created Pages to make things easier for employees and their direct managers. As Pages allows you to shred documents and outdated processes, all of your company documents will be online and accessible using a smartphone or computer.

Pages also incorporates optimized workflows. As well as your list of tasks in a process, workflows can store your:

  • Photographs
  • Videos
  • Old documents

If you’ve been struggling with Excel and now want to upgrade to workflows, you can include your old Excel sheets in your new workflows. You may never use those files again, but you can store them. Doing so will eliminate your filing cabinets and give you back your office space.

Now there’s no excuse

Okay, you now have some new ideas for employee onboarding best practices. We’d also suggest looking at existing options such as event planning, regular employee reviews, and talking to new hires from day one about career development.

There’s no need to leave the above recommendations to chance. Please remember that an optimized workflow can remember everything for you. Our gallery of custom-made templates will organize your work for you. Why make things difficult for yourself? Stop off at Process Street and take the weight off your feet.

What has your experience with employee onboarding best practices been so far? Do you have any recommendations or suggestions for our readers and us? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Mark Jones

Mark Jones is a content writer at Process Street.

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