Tips for Building Your Onboarding Program

Finding the best talent has become one of the main challenges businesses have because the competition is growing larger and larger every day. Companies are attending career fairs, posting their job openings on LinkedIn, or even using social media to attract talent. So what do you do once you have attracted and hired talent? Reducing turnover should be a goal for every company, and one of the best ways of doing this is by making the first days for new hires as smooth and welcoming as possible. This is called Onboarding. Onboarding is intended to make new employees familiar with the company and to support them as they start working on their first handful of projects. The Onboarding process is a great way for companies to make a good first impression on their employees. Like mentioned before, the ultimate payoff of onboarding is reducing the company’s turnover rate. According to, research shows that a good onboarding program can boost retention by 50% and productivity by 54%. As simple as onboarding may sound, there are many aspects that are involved in the process, and planning is necessary to have a successful onboarding program. If you already have an onboarding program in your company but are looking to making it better, then you’ve come to the right place. The following are some tips you can utilize to build your onboarding program.

Plan Ahead

It is often believed that the onboarding process doesn’t begin until the new hire's’ first day, but this is wildly inaccurate. In fact, it is recommended for companies to have a pre-onboarding process for their new hires that begins the moment they stumble upon your job posting. A pre-onboarding process allows you to communicate important information to your new hires before their first day. This information can include company values, goals, details surrounding your company culture, or any paperwork the applicant should bring on their first day. This way, the new hire will be able to show up on their first day with plenty of knowledge about the company and will be able to receive more important information from you, such as in-depth information about what their new role in the department and company will entail.

Make It Easy

Think about your first day at a company. How was it? Did you get everything you needed from your supervisor? Did they have a ton of paperwork for you to fill out? Put yourself in the new hire’s shoes. They are not going to want to be filling out a ton of paperwork on their first day. Instead, they should be able to focus on fun things such as touring the office, meeting their new coworkers, and getting acclimated with the company. A great way of making things easy for not only the new hire but yourself as well is by using an Onboarding software. An Onboarding software allows you to assign and monitor new hire tasks and ensure a seamless transition from new hire to employee. Depending on the onboarding software you use, employees can access it at any time from anywhere with an internet connection. This is very helpful since the new hire can complete all the documents they are required to fill out before their first day.


Customize the Program

I know, it is tempting to just come up with a standard plan and use it every time you hire a new employee. Although a certain program may work with some employees, it doesn’t mean that it will work for all. Don’t get me wrong, it is helpful and preferable to have some sort of “base” for all your onboarding programs. After all, you will need the same information from and for most of your new hires. With that said, you should keep in mind that some people are faster learners than others, so for those employees that take a little bit more time to absorb all the information provided to them, it is probably a good idea to have a more in-depth onboarding program. Another important thing to consider is whether your new hire is a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner. Depending on that, you will have to tweak your onboarding program to make it easier for them to learn everything you teach them. Does your new hire prefer to work in a group or individually? These are all necessary things to consider when building your onboarding program.

Get Them Involved

My roommate just started a new job last week. Over the weekend I asked how her first week was, and her response was negative in all ways possible. She said that she didn’t know what to do, so most of the time she sat at her desk without doing anything. She also said that no one would talk to her or include her in conversations, so most days she spent her lunch hour sitting in her car. That saddened me. My onboarding experience with Dominion was completely different. On my first day, my manager took me out to lunch, I was introduced to my other coworkers, and I knew exactly what to do to get started on my work. In order for a new hire to have a positive onboarding experience, they need to feel included. No one likes to sit at their desk without knowing what to do, and nobody should EVER feel like they have to sit in their car for lunch. Before the new hire’s first day, the whole company should be aware of the new employee (or employees) coming in. encourage your employees to say hi, ask them questions, and make them feel welcome. At Dominion, we use Google+ as a way to share information with the rest of the company. New hires post a little introduction about themselves, that way everyone can know a little bit about them and we can all welcome them.

No hiring manager wants to go through the process of interviewing and hiring new employees more than they have to. Not only is the process long and arduous, it can also be quite costly. With a solid, well-thought-out plan in place, you can ensure your new employees get a great first impression of your business. So long as you continue to offer your employees a great experience at work, you’ll see your retention numbers go up and your turnover fall drastically. Want more tips and tricks on how to increase retention in your business? Subscribe to our blog to get all the latest updates on current HR trends.

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