How to Onboard a New Employee

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Q: We’re onboarding a new employee next week. I’ve heard of 30-60-90 reviews — is there anything else we should be thinking about?

A: Definitely! Onboarding is the first impression after hiring; it has a big impact on whether a new employee stays with the company. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, organizations with standardized onboarding retain 50% more new hires than organizations without a process.  

We like to think of onboarding as solving a couple different goals, including fostering a sense of belongingknowing how the organization operates (and where to find resources), and having a clear sense of what success looks like.  

Belonging can come in many forms: having a login ready, a clean desk or swag sent to their home address, coffees and lunches with the team throughout the first weeks, an all-users welcome email, clear instructions for how to operate the coffee maker, or an in-depth org chart. 

It’s also important that employees know how things work. This includes information on where to park or how benefits enrollment works, but it also includes workplace cultural dynamics. What are those office-specific acronyms everyone is throwing around? Is it okay to call your boss’s boss or reply all? How do promotions work? What about raises? Leave your camera off? Not check your email while on PTO? Are jeans part of the dress code? Information alleviates a new hire’s worries and sets them up for success. 

Lastly, you should be thinking about how to get them up to speed. You might have hired them for their capability and experience, but you have to make sure they can translate it into your way of doing things. Train them on your systems. Let them know where to find information. Have them shadow different teams. Give them goals. 

And yes, do a 30-60-90 day review too.

PS: The thing I remember most about my own onboarding is walking over to the farmer’s market with the President of the company on my second day, chatting about what drew him to recruiting. We brought back berries for the whole office. It showed me exactly how Boly:Welch lives its values around celebration and relationships, and I still think about it 8 years later when I onboard new employees.  

Do you need more HR support? Boly:Welch HR Consulting can help your team go farther with budget-friendly human resources consulting, tailored for your success.


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