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How to onboard a new employee

The basic guidelines for onboarding new employees.
June 2, 2022
Oyster Team
Woman filling out onboarding paperwork

The new employee onboarding process varies from one company to the next, but there are basic guidelines any employer can follow to get on (and stay on) the right track. Before we discuss the how-to of onboarding a new employee, let’s review five best practices for ensuring success on behalf of your company and new team members: 

  • Create a plan that includes goals: Onboarding an employee starts with putting together a plan with goals for measuring success. 
  • Build a consistent experience, then personalize: Onboarding should be consistent from one hire to the next, but a bit of personalization can go a long way. 
  • Outline roles and responsibilities: A clear understanding of roles and responsibilities upfront can help prevent trouble in the future. 
  • Make introductions: It can be overwhelming for a new hire to start building relationships with all of their new coworkers. Put their mind at ease by making as many face-to-face introductions as possible. 
  • Use technology: Use a web-based solution to manage all aspects of the onboarding process. This improves consistency and reduces the risk of overlooking an important detail. 

The importance of onboarding a new employee

Employees who experience “great onboarding” are 69% more likely to stay with a company for three years. This results in more continuity, reduced hiring and training costs, and a more satisfied workforce. Here are several more reasons why the effective onboarding of a new employee is so important:

  • Easier to attract talent: People want to work for companies with a standard, established, and proven onboarding process. This gives them confidence that they’ll be brought along at the right pace. 
  • Increased productivity: You can’t expect a new hire to step in on day one and reach peak performance. However, an effective onboarding plan will bring them up to speed quickly, which allows them to produce sooner rather than later. 
  • Reduced staff stress: Hiring a new employee can be stressful. From the hiring manager to the HR staff to training personnel, many people’s hard work goes into the process. An efficient onboarding process can reduce staff stress by providing guidance every step of the way. 

Creating a new employee onboarding process 

1. Send a welcome email before day one

This is all about making your new hire feel welcome. It’s a good time to share basic information such as start date, work hours, and how to set up any applicable technology. 

Don’t overwhelm the person with too much information at this stage. This is only the first step on their journey. 

2. Share and review new hire paperwork 

Some companies include this in their welcome email. New hire paperwork can include but is not limited to:

  • Employment contract
  • Employee handbook
  • W-4 form
  • I-9 employment eligibility verification form
  • State tax withholding form
  • Direct deposit form

Each new hire should provide this information no later than the end of their first day of employment. 

3. Help set up the person’s workspace

If the person is physically working in the same office as you, do your best to provide a comforting workspace on day one. For example, a small gift—such as a coffee mug or personalized pen—will help make them feel welcome.

If the person is working remotely, send them everything they need to set up their workspace in advance. 

4. Introduce the team

Whether in person or via video conferencing, introductions are a big part of the onboarding process. Nobody wants to be “thrown into the fire” on day one. Introduce each person your new team member will be working with. 

5. Provide a tour 

Show your new hire where team members sit. Give them an overview of the kitchen, break room, and restroom facilities. The larger the building or campus, the more important it is to provide a thorough tour. 

For remote hires, think about ways that you can show the new hire around without meeting face to face. For instance, you could take them on a virtual tour to highlight conference rooms and offices they may see during video calls. 

As noted above, these five steps are a jumping-off point. Customize this onboarding process to match the specific requirements of your company and new employees.

Let Oyster be your guide

Onboarding one new employee is difficult enough. When the number of new hires begins to add up, you’ll really find yourself looking for help. That’s where Oyster’s global employment platform enters the picture. 

Oyster can assist with all aspects of finding, onboarding, and managing employees, including:

  • Hiring and training
  • Payroll
  • Managing
  • Development

Oyster enables effective hiring anywhere in the world, which starts with a structured employee onboarding process.

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