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Checklist for Successful Onboarding

September 24, 2022

By Heather Nezich, ASE

An organization’s onboarding process is one of the most significant factors in determining not only the effectiveness of new employees in their role, but also their overall engagement and satisfaction with the company.

The orientation process should begin with planning ahead for the new employee’s arrival. The following checklist from Zywave, now available in the ASE Member Dashboard, will help you create a seamless and successful employee onboarding:

  • Notify everyone in the new employee’s department (and depending on the size, the organization) that a new person is starting.
  • Assign one of your employees to show your new hire the new workplace environment, make introductions, and respond to any questions. This is a great way to put your new employee at ease.
  • Encourage the team to welcome and support the new employee.
  • Ensure that the employee’s work location is clean and organized.
  • Set up access to the company’s network or intranet, email, and telephone system.
  • Arrange for a building pass, IDs, and parking pass, if necessary.
  • Provide employee handbook, benefits packet, new hire forms, and payroll details. Be sure to respond to any questions your new employee may have or refer the employee to the person in charge of benefits.
  • Arrange to have lunch with the new employee, if possible.
  • Develop a training plan to ensure that the new employee’s first few months go smoothly.
  • Organize a list of key people (i.e., team and management) your new employee should meet to get a better understanding of everyone’s roles.

The duration of the orientation program can range from 2-3 hours to several days depending on the amount of information and complexity of the job. But be careful to avoid overloading your new employee with too much information on the first day. The best way to measure the success of your program is if the new employee has enough information to feel confident and productive.

Special considerations for onboarding remote employees include:

  • Preboard – Send new hires any information they may find useful in advance of day one.
    • Welcome letter
    • A detailed schedule for the employee’s first week
    • A welcome kit, including Information about the company and the industry
    • Specific plans for delivery and setup of the employee’s technology and workstation
    • Information about a BYOD policy, if applicable
    • Helpful first-day resources, including a schedule and information about who their manager or mentor will be
    • Essential HR and tax forms
    • Any necessary links for virtual meetings or video conferences
    • Passwords and credentials for initial login
    • State-specific considerations and employer liability
  • As you set expectations for the new employee, ensure technology-specific expectations are clearly articulated through the recruiting and onboarding process.
  • Be prepared and prioritize having a high-functioning computer ready to go for the new employee on day one.
  • Training new hires remotely isn’t always ideal for managers or the new employee. As such, prioritize the training and only train new hires on the skills that are absolutely essential for them to be able to do their job. As they progress into learning more about their role, there will be plenty of opportunities for more advanced training.
  • Set clear expectations ahead of time, and make sure to pass along a checklist of steps that should be completed to the employee. Giving clear guidelines on how to accomplish tasks will make the employee feel confident and at home.
  • For documents such as policies and the employee handbook, there should be remote-specific dialogue and expectations.

Evaluate your onboarding program routinely to make sure you are keeping up with workplace policies, practices, and changing staff needs. When possible, get feedback from those who have gone through orientation to see if you can improve your company’s program.

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