6 Steps for Onboarding New Employees

March 8, 2017 Rieva Lesonsky

Congratulations— you’ve finally found the perfect hire from the pool of job candidates you interviewed. Now how do you ensure new employees come on board smoothly so they feel welcome? Here are six steps to help you assimilate new employees successfully into your business.

  1. Handle paperwork ahead of time. No one wants to spend their first day at work filling out a stack of forms. You can email W-4 forms, I-9 employment eligibility verification forms, emergency contact information and other documents to the employee ahead of time to print out, sign and bring in on the first day. This will help them hit the ground running on day one.
  2. Create an employee handbook. If you don’t already have one, an employee manual or handbook is an essential step in incorporating new employees into the fold. The handbook should explain the rules of your business, such as work hours, breaks, sick time and vacation time, pay schedule and dress codes. Have employees read the handbook and sign a document confirming they understand the information. As with other paperwork, you can save time by emailing a PDF of the handbook to the employee to read in advance or sharing a link to it online.
  3. Set up a workstation before the employee arrives. There’s nothing more unsettling for a new staff member than showing up on the first day only to discover there’s no place to work or tools to work with. Prepare all the essentials, whether that’s a uniform for your new server, a laptop for your new bookkeeper, or business cards for your new salesperson, so the person can get right to work.
  4. Introduce the new employee to the rest of the team. If your staff is big enough that remembering names might be tricky, provide some type of cheat sheet or org chart to help. Along with introductions, explain a bit about what each employee does so the new staffer can get a sense of where everyone fits into your business.
  5. Set up a buddy system. Have another employee in the same department serve as a buddy for the new employee during their first week or so. He or she can answer questions (especially questions the new worker may not want to bother his or her boss about, such as, “Where’s the restroom?”), provide introductions and generally make the person feel welcome. A buddy can also be invaluable in introducing the new worker to your company culture, such as the happy hours the accounting department goes to on Fridays or the company softball team.
  6. Make the person feel special. Plan to take the new employee out to lunch on that first day, along with his or her immediate supervisor. This not only gives you a chance to get to know each other, but also makes the new employee feel special on a stressful day.
  7. Plan for training. Assign a co-worker or supervisor to handle the new employee’s job training. Set up regular check-ins, such as at the end of the first day, end of the first few weeks and the end of each month before the first 90 days, to make sure the employee is acclimating properly.

By taking these simple steps, you can ensure your business makes a good first impression on your newest team member and set him or her up for a successful career with your business.

 

 

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