Employee onboarding can make or break the success of your business. If employees don’t get started off on the right foot with your team, not only will they lose the initial excitement they had when they accepted the job offer, but disorganized onboarding will also lead to decreased productivity. 
A recent study from Gallup found that only 12 percent of employees believe their employers have effective employee onboarding in place. With most employees thinking onboarding can use improvement, what can your team do to set new hires up for success? We’ve outlined some key tips to streamline your employee onboarding below.

1. Complete digital onboarding before the first day 

When new hires sign a job offer, this doesn’t mean the offer letter is the last contact you should have with them before their first day. Instead, you have the opportunity to jump start onboarding with digital paperwork. Sending onboarding documents digitally – ahead of the first day – will help keep employees engaged and excited to get started, and will save your HR team a significant amount of time once new employees walk in the door. 
New employees don’t want to spend the majority of their first day in the HR office filling out paperwork. Digital onboarding empowers new employees to start contributing to the company on the first day, rather than focusing on required paperwork.
Onboarding tasks that can be completed digitally before the first day include: filling out direct deposit information for automated payroll, completing tax forms, filling out benefits paperwork and signing the employee handbook. When employees dive into your employee handbook before they even get started, they’ll also have the chance to learn more about your company culture and core values and other important information, making them even more eager to start working for your team.

2. Keep your onboarding documents organized 

Think of how your team currently organizes onboarding documents. Many businesses have outdated systems in place to keep track of onboarding and other HR documents. For example, they might be stored in a filing cabinet crowded email inbox – both of which have their fair share of drawbacks. For example, you might lose a required onboarding document right before a new employee starts, or end up sharing an outdated version of a document, such as an employee handbook.
Rather than collecting a stack of papers or weeding through countless emails, you can stay more organized, reduce errors, and save time and money by keeping all onboarding and training materials centralized in a single hiring and talent management platform. With automated onboarding, as soon as a new employee is officially hired, he or she can immediately begin onboarding digitally. This process also ensures each employee receives consistent materials, so no new employee will miss out on critical information.

3. Have a set schedule for the first week 

Beyond paperwork, your team should put in extra effort to support a top-notch employee experience during onboarding. In today’s competitive hiring market, if employees don’t have a great onboarding experience, they won’t hesitate to start looking for jobs elsewhere.

No new employee wants to show up for his or her first day only to realize their desk isn’t ready or the manager of the team forgot a new employee is starting. If a new employee shows up on his or her first day and doesn’t have anything to do, he or she will quickly lose motivation. So it’s important for all new employees to have a set schedule for the first week, before they’re settled into their day-to-day work.
Your onboarding schedule should include a variety of activities, so new employees can get to know their colleagues and what it’s like to work for your team. You can set up training sessions and one-on-ones between new employees and managers – but also try to think outside the box with other activities to keep new hires engaged.
For example, at Hireology, new employees introduce themselves in front of the company at our weekly huddle and attend a cross-team lunch during the first week, to meet colleagues they might not otherwise have a chance to interact with. 

4. Extend training beyond initial onboarding 

While there’s a lot to accomplish during an employee’s first few days or weeks, employee onboarding and training is never officially complete. It’s important for employees to have the resources and tools they need to continuously learn, so they can grow in their careers and drive positive results for your business.
After initial onboarding is complete, your team should offer all employees opportunities for ongoing training. These options can include attending recurring lunch-and-learn sessions, completing regular skills assessments, watching structured training videos, and completing certification courses, to name a few.
Effective onboarding can help your team get new employees up to speed sooner rather than later, enabling them to start driving profitability for your business right away. Hireology is here to help you boost employee engagement and productivity with the right onboarding program – reach out to get started today.