Congratulations! You found the perfect hire for your company, and have filled your headcount during a long-running labor shortage. Now, let’s make sure you get that person to stick around! You need an employee onboarding checklist to make sure those first critical experiences and interactions between the employee and your company are meaningful and engaging.
Onboarding is often treated as just a formality. But it’s so much more important than people realize.
50% of workers quit within the first 120 days of a new job. So retention strategies have to start the moment an employee is hired.
The Benefits of a Well-Structured Onboarding Process
First, let’s start with the basics—what is employee onboarding?
Onboarding is an employee’s first introduction to the company. It’s the period of time from when they’re hired until they’re really up and running in their job. Yes, it includes the usual start-up paperwork, like tax forms and healthcare enrollment. But it also includes training, meeting their manager and coworkers, getting familiar with company culture, learning all they need to know for their new role, and making them feel like a part of the team.
A recent Harvard Business Review article summed it up well:
A Paperless Onboarding Employee Checklist and Experience
Having an “onboarding a new employee checklist” brings structure to the process. And to strengthen the process even further, having that onboarding checklist on a mobile productivity app like Beekeeper makes it even smoother and allows hiring managers to streamline onboarding steps through one easy portal. It can create consistency, allow new hires to move quickly through the different phases of onboarding, and allow HR teams to easily track the progress for each new employee from a single dashboard.
Having a structured, digital onboarding checklist has benefits for the company, HR, and new employees.
Benefits of an Employee Onboarding Checklist for a Company
- An employee onboarding checklist can make the process faster and get hires up and running faster, which means faster time to productivity. And let’s not forget compliance: when there’s a digital checklist, nothing gets overlooked and people can easily find and fill out every required form.
- A productivity platform can automate the mundane parts of onboarding and centralize all paperwork and forms and allow HR teams to really focus on engagement strategies.
- The better the onboarding experience, the higher a company’s overall retention rate and the more cohesive the culture is, and the higher the engagement, and all of the benefits that go along with that.
Benefits of a New Employee Onboarding Checklist for HR
- HR can easily get stuck in the onboarding hamster wheel: spending all of their time with the same processes for every new hire. Instead, an onboarding program that is digitally structured can automate those repetitive tasks and free hiring teams for more value-add and, let’s face it, more enjoyable tasks.
- The more that HR teams put into designing a good onboarding experience, the less recruiting and hiring they’ll have to do for the same jobs in the long run thanks to a lower turnover rate.
- These days, teams are more dispersed than ever. And chances are, hiring managers are bringing on more than just one new employee at a time. Getting everyone up and running can be chaotic. But with a digital onboarding checklist, all hires can be funneled through one platform to easily manage onboarding for everyone.
Benefits of a New Employee Onboarding Checklist for Employees
- Just like companies spend time finding the right candidates, job seekers have also spent time looking for the right job at the right company. They want to love it, really they do! If their first experiences with the company are positive, statistics show they’re more likely to feel settled and stay with the company longer.
- The quicker and easier employees can get through all of that necessary paperwork, the sooner they get to their jobs and work with their new teammates, integrate into the culture, and feel like they’re where they are supposed to be.
- Most employees start a new job with an optimistic outlook. They want to be productive, they want to be successful, and they want to do good work. Having a good onboarding experience sets them up to achieve these goals.
An Example of An Effective Onboarding Process
Onboarding employees can deliver terrific ROI if done right. Here’s an example of effective onboarding strategies in a hospitality setting that engages new hires from day one.
“A great place to work for all.” That’s the motto of Concord Hotels, a hospitality group with more than 5,600 associates spread across 150 properties. When the leadership team was looking for a way to truly live up to that mission and connect every employee, they found Beekeeper.
First intending a slow rollout with a goal of a 50% adoption rate over six months, the app caught on, and within three months 75% of the staff was active on the platform.
With that kind of reach, Beekeeper quickly became an engagement tool and Concord uses it as a one-stop employment shop. And that starts at onboarding. Every new hire logs onto Beekeeper on their first day. Concord uses its frontline success system to introduce them to the team, send handbooks and policies, conduct training, and create a strong, connected culture. And with a diverse workforce that represents 105 different nationalities, every employee can access the information in their preferred language. With this engagement strategy that starts at onboarding, Concord really is creating a great place to work.
New Hire Onboarding Checklist
When it comes to creating an employee onboarding checklist there are certain elements that need to be included for a fast, smooth experience for both the new employee and the hiring team.
Here are five tips to set the stage for a positive onboarding experience.
1. Outline the Onboarding Schedule and Training Plan
You can’t communicate enough during an employee’s first months on the job. The more information you give them, the better off they’ll be. Lay out the onboarding schedule, from pre-onboarding to completion. Digitally share the onboarding checklist so there are no surprises and they can easily manage the tasks from their mobile device. Also, share training schedules and any related content (videos, safety sheets, etc.) over the productivity app and let them get started as soon as they’re ready.
2. Sharing Essential Information and Company Policies
Another first step of any onboarding process should be to communicate company policies, share employee handbooks that lay out expectations, code of conduct, and procedural information. Employees should sign these informational forms to acknowledge receipt and understanding. Doing this on the communication tool also allows them to be digitally stored for future reference.
3. In-Person Meet and Greet
These days, most teams are remote or dispersed. But make sure to bring each new hire in for an individual or group meet and greet with their manager and team. Even if they don’t see everyone every day it’s important to create that in-person connection that can’t be replaced virtually.
4. Utilizing Communication Platforms for Efficient Pre-Onboarding
As soon as someone accepts a job, send them the invite to join your company’s workplace app. Here is where you can share all company communication, starting with the official welcome letter, and get them set up with any tools or information they need to begin their role. Then, use that portal for all communication so it keeps employees engaged.
5. Assigning a Mentor or Onboarding Buddy
Pair new hires with an experienced member of your staff so they have a guide during their first few months on the job. A mentor is someone they can go to with any questions, meet with for weekly check-ins or even lunch, and be an overall support person as the employee becomes familiar with the company.
Beyond Onboarding: Continuing Support and Engagement
Your new employees are up and running and officially part of your team. And if you’ve done a good job at onboarding then you’re already boosting retention by 82%. But as employees transition from the onboarding phase into the day-to-day routine, it’s important to keep those engagement fires burning. In other words, build a strong onboarding and beyond.
Digital Engagement Strategies
If you’ve started employees off on a productivity app at onboarding, you’ve already got their attention. Now, continue to build on that platform and keep the engagement growing:
- Use it as your main messaging portal so employees rely on it to receive updates and information.
- Encourage workers to initiate communication and create their own posts in dedicated company streams. Sometimes a little gamification can help, too.
- Use the platform as a recognition tool, like when congratulations are due for an employee who goes above and beyond for a customer, or even for non-work related life events, like a birthday or a new baby.
Training should be an ongoing engagement strategy. Once employees have transitioned from the onboarding phase to a normal routine, make sure to offer an array of training content on the productivity platform. Beekeeper’s partnership with learning company EduMe allows companies to offer training courses in an employee’s preferred language and for different stages of the career lifecycle (i.e. onboarding and ongoing training) to ensure career growth and retention.
Your future managers should come from your current staff whenever possible. It’s an added incentive for them to stay longer. Offer those training courses on your productivity tool. But also continue with mentorship programs so employees can work side by side with a senior team member to gain the skills needed to move up to the next level. It’s a great retention strategy and also retains institutional knowledge at your company.
Leverage Analytics to Strengthen the Employee Experience
With a workplace communication tool, leaders can use their analytics dashboard to see what engagement strategies are working and which ones fall flat. From onboarding through the employee lifecycle, managers can continually optimize the employee experience.
The Future Begins at Onboarding
As you get ready to go through your next round of interviews and find the right candidates, remember the importance of starting off strong. Build an employee onboarding checklist that makes these first weeks and months seamless, efficient, and engaging. Then watch your retention grow!