best practices employee onboarding

What is one best practice for employee onboarding?

To help HR with onboarding employees correctly, we asked experienced human resource managers and workplace advisors this question for their best tips and advice. From focusing on compensation to shadowing colleagues, here are several best practices that may help you have a smooth employee onboarding experience.

Here are 10 Employee Onboarding Best Practices For HR:

  • Focus On Customization Instead of PR
  • Handle Logistics Immediately
  • Over the Shoulder Videos
  • Ask for Feedback
  • Provide Resources for Employees to Refer Back to
  • Draw a Roadmap to Outline Your Onboarding Process
  • Start the Process Before their First Day
  • Be Consistent
  • Peer Mentor
  • Shadow Other Colleagues

Employee Onboarding Best Practices For HR

Focus On Customization Instead of PR

Many businesses treat employee onboarding as an opportunity for internal PR, forcing new hires to watch high-level videos about company achievements and values. Quite often, it leaves them wondering about more practical aspects of the job. Focusing on the function-specific information such as the team roles, responsibilities, tools, and procedures can make new joiners more confident. It can also expedite their preparation to become independent in performing tasks.

Michael Sena, SENACEA

Handle Logistics Immediately

Provide the new employee with clear instructions for accessing all new accounts, software, and company resources. Knocking out these logistical items early on will help the new employee feel more comfortable and productive in their new role while preventing blockers down the road.

Matthew Ramirez, Rephrasely

Over the Shoulder Videos

If you’re expanding a team or replacing a departing employee, creating over-the-shoulder videos (screencasts are fine) that show how to do common aspects of the job is invaluable – especially if you’re working remotely.  Videos will help your new hire get a feel for what’s expected, how other people have done their role, and be a great resource for them to reference if they have questions in the future.

Sylvia Kang, Mira

Ask for Feedback

If you want to optimize your employee onboarding processes, ask your new hires for feedback when they have completed their onboarding. Ask them what they found was done well and what they think could have been done to improve their experience while starting with the company. This feedback will help you understand what is being done well and what needs to be improved. You can use a survey to gather this information or ask them in person. It can be beneficial to use a survey, so they feel more comfortable giving honest feedback.

Rachel Roff, Urban Skin Rx

Provide Resources for Employees to Refer Back to

Provide your employees with written instructions on expectations they need to live up to and procedures they must follow. This way, they can go back to these resources in case they forget anything that was mentioned verbally. You can even produce video recordings walking employees through certain technical procedures so that they can see exactly what these would look like. Anything that your employees can go back to help them remember how to approach certain aspects of their jobs will help them out a lot with easing into their roles.

Matt Miller, Embroker

Draw a Roadmap to Outline Your Onboarding Process

I personally like drawing a roadmap for onboarding purposes. There is so much information to grasp when you’re first starting out at any company, so having an outlined structure of the basic daily processes really helps new hires get up to speed.

The keyword is “structure.” You don’t want new employees to feel lost in the onboarding process as you throw more and more information their way for weeks. I draw an outline for each day: what will be covered, what to research next, and what level of competency will be expected by our next meet.

Without the additional outlining, you set up these newbies to be drowning in information. You have to show them where their priorities lie and diffuse the learning process outward from there.

James Shalhoub, Finn

Start the Process Before their First Day

Employee onboarding shouldn’t start on their first day. It should ideally start in the 1-2 weeks before their start date. You should use this time to make sure they have the equipment needed to do their job, whether they are working from home or in the office. Use this time to find and order a computer, software, or other supplies they will need. This is especially important for computers as it can take longer than normal to get graphics cards right now due to high prices and shortages. You should also be communicating with other people internally during this time to ensure they know someone new will be starting and are ready to assist with anything they need.

Brett Sohns, LifeGoal Investments

Be Consistent

Keep it consistent. All employees in the same department should have the same onboarding program. This makes it easier for everyone involved. It also helps ensure that all of the employees have the necessary tools to succeed in their specific roles. Spend time preparing their training in advance so that you can offer the best employee onboarding possible.

Phillip Akhzar, Arka

Peer Mentor

Giving new employees a peer mentor ensures they have a person to guide them the first week as they adapt to the organization and culture. Having a peer mentor makes the new hire feel comfortable when asking how things are done within the organization. They also introduce new employees to key contacts within the company.

Ryan Yount, Luckluckgo

Shadow Other Colleagues

The best way to create a solid employee experience, especially for new employees, is to have them shadow other colleagues in a similar position. This way, they can connect with team members and familiarize themselves with their new role in a way that’s engaging and collaborative instead of watching training videos for hours on end.

Screen sharing is the most effective method to learn in a virtual office, and the ability to record training sessions so new hires can review them at any time will be extremely beneficial. It allows new employees to ask questions and develop their own strategies in a way that’s productive for both parties. Leaders should schedule time with new employees and veteran workers each day until they feel they can confidently execute their role without any guidance. Regardless of your office environment, shadowing team members as a method of training is a successful way to onboard new staff and build a great culture.

Sara Adam Slywka, Nestig

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