Bringing new team members up to speed can be a challenge. For the team, it feels like dumping all of your knowledge in one giant avalanche, while for the new employee it often feels like being thrown into the deep end without so much as a swimming lesson. A great way to bridge the gap between these two realities is with a comprehensive onboarding checklist.
A well-crafted onboarding checklist can help make sure that everyone on your team has access to the same information and materials, so new employees feel more comfortable asking questions and getting up to speed quickly. It’s also a great resource for experienced team members to refer back to when they’ve hit a snag or need a refresher.
So, what exactly should you include in your onboarding checklist? Here are some ideas:
- Introduction, welcome message, and orientation: A brief overview of the company and its mission as well as an introduction to the team, warm welcomes from as many as possible, and details of their roles.
- The workspace: A tour of the office and a rundown of policies, procedures, and expectations - (if you're remote, this will be a guided/virtual walkthrough).
- Technology setup: Providing logins and access to company systems, intranet, email, and software programs.
- Access to documents: Make sure new employees have access to important documents such as contracts, codes of conduct, and employee handbooks.
- Forms: Ensuring new hires have filled out the necessary paperwork so they can be officially added to the payroll.
- Training: Giving new employees the training they need to become proficient in their jobs.
- Mentoring and support: Making sure that new employees have someone to go to if they’re feeling confused or lost. It also helps to have an org chart built into this part of the training in case they need to work with other teams.
- Performance expectations: Setting clear performance expectations so new employees know what is expected of them.
- Socialization: Welcoming new employees into the team with happy hours, lunches, or other get-togethers. This is a great way to help new hires feel connected and included in the workplace culture.
Now, all of this put together can seem overwhelming to the new hire and like a mountain of work for the hiring manager or HR leader.
Using an Onboarding Checklist Template helps bridge this gap by providing an easy way to ensure nothing is forgotten during the onboarding process. There are many solutions in the market today that automate this process and make it easier to keep track of onboarding progress and tasks, such as offering milestone reminders. Many times, a candidate will be transitioning from an interview intelligence software into an onboarding platform, so as you're building out your onboarding checklist, make sure the platform you're using integrates well with all the other tech in your hiring stack.
If you'd like to see a lean efficient hiring tech stack, check out, "How to Build the Best Recruitment Tech Stack."
Virtual Onboarding Template
Onboarding can feel like drinking through a firehose, especially for your first month with a company. With virtual onboarding, it's even more difficult to keep track of all the information that is dumped on a new team member.
To help make the transition smoother and easier, here’s a handy checklist for getting setting up your virtual onboarding program:
- Introduction Packet: Get acquainted with your new team members and learn about the company’s mission, values, and expectations.
- Technology Setup: Log in to your corporate accounts, install required software programs and tools, and set up other necessary accounts like email and intranet.
- Access to Documents: Get access to important documents such as contracts, codes of conduct, and employee handbooks.
- Forms: Fill out the necessary paperwork so you can be added to the payroll.
- Training: Learn the ropes with appropriate training opportunities and materials to become proficient in your new role.
- Mentoring/Support: Find a mentor or support system for questions, guidance, and camaraderie.
- Performance Expectations: Establish performance expectations and objectives so you can stay on track with company goals.
- Socialization: Take part in activities and events to get to know your colleagues better and integrate into the culture of your new workplace.
This can be used as your virtual onboarding template to help ensure that nothing is forgotten during the process. It's always a good idea to keep track of your new hire’s progress and tasks, so using an onboarding checklist template or software can help streamline the whole process.
90-Day Onboarding Plan Template
Once a new team member has been hired and onboarded, the next step is to create a 90-day onboarding plan template. This template will help ensure that new hires feel comfortable in their new roles and hit the ground running during their first few months.
Here are some key elements of an effective 90-day onboarding plan template:
- Job Responsibilities: Clearly define job responsibilities so new hires understand their roles and work within the team framework.
- Performance Tracking: Monitor progress closely during the first 90 days and provide feedback on performance.
- Learning and Development Opportunities: Encourage learning with opportunities such as classes, seminars, or e-learning programs to ensure new hires stay up to date with the company’s processes and procedures.
- Mentorship: Connect new hires with mentors who can provide guidance and support during their first few months of employment.
- Feedback: Provide feedback on performance so that new hires feel supported and appreciated while they adjust to their roles.
- Check-ins: Schedule regular check-ins throughout the onboarding period to provide guidance and answer questions.
- Socialization: Give new hires opportunities to get to know their colleagues through activities or events, such as company happy hours or team lunches.
Having an effective 90-day onboarding plan can help make sure that your new hires feel welcome and integrated into the team. It also ensures that they have what they need to succeed right from the start. Take some time to customize your onboarding plan template so that it works for your organization, and use it as a guide for future hires.
Onboarding Checklist for Managers
How does your onboarding checklist for managers look different from the standard onboarding process?
Managers have different responsibilities than other employees, and your onboarding checklist for managers should reflect this. Here are some of the key points to include on your manager’s onboarding checklist:
- Goals & Objectives: Outline goals and objectives to ensure that new managers understand their roles and responsibilities.
- Performance Expectations: Set performance expectations to ensure that managers are effective in their roles and meet company goals.
- Leadership Skills: Focus on developing leadership skills such as communication, delegation, and problem-solving so that they can effectively lead their teams.
- Mentorship & Support System: Provide mentors and a support system so that managers have guidance as they adjust to their leadership roles.
- Management Training & Development: Offer training and development opportunities to help new managers stay up to date with the latest management techniques and trends.
- Communication: Make sure that new managers know who to talk to when they need help or information.
- Culture: Introduce new managers to the company’s culture and values so that they can effectively integrate into the team.
Your ICs (individual contributors) will be looking to management for direction - to set the speed of the organization, reflect company culture, set expectations, and lead by example. Hiring great managers will set the tone for your whole organization. By creating a checklist specifically tailored to managers, you can ensure that they have the support and guidance needed to succeed in their roles.
Having an effective onboarding process for managers is key to making sure that your organization runs smoothly. With this information, you can create an onboarding checklist that will help set up your new managers for success.
Since we've already covered many of the necessary steps to create an effective onboarding process, I won't belabor the point. However, I'd like to highlight a few key failure points in the onboarding process.
- Overlooking the Human Element: A successful onboarding process involves more than just paperwork, processes, and policies. It's essential to focus on building relationships with new hires and creating an engaging environment for them to learn, grow, and contribute.
- Lack of Flexibility: Onboarding should be tailored to the individual, not a one-size-fits-all approach. New hires should be given the opportunity to adjust processes and routines to fit their own style.
- Unclear Expectations: Ensure that expectations are clear from day one by providing new hires with company goals, benchmarks, and performance metrics. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards a shared goal.
- Insufficient Resources: Make sure that your new hires have access to all of the necessary tools and resources they need to succeed on day one. This should include everything from equipment, software, manuals, and training materials to an ergonomically designed workstation.
- Curse of knowledge: The curse of knowledge is an insidious problem that plagues many businesses. It occurs when people become so familiar with their own products, processes, and jargon that they forget how to explain them clearly to outsiders. It can be extremely frustrating for new employees who are trying to adjust to their roles but don't understand how the company works.
Finally, put them to work. High-performers hate to sit around and wait to be given tasks. Make sure you provide them with meaningful work right away to keep them engaged and productive.
Creating an onboarding process can help ensure that your new hires are set up for success from the very beginning. By avoiding these pitfalls, you can create an effective onboarding process that helps new employees transition seamlessly into their roles and quickly become productive contributors to your organization.
Pillar is an interview intelligence platform that helps you create an effective hiring process tailored to your business. We've helped our customers lower employee turnover by more than 50% over the past 12 months. Schedule a demo to see how we can help you save time, and money, and make better hires.