Whether you realise it or not, your business already has an onboarding process. But – has it been consciously streamlined and optimised?
If you’re like most businesses – the answer is no. And you might wonder why it even matters.
Here’s one compelling reason – did you know that nearly 90% of employees decide whether to stay or leave within the first six months?
It’s true. And there’s nothing more inefficient, time-consuming, and expensive than having to find new employees every six months.
That’s just one of many ways a streamlined onboarding process saves your business time and money. And here’s another big one – a well-designed process ensures your new team member is as productive as quickly as possible.
Perhaps now, you begin to understand why we love efficient workflows so much. 🤓
With all of that in mind, let’s explore the key elements of a streamlined and effective employee onboarding process, including:
- Why Is A New Hire Onboarding Process Important?
- Handle Paperwork First
- Automate Everything You Can
- Thoroughly Convey Company Culture
- Schedule Follow-up Meetings
- Clearly Illustrate Responsibilities
- Consider Using Specialised Software
- Establish Effective Workflows
So, keep reading if you’d like to enjoy the benefits of a streamlined onboarding process in your own business.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Why Is A New Hire Onboarding Process Important?
A solid onboarding program for new team members is important for a number of reasons.
A big one is that your hiring process sets the tone for your relationship with your new team member. Whether you are hiring in-office employees, remote employees, or contracting freelancers, the onboarding experience you provide can strongly influence the relationship you have with these people over the long haul.
Not to mention, a well-executed employee onboarding experience is what ensures your new hire has what they need to actually perform their job. Your onboarding checklist should include everything they will need, such as:
- Necessary new-employee paperwork (don’t forget the direct-deposit forms, if applicable)
- Company benefits, company mission, and company goals information
- Access to basic resources such as IT tools and online accounts
- SOPs for the job functions they will be working on
- Employee handbook, team or employee directory, and other relevant company policies or guidelines
- If applicable, set up company email and order business cards
And so on.
There are also some intangible benefits to implementing a thoughtful onboarding process. Namely, it has the potential to enhance your company culture by providing new team members with a sense of structure, belonging and job satisfaction from day one.
Bottom line? The more efficient your onboarding is, the faster your new employees will get up to speed and feel invested in your business as a valued member of the team.
Now let’s look at 7 key elements your onboarding checklist should include.
1. Handle Paperwork First
Paperwork is often the least favourite part of the onboarding process. Not only is managing paperwork tedious, but it can also create some anxiety for new employees if it isn’t handled right away.
For example, when an employee or team member is being brought into a company they have usually been told upfront the details about their salary, benefits, etc.
But if they begin working before all of the paperwork is finalised, they may begin to worry if the business is going to uphold its end of the bargain. This can be especially true when it comes to working with contracted freelancers.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s best to handle paperwork as soon as possible. This allows your new team members to hit the ground running without being apprehensive about their future with your business.
2. Automate Everything You Can
It’s not unusual to feel intimidated by the idea of automation in your business. You may think it’ll be too hard to learn or take too much time to get everything working the way you envision.
In reality, using software and automation in your onboarding process allows you to:
- Reduce the amount of time it takes to onboard a new team member
- Minimise human error by reducing manual data entry
- Make onboarding processes scalable so you can easily onboard new people as your business grows
And so on.
So, think about how software or automation can help you streamline the employee onboarding process. Automating these processes is one of the best ways to improve efficiency. And once you’ve found a system that works for you, your team will wonder how they ever managed without it.
In fact, business operations automation is one of the most powerful tools you can use to save time AND money throughout your business. It can even translate into tens of thousands of dollars in savings over time.
It also comes with the benefit of boosting employee morale. Because when you reduce the need to perform repetitive, menial tasks, it allows your team to stay focused on their core responsibilities.
So, automate what you can – such as your onboarding process – to help ensure mistakes are prevented, reduce stress on your team, and improve efficiency overall.
3. Thoroughly Convey Company Culture
Believe it or not, conflicts around company culture is fairly common. Regardless of how qualified your new employee is, they may not be a great fit if their personal values clash with your company values.
That’s why it’s imperative to establish company culture right away. The longer you wait, the more likely it is you will encounter issues.
The good news is this is a relatively simple process. When onboarding new team members, make sure to take time to properly demonstrate your company culture.
Make it a priority at meetings and job training sessions to ensure new employees understand what’s expected of them as valued members of the team.
An easy way for new hires to learn more about your company culture is by reading any documentation you have available online, such as About pages, Codes of Conduct, etc.
After they spend some time onboarding with your business, it’s also a good idea to offer them an opportunity to ask questions about the company culture. This gives them even more insight, which can help you find out if they are truly a good fit.
All of this only works, though, if you make sure your employees know you are accessible. Some workers may be too intimidated to ask for help if they need it. Others might have a difficult time knowing who to reach out to.
Your hiring process should address all of these issues to avoid issues coming up later down the line.
4. Schedule Follow-up Meetings
You can’t simply hire new people and then leave them to fend for themselves after you’ve sorted out all the paperwork. That’s an almost certain recipe for confusion, poor work results, and unhappy workers.
So, make sure to schedule follow-up meetings throughout onboarding. This way new team members can get answers to any questions they have as they come up.
The intervals at which you do so are left up to you. Some entrepreneurs choose to hold 90-day follow-up reviews, while others might check in with new team members after 30 days.
It’s also possible to hold weekly follow-ups for the first quarter a new person works with your business. Since you have so much flexibility in this area, you can choose a strategy that meets all of your needs.
During these follow-up meetings, you can ask about any work-related issues they might have and discover if they need any additional training or resources.
5. Clearly Illustrate Responsibilities
Onboarding is only effective if your team members clearly understand the responsibilities they need to manage. This is true no matter what their role is.
The same position could have different obligations depending on what company an employee works at. For example, a software engineer at a small tech firm might need to handle more responsibilities compared to someone who works at a larger company.
Look at it this way – if YOU aren’t clear on what you expect from them, you cannot expect your new workers to perform as intended.
And if they aren’t capable of pulling their weight due to not understanding their responsibilities, the entire team could suffer as a result.
So, a clear job description is key to a successful onboarding process. Make sure to give it the time and attention it needs to get it right.
6. Consider Using Specialised Software
If you do a lot of hiring, you may want to take advantage of specialised employee onboarding software. These are applications specifically designed to help you handle your onboarding process.
Depending on the one you choose, onboarding tools can take care of:
- Assigning training modules to new hires
- List onboarding tasks in one place and monitor the progress of completion
- Automatically create onboarding tasks and assign team members to mentor newcomers through the process
- Create employee portals with employee handbooks, job descriptions, new hire orientation presentations, benefits, and so on.
Unless your business is very large and complex, you may also want to try a simple tool like ClickUp which can easily handle many of these functions (and is much less expensive than most specialised software).
7. Establish Effective Workflows
For all of this, it’s key to have an effective workflow during your onboarding process. You should have an established order in which events must be completed.
For example, as we’ve listed here, you could make sure the paperwork gets handled first. Then, you could focus on conveying responsibilities, communicating company culture, and introducing the employee into your workplace.
After, you could then hold follow-up meetings to ensure everything is going as smoothly as it can.
Although it may seem complicated at first, creating effective workflows for successful onboarding is much easier than you think. And it can often be the difference between whether or not you are able to hit your intended metrics.
Streamlining Your Onboarding Process Doesn’t Have To Be Overwhelming
Onboarding is an important part of running a successful business, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just make sure you address the proper concerns and apply appropriate strategies to make onboarding as effective, helpful, and a positive experience for your new team member as possible.
The above guidelines will help make sure that your onboarding process is as efficient as it should be and allow you to take advantage of all the benefits it can provide.
For expert guidance to create a streamlined and effective onboarding process for your company, get in touch with one of our efficiency experts to discuss how we can help.