Turnover is expensive. It’s estimated that replacing an entry-level employee is up to 50% of their salary. That percentage only increases as you move up within the company. Along with the financial burden, morale and productivity can suffer from a person’s removal from a team or organization. Great onboarding can reduce time to productivity, make a positive financial impact more quickly, and increase employee drive. A perfect onboarding process also establishes a culture of learning and growth. That culture then translates to higher employee retention. In fact, new employees who go through a structured onboarding program are 58% more likely to stay with the organization after three years.

Some companies try to replace their onboarding process with a simple orientation process. Their new employees may have a meet and greet with the other members of the team and get a tour of the facility. After that, they’re handed their laptop and shown to their desk. The difference between onboarding and orientation is the length, depth, and effectiveness.

To establish a successful onboarding process, you’ll need an onboarding timeline. If your onboarding timeline is one or two weeks, your employees could drop off quickly. On average, only 37% of companies extend their onboarding programs beyond the first month, but those who do see more engaged and productive employees. This does not mean that you need to have constant training for weeks or months, but just occasional check-ins with employees. Start them out with something simple that they can do instead of looking at presentations and reading through manuals all day. Give them a mentor they can shadow to pick up on tricks you may have missed in training.

To have a great employee onboarding process, you must plan. You need to have a plan of what you want your new employees to achieve or experience every month of their onboarding process. They’ll get more accustomed to their individual task within the first month, but be sure to teach them big picture ideas as well. Without planning, onboarding can be confusing to employees and imply that a company has no idea what it’s doing.

Employees that know the big picture of their individual task will have greater motivation and may even have great ideas how to improve the bigger picture. Clarifying a finish line can completely change an employee’s mindset.

Onboarding process

To start with the most basic definition of the onboarding process, it is the process that gets your employees up to speed and turns them into productive employees in your organization. Every company needs onboarding regardless of tasks and regardless of culture. As easy as things seem to be after a few months of doing them, you too were at one stage clueless as to how this company ran. When you hire a new person, you cannot expect them to pick everything up as quickly. But, with a quality onboarding process, they may pick it up even faster than you.

The employee onboarding process is the first impression your new employees have of you outside the recruiting and hiring process. To make a good first impression, you’ll need to establish a good onboarding process that immediately integrates new team members and gives them the tools they need to be successful. Locking your new hires in a dark room to only listen to presentation after presentation and review an employee onboarding process ppt made in 1997 doesn’t cut it anymore.

Forming a successful new employee onboarding process involves thought. On their first day, you’ll likely want to cover the basics. This presentation will give a nice overview of what your company does and the history. Then, you’ll likely want to give new hires and buddy or teammate that they can work with and ask questions. This is a great way to give them a familiar face within the company who can also be a valuable resource.

The new hire onboarding process is a delicate one. Any employee is easily the most malleable at the beginning of their career. Everyone has their own ideal sample onboarding process and looking at samples is a great place to start. But, you must create your own to accurately fit your company. The best onboarding processes feature custom training paths and lessons about key metrics, team & personal objectives, and helpful resources that any new team member should know.

Having an onboarding process template is a good practice. You will be able to answer questions about what you’re going to work through in the first week and what you’re going to accomplish in the first month. It’s a good way to gauge where you are in the onboarding process versus where you need to be.

Onboarding new employees is an exciting time for both companies and employees. Make sure to harness that excitement with proper planning and establishment of your new hire onboarding process flow.

Onboarding checklist

To create a new hire onboarding checklist, you need to decide what you want your new employees to experience in their first week. You don’t want to bombard them with information, but you can’t drag out the initial learning process for months. You’ll find the perfect balance with some practice.

Consider having a company overview before meeting the team and tour. The company overview should brief your employees on common processes they may not be aware of. Also, after this section they will have a better idea of day-to-day operations. So, when the team section rolls around you can go over roles of what people do and what tasks. New employees will have questions and they should know the expert in that area when they do.

A manager onboarding checklist might be different from your new entry level checklist. You should have checklists prepared for different departments as well as different positions. If your new manager is being promoted from within, their checklist will be different from a manager that’s new to the company. Maybe the meet the team section is more important than the company overview section in a manager’s checklist. The decision is up to you.

An employee onboarding process checklist ensures HR does not glance over one section or completely forgets another. It’s helpful to both parties and when a new employee asks a question, you can take notes to be sure to cover it next time.

Get started making onboarding process checklists today; make a few and test them out.

Onboarding plan

Great companies have great onboarding plans. An onboarding plan differs from an onboarding checklist in detail. But, successful onboarding programs begin with an onboarding checklist. By expanding your onboarding checklist to form an onboarding plan you will decide not only what you want to cover in the process, but how and to what detail it is explained.

For example, in an onboarding checklist, you may have an office tour. In an onboarding plan, you will have a where to start your office tour at what time and where to finish. This will ensure that you are moving at the right pace so you can cover everything you have planned for the day.

An employee onboarding process map is a great way to present your onboarding plan visually. It should be an expansion of what you want to cover in the coming days. It’s called an onboarding map so you can see where you’re going rather than just knowing landmarks along the way.

If you’re wondering how to build an onboarding plan for a new hire, you need to find the right sample onboarding plan. Don’t rely completely on an onboarding plan template though. You’ll need to apply it to your own company. Some things will be removed and some things will be added. If you’re lucky, you’ll just have to add your company name.

Onboarding programs are best when they are created by someone within the organization. No company or individual knows your company like someone who works in it. It loses a personal touch when you pull one from a random site without even reading through it. Consider asking recent new hires for feedback on what they enjoyed when they started and what they wish would have been included. This will provide a great foundation for building an efficient onboarding process that employees love.

Instead, simply basing your onboarding plan template on another is the best way to go. You can find one to base yours around and go from there. Don’t be afraid to change it after a while. Find what works best for your company and your new employees through tests and trials and stick with it. The best onboarding employee template for your company is one that you create.

Onboarding process flow chart

A new hire onboarding process flow chart can help new employees as well as managers in the onboarding stage. In our employee onboarding process flow chart, there are four main sections: forming, storming, norming, and performing.

Forming: The forming stage takes place during orientation. It likely includes the first day of work but could span the first month. It’s part of the employee onboarding process flow in which company knowledge, standard operating procedures, and basic job training is presented.

Storming: Storming includes the first months of work. Finally, the new hires are learning the details of their specific roles. They have gotten to know the other members of the team and can successfully navigate to other departments without getting lost. The storming stage is where they understand where value is added in their role and get ideas of how to make it even better.

Norming: The norming phase usually lasts from the second week until the seventh month of employment. Your employees are now comfortable in their new surroundings and maybe they’ve even hung up a photo or two. They have started to move beyond basic learning barriers of the company and role. Ignoring this stage can lead to failure in the next stage.

Performing: The performing stage of the onboarding process typically occurs in the eighth month of employment and beyond. The goal of the new hire process is reached. Your new employee is adding value to your team and finding new ways to improve. Mentorship adds a new value to this stage. Your once new hires can now be guides to present new hires.

Implementing a training process flow chart lets trainers or managers know which stage an employee is in and helps the timing process. In an effort to not overwhelm new employees, a new hire process flow chart spreads out the onboarding process into a few months rather than compressing it into a week.

Onboarding best practices to remember

After establishing your new employee onboarding process flow, you want to make sure you have the best tips and tricks in your program. Here are some best practices to implement into your program to ensure an effective onboarding process:

  • Send them paperwork ahead of time
  • Have an agenda before the start date
  • Set up a comfortable workstation before they arrive
  • Greet them with some company swag like a shirt or even a mug
  • Send them an email to help ease the first-day jitters
  • Do some icebreakers and team-building activities with your new hires
  • Have regular manager meetings to check in on your new hires through their perspective
  • Don’t be afraid to take their advice and alter your agenda for the next class
  • Provide a mentor for every new hire that isn’t their manager
  • Implement forming, norming, storming, and performing
  • Let your new hires grow into mentors for the next class

An onboarding best practices checklist is more for the managers than the employees. Make sure you cover everything you want to cover. You don’t want to remember that you never had a new employee team building two weeks into their onboarding. Granted, it’s always better late than never, but it won’t be the same as doing it on the first day.

Onboarding new employees is an important process. The good news, however, is that there are solutions that help make the onboarding process for new hires quicker, more efficient, and painless. Implementing some or all of these best practices into your existing onboarding plan will ensure your new employees have fun while they learn about your company, their tasks, and start their careers. Establishing a culture of fun and growth in your onboarding program will increase new employee morale and could even refresh the rest of the team. When new employees bring their bright eyes into an office with a great culture, veteran employees will positively reflect on their onboarding process only to greet your new employees with a smile and applause.

If you’re ready to take your onboarding process to the next-level—we can help. Lessonly by Seismic is training and coaching software that frontline teams use to onboard new hires more efficiently and effectively. Ready to learn more? See our product in action here.