Giving your new employee a great onboarding experience from Day 1 will set the tone on what’s to come, and leave a lasting impression on your new team member. Every interaction and experience they have with their new colleagues in the early days really will count. Onboarding is also more than just an admin task and training. It’s more holistic than that. A great onboarding experience makes them feel welcome, it gives them a good understanding of what’s expected from them and the tools and knowledge to help them be productive and successful. Below is a guide on how to create a simple 7 step induction plan that will give your new starter a 5-star onboarding experience.

Step 1 – Develop the training plan

Before Day 1, liaise with their manager to organise a structured training plan. Decide how the training will be delivered and who will be assigned to each training activity. Give your new starter a call a few days before, telling them how excited you are to have them join the team and what you have planned for them in the first few weeks. Let them know you’ll be sending them a training plan (so they know what to expect), job description and any other resources that will help them prepare for the first day.

Step 2 – Set up their workspace

The day before your new employee starts, get all of their equipment ready and include any company branded merchandise and goodies you may have that will really make them feel part of the business. This could be a t-shirt, cap, pens, branded notepads etc. Test all of the systems logins to make sure they all work. There is nothing worse than a new starter twiddling their thumbs on their first morning because they can’t even login. For a personal touch, leave them an inspiring letter to help them understand that they are there to do something special. Apple do a great job of this and you can use this as a source of inspiration to create something unique.

Step 3 – Make sure the manager is prepared

Confirm with their manager that they have the training plan locked into everyone’s schedule and that the new employee will be busy learning and building relationships with the team. Decide on who will be the best onboarding buddy to give them 1:1 support (see further below). Don’t leave your new starter on their own reading training material or watching videos for days on end as this does not constitute a great onboarding. Interaction with others through shadowing is much more effective.

Step 4 – The role and intro to what’s expected

On Day 1, go through the job description and the training plan in more detail. Break down the role and make it very clear what’s expected of them – by month 1, month 3 and month 6. The most common problems new starters have about their onboarding is the lack of clarity around what they are supposed to be doing. If they haven’t been trained properly and aren’t 100% clear on what you expect, how are they to know if they’re not performing? Introduce them personally to the team and the wider business. Then take them on a tour of the office or building, showing them the important things like the bathrooms, kitchen area, first aid, fire escapes, key personnel and where to find their buddy.

Step 5 – Give them an onboarding buddy

Onboarding buddies provide relevant context on how things are done within the business and can help new starters navigate their new team. They can also shed light on the business’s cultural norms and any of the unspoken rules that exist, which could lead to a much smoother transition into the organisation. Having that ‘safe person’’ to ask all those niggling silly questions we all have when we first start can also be a real stress reliever. Giving someone an onboarding buddy for support will also boost productivity and employee happiness.

Step 6 – Check-ins

Starting a new role can be a nerve-wracking experience for some people and they may not have the confidence to speak up if they need some help (especially if they can’t remember people’s names). Gentle encouragement is sometimes all they need to feel comfortable enough to open up. Some people will just fit it and adjust straight away. Just remember that every employee will be different and that’s OK.

Step 7 – Survey

Survey your new starters. By the end of their first 2-4 weeks, every new starter should be able to say . . . “I feel welcomed here, I know what’s expected of me and I’m feeling productive”. If they don’t, you need to change what you’re doing because it’s not working, and you risk having these new people leave.

Don’t let a busy schedule get in the way of creating an amazing employee onboarding experience. A great onboarding process will improve employee engagement and produce a happy and productive employee much sooner. Which should be what every business wants. Speak with one of the Workplace Advice team at Employment Innovations to see how the right onboarding plan for your business can help new team members hit the ground with their feet running. Contact us today or call 1300144120.