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What is Onboarding? And Why You Should Care

The goal of just about every business is to be successful and earn a profit, and that can’t be done without complete engagement from the employees. That engagement doesn’t happen organically, it must be part of a process. That process, known as “Onboarding” starts the moment a new employee is hired, and continues for some time, as that employee reaches new levels within the company.

Onboarding can be formally described as the process of acclimating and welcoming new employees into an organization and providing them with the tools, resources, and knowledge to become successful and productive. Onboarding is critical for new employees but can also be part of a long-term process that helps new employees acclimate smoothly, so that they become an engaged part of the team.

Most small business owners may not find the time to formalize this process but it is important to have a systematic process, no matter how in depth or comprehensive.
We’ve outlined a couple of effective things any small business owner can implement that are affordable and simple to start.

Documentation. Having all the necessary paperwork for an employee to complete on their first day is important. New hire forms, Employee Handbook, Safety Orientation, Company Procedure Manuals, and other critical training information should be prepared and ready for an employee’s first day. Compiling and presenting this documentation can either impact an employee’s first impression positively or negatively. Put some time into this and make it look good.

Training. Orienting your new employee to the company and to their specific job should be a process, and not an afterthought. Before you even hire, have a 30-60-90 day plan for the employee and provide them specific training at each level. First 30 days should be intense hands-on training in the specifics of their job and the company workflow. Periods after that can be used to fine tune their position. Use consistent material so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when you hire someone else.

Mentorship. A great way to assist an employee through their first few days and weeks is to assign a “mentor” or “buddy” to help them through the process. This mentor should be a seasoned employee that knows the job and company well. Make sure they are given both responsibility and accountability to help this new employee.

Corporate Culture. The existing employees should have full knowledge of who you are hiring and why, and how it affects their job and the company’s overall success. Make sure they are welcoming and accessible to the new employee. You don’t want insecurity problems or defensiveness to take over new employees. Be sure to engage the new employee in social or team building activities at your company so they can see and feel the corporate culture.

New employees want to become productive members of your team as fast as possible. The worst thing to see from an HR perspective is a new employee become lost in the shuffle with no guidance or support from management of the team.

Companies that realize the importance of a focused and defined New Employee Onboarding process will benefit from faster ramp up times for new employees, lower turnover and increased productivity throughout the company.
If you need help in creating a defined Onboarding process, contact the experts at Champion. We’re here to help.

  • 7 May, 2014
  • Tom Elias

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