5 Steps to Onboarding Success

As a professional recruiter, before I start a search for candidates, I ask the hiring manager to explain their onboarding process. A frequent response is “They’re sales reps. I’ll give them a catalog and a box of business cards.” I’m here to tell you that doesn’t work anymore. If you want higher retention rates and engaged employees then you need to have the proper onboarding procedures in place.

The onboarding period can differ depending on the employee. Employees with industry experience will probably catch on quicker than someone from outside of your industry, as an example. You need to ensure that new hires have the appropriate time to take in and understand all of the necessary skills and knowledge that are critical to their job.

Here are five tips on how to properly onboard an employee:

1.    Be Welcoming
Start off on a good note. When an employee shows up for their first day, make sure they feel welcome. Prepare a designated workspace and give them the basic essentials like paper, pens and etc.

2.    Review Office Culture
A big concern for many employees is whether or not they will fit the company’s culture. Give the new employee a tour of your office and introduce them to the rest of your team. Plan ahead and schedule time out of your day to do this. If Monday’s at 8:00AM are busy for you, don’t ask a new employee to show up at that time. Have them show up at 9:00AM or later so you can make sure you welcome them properly and don’t rush through the process. By doing this, you can point out those who can be helpful to the employee’s professional growth. By introducing them to the other team members, you are establishing communication and helping to forge new relationships.

3.    Set Expectations
One of the easiest ways to overwhelm a new employee is by not setting expectations. Managers should set measurable and attainable goals for the new employee. Managers should also let them know which team members can be the most helpful to them as they learn their new role.
*If you’re new to management, this post should help you get started on the right foot.

4.    Always Give Feedback
This is crucial to employee development. No matter if the feedback is negative or positive; continuously provide your employees with feedback. Many managers take their employees for granted and only provide negative feedback. Providing positive feedback will let the employee know that their efforts are recognized and appreciated. In return, that employee will work harder knowing that you care.

5.    Communicate Regularly
Managers should check in regularly to establish lines of communication. This is important not only when onboarding a new employee, but even after the employee is settled in and left alone to do their job. Regular communication with their manager is a great motivation tool!

Onboarding times will vary, but don’t rush it. Pay attention to detail and provide the new employee with the support, tools and resources so they can be set up for success.


  1. Jason,
    Excellent point. Too many companies look for the “right person”, then don’t provide the right introduction to the company using a good on boarding program. Great post!

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