The Quick 5-Step Onboarding Plan to Ensure Employee Success

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As always, the new year is off to a lightening start, but it’s still the perfect time (and good practice) to review your business processes, especially in regard to onboarding. As the demand for quality employees continues, we’re recognizing—more than ever—the vital nature of a meaningful welcome for new team members. First impressions are lasting impressions, translating to job satisfaction, loyalty, and staying power. But onboarding doesn’t need to be tedious and overly time consuming. That’s why we’ve compiled five quick, but thorough, steps to implement an onboarding plan that will impress your new hires and have them confidently strutting down the path to success.

5 Steps to Onboarding 

Step #1—Set the Mood

Even before being hired, a job candidate should be treated as if they’re already an employee. Being kind, honest, and authentic should go hand-in-hand with the tough questions asked during an interview. George Harrison, Marketing Director at PKGMAKER, says, “Before you even begin the hiring process, set expectations with each candidate so they know what to expect in terms of roles and responsibilities. This will help put them at ease during the interview process and allow them to adjust their approach accordingly.”

If you get a good vibe that they might be “the one,” make sure to give them an in-depth perspective on your company culture, along with a comprehensive understanding of job responsibilities and expectations. A tour and introduction to current team members is a good idea too.

Step #2—You’re Hired!

The big day has arrived, and excitement is in the air! It’s time to get your new employee up and running. First things first, though: prepare a hearty welcome to set the scene and give them a glimpse of the goodness to come. A clean desk with a handwritten card and a “welcome to the team” gift is a must and will ease some of those first-day jitters.

Do beware of overwhelming them on their first day, but don’t just sit them in a conference room all alone to review the employee manual either. Create a healthy combination of get-to-know-you meetings with their colleagues, basic trainings, paperwork signings, and a little breathing time in between. Giving your new hire ample opportunity to take everything in will help them find stability and joy amidst the chaos of their first day.

Step #3—Those All-Important First Days

Is someone from HR, a manager, or a fellow team member overseeing the new hire? Do they have someone to shadow? Does your new employee understand their role, expectations, their benefit package, and the company’s safety protocols? Stats from Bamboo HR tell us that new employees with a positive onboarding experience are 18 times more committed to their employer. Even the small details matter (where’s the restroom?), allowing room for greater ease and understanding, so ensure the basics are well-covered and clear.

At the end of every day for the first week or two, give your new hire 20 minutes or so to assess their day and write down questions, concerns, what they learned, and general impressions. This gives them time to reflect and absorb the mountains of information they’re being fed. Think of every question or concern they present as an opportunity to build a trusting relationship. More than anything, your new hire wants to know that the doors of communication are wide open.

Step #4—Take Another Look

Step four is a crucial step, and this is where things have the most potential to fall apart. You truly need to consistently check-in…and then check-in again, again, and again with your new employee. It’s been a couple months now, and from the exterior they appear to be running close to full speed. However, internally, they may be struggling.

If there are any signs of disengagement—tardiness, lack of motivation, not getting projects completed on time—it may indicate a poor onboarding experience. But now is not the time to give up! Take another look at your process and renew your commitment to making it the best you can. There’s always space to re-engage and renew a less-than-stellar working relationship. Take the time to salvage what’s positive with your employee; talk it out, clear the air, and establish a newfound investment in each other. With your show of dedication and commitment to keeping them as a team member, they’ll be able to set new goals and get back in the game.

Hopefully, though, your onboarding is going great, and your new hire feels confident in their role, works hard, is easily assimilating to the company culture, and is developing healthy relationships with their colleagues. If that’s the case, great job! As you know, being consistent and persistent wins.

Step #5—Don’t Stop Investing in the Process

Technically, onboarding doesn’t have an end date; it could carry on for three, six, or even longer than 12 months. But that doesn’t mean we stop believing or investing in the process after that—we simply turn the word “onboarding” into something far bigger and more enduring, creating a workplace where employees thrive and feel a sense of belonging.

Consistently assuring your team that they’re needed and contributing to the greater good ensures loyalty and longevity. Help them become inspired leaders by promoting a winning mindset; encourage their growth, learning, and career development; reward their commitment; and, most importantly, recognize, appreciate, and show your genuine gratitude on a regular basis.

Our work here at Delightly is never done (Yay!). We keep finding fun, refreshing and thought-filled ways to bring joy and appreciation to the workplace. Always keep us first in mind, and check-in with us often to discover how we bring delight to every employee, everywhere, every day. Gift like you mean it!

Gifts That Wow

For the MVPs (most valuable people) in your life.

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    Show the leader in your life that you care by inspiring a growth mindset! A great option for promotions, team-building events & onboarding (of course!).
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    Just because you can't appreciate your out of office team members in person, doesn't mean you can't show it!