Seven Essentials to a Smooth Onboarding Experience

Your organization invests a lot of time and money in talent acquisition. The best way to make sure that investment pays off is having a smooth onboarding experience for new employees. Employees are forming their opinions of the workplace in the first 90 days. If you want to retain an employee for the long term, you need to help them have a successful first three months. Here are seven essentials for a smooth onboarding experience.

1. Welcome the employee
It’s important that you and the company are ready for the employee’s first day. That means making sure you (or someone you designate) is in before the employee and is ready to greet him or her. The employee should never be left alone on the first day to wonder what to do next. Lunch plans should also be set. Having a set plan/agenda will make the employee feel like you’ve been waiting for him/her to start—which is a great feeling. Make sure to make a positive impression on the first day!

2. Prepare the workspace
Make sure the new hire’s workspace is set up and ready for the first day. Even if the employee will not be spending much time at his/her desk the first day, seeing his/her name on a plaque and knowing the workstation is ready shows that the organization is detail-oriented and values its team members.

3. Assign a mentor
The most important element in the success of new employees is the support network. They need to make connections at work as quickly as possible. Assigning a mentor can jumpstart this process. It can also help lower the anxiety level of new hires. They know who to go to with questions about everything from the break room location to work expectations.

4. Keep orientations brief
New hires are not at their best their first few days on the job. They want to impress, but they are still learning where the bathrooms are. Long orientations often end up being more confusing than helpful. New hires are unlikely to retain very much information from the orientation anyway. Give new hires the essentials, and make sure they know where to find the answers to any questions.

5. Educate the employee
New hires are anxious to learn about the company—and not just where the restroom is or how to use the phone. The sooner the employee can learn about the values and culture, the sooner he/she will feel part of the team. This also helps the employee understand how his/her role impacts the organization’s goals.

6. Allow new hires to get to work
The best way for new hires to feel comfortable and to begin contributing is to let them start doing the job you hired them for as soon as possible. This not only helps ease their nerves, but it also shows them you have confidence in their abilities. Most people learn most effectively by doing.

7. Check in periodically
After the couple of weeks, new hires will begin to settle into a routine. But, they may still have some lingering questions or concerns that were not addressed in any training or orientation. Check in with them every few weeks during the first few months to make sure they are becoming more comfortable and confident. It is much easier to address an issue early on, before it has had time to fester.

8. Spread out trainings
Make sure you spread out the trainings over several weeks, or even months, where possible. This will help a new hire retain more information, and will give them the time to put into practice new skills before moving onto the more advanced requirements of the job. This gives them more confidence and creates more competent employees

9. Front-load compliance issues
Do not put off having a new hire complete the essential paperwork that keeps your company in compliance with local, state and federal law. Nobody likes having to fill out forms, but most people prefer getting the necessary paperwork out of the way as quickly as possible. Electronic onboarding makes this process simple and eliminates the paperwork all together.

Oasis can assist you as you create your onboarding policy or with any other HR-related concern. Contact us at 866-AT-OASIS (866-286-2747) or visit us online at

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