10 keys to successful onboarding checklist

You found the perfect candidate, got them through your interview rounds, made a compelling offer, and they accepted. Job well done! However, this is no time to rest on your laurels. There’s still work to be done. Research shows that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. Not to mention, up to 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days. To make sure that you are setting your new hires up for success, follow the 10 keys to successful onboarding checklist below.

#1 – Onboarding Starts Before Day 1

Item #1 on you onboarding checklist is remembering that onboarding a new employee starts the moment they accept an offer. Use digital onboarding software to get the appropriate forms, paperwork, and information reviewed and completed before day one. This way, you don’t waste valuable time going through administrative tasks on your new hire’s first day.

#2 – Keep In Touch

The time between offer acceptance and the first day is filled with uncertainty. Find reasons to reach out to your new hire and keep them engaged:

  • What type of computer do they prefer?
  • What size company t-shirt do they want?
  • Coffee or tea?

You get the point… Keep the dialogue going until you see the whites of their eyes on their first day.

#3 Get Their Workspace Ready

This one is self-explanatory. Whether your new hire will be working at a desk with a laptop, on the factory floor, or somewhere in between, everything should be setup for them and ready to go on day one.

Have a checklist:

  • Email
  • Your company’s internal messaging system
  • The intranet
  • HR application
  • Other systems and tools they will need access to

New hires should be ready to go with all of these on their first day.

#4 New Hire Welcome Package

Starting a new job is a big moment (for the new hire and your company as well), so show some enthusiasm! Among other things, our new hires are welcomed with a Newton t-shirt, water canteen, and notebook waiting for them at their desk. It doesn’t need to be extravagant, just enough to show that you care.

#5 Schedule One-On-One Time

The first day of a new job can be overwhelming and even a bit isolating. Schedule one-on-one time to make sure your new hire is settling in. Some topics to discuss are:

  • Overview of the company culture and tour of the workplace
  • What they can expect from their first week- People to meet, training they will go through, etc…
  • Discussion of their role and their success metrics

#6 Make It Official

A warm welcome from the team can go a long way towards making a new hire feel at home. On their first day, use your company’s internal messaging system to introduce them to the team and invite your colleagues to join you in welcoming them. At Newton, we introduce new hires to our teams in San Francisco and Fort Collins by sharing the following with the team:

  • Their full name
  • The team or department they will be on
  • Their title
  • A fun fact about them

#7 Share Company Contacts

This one often gets overlooked so be sure to share a listing of company contacts with your new hire. They need to know who’s on their team and how to get ahold of them. Pictures are a huge help for those of us that have trouble with names.

#8 Team Lunch

One of your questions after a new hire signs the offer letter and before their first day should be, “What is your favorite kind of food?” Schedule a team lunch in accordance with their preferences and invite other members from the team.

*Sometimes, we enjoy taking our team to more obscure restaurants that serve food outside of what we typically eat. This serves as a great ice breaker and makes for a memorable first day.*

#9 Have a 30-60-90 Day Plan

The act of preparing this plan alone will get you ready for a new hires first day. Beyond this, a 30-60-90 day plan provides structure to the formative onboarding period.

Set goals for each milestone. What should your employee accomplish by 30 days? 60? 90? These goals give you criteria to review their onboarding progress. Don’t just evaluate your new hire, make sure to have them provide feedback on how things are going as well.

#10 Schedule Meetings With Someone From Each Team Ahead of Time

The best employees are always those that have a comprehensive understanding of the business as a whole. Enabling your new hire to understand how each team functions gives them the context they need to develop this understanding.


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