For most new employees, making a good first impression is a top priority. New hires naturally want to instill a sense of confidence in their employers and offer reassurance that bringing them aboard was a good decision. And while this sentiment should be reciprocated from company to employee, the fact is that it too often isn’t — at least from an organizational standpoint. 

Here’s the thing: onboarding is a critical early phase of any employee/employer relationship. Without a smooth employee onboarding process, new hires may lose faith in the organization and question their decision to accept the job. What’s more, a well-oiled onboarding system can save companies big in time and resources. 

That’s why today, we’re discussing exactly how to optimize your employee onboarding procedure. But before we dive into the nuts and bolts of it, let’s get clear on exactly what a new hire onboarding process is.

What is an employee onboarding process?

Let’s face it: starting a new job can be stressful, both for new employees and the hiring organization. From legal documentation to training modules and equipment issuance, it takes a lot to get a new team member up and running, especially when they may be a remote hire. This period of initiation — the time in which new hires are oriented to their surroundings and introduced to various departments and organizational protocols — is what’s known as employee onboarding

An onboarding process, then, is a defined and organized procedure that systematically takes new employees through each and every task they’ll need to complete in order to be integrated into the company’s systems. 

Why is an onboarding process important?

There are a few reasons why smooth employee onboarding is essential to your organization’s success. From a practical standpoint, a well-structured onboarding process will save your company time and, therefore, money. As a manager, you’re always looking to streamline SOPs and reduce inefficiencies across your operations — it only makes sense that you should do the same for your onboarding procedure.

At a deeper level, though, the onboarding process can have a major psychological impact on new hires. Failure to properly onboard can etch a negative impression of your company in the minds of incoming team members, which in turn can lead to higher employee turnover. In fact, 69 percent of employees who experience great onboarding are more likely to stay with a company for three years, and 58 percent of them are more likely to stay beyond the three-year mark. 

Additionally, showing new employees that you’re invested in them with an organized onboarding process will go a long way in making them feel valued — which is always good for business

Any way you slice it, a smooth onboarding process can set both you and your new hires up for immediate and long-term success. 

Top employee onboarding tips

Now that we understand why an efficient onboarding system is so important, let’s look at a few tips for ensuring your new hires get the most out of the onboarding process.

1. Avoid information overload

There’s always a lot to take in when beginning a new job. But inundating incoming team members with too much too quickly can overwhelm them and skyrocket stress levels. 

A great way to avoid information overload is by implementing easy-to-follow checklists for day one, week one, and so forth. This will help new hires easily navigate the onboarding process and mitigate early burnout. 

2. Show them a clear path forward

Along with orienting new employees to their physical surroundings and introducing them to department heads and workmates, it’s important to communicate exactly what’s expected of them — and exactly how they can progress within the company. This goes back to the psychological component of onboarding; by clearly laying out expectations and an upward path, your new hires can more easily visualize themselves growing with your organization over the long term. And as you already know, what’s good for employee retention is good for the bottom line

3. Emphasize company culture and encourage connection

Administrative paperwork, HR training, and equipment set up are all important aspects of new hire onboarding. But it’s just as important to humanize the process and ensure new employees have a chance to personally connect with their team members, managers, and other department heads with whom they’ll interact in the future. 

Make sure your onboarding process also includes an introduction to the company’s culture — that is, organizational values, customs, and norms. For instance, you’ll want to give your new hires the low down on the dress code, as well as any acceptable departures from the standard, such as casual Fridays.

Remember: the more welcome, supported, and personally connected you can make new hires feel, the more likely they are to fully invest themselves into your organization and stick around for the long haul.

How Wrike’s onboarding template can help

One of the best ways to implement an efficient employee onboarding process is by using an onboarding template — and at Wrike, we’ve put together a free comprehensive onboarding template that can help you get new hires up and running quickly and easily. 

This onboarding checklist template will help you:

  • Relieve your team’s stress by ensuring everyone has the information needed to successfully bring new hires onboard
  • Simplify the process for new employees, as they can see exactly what’s expected of them — and when
  • Easily track new team member progress as they check off employee onboarding tasks one by one

Ready to see just how easy bringing new hires up to speed can be? Tap the button below to download our free onboarding template today!

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