Employee Onboarding Processes

By Andrew Willis
25 May 2023

Getting a new employee up to speed with your business can be a daunting process but one that is crucial to get right.

This helps hugely when integrating your latest addition into the workforce and guaranteeing their future success.

The article covers the employee onboarding process with helpful tips on the dos and don’ts.

If you need immediate advice, get in touch with one of Croner’s experts here.

An employee getting a handshake after completing their hire paperwork

What is new employee onboarding?

Put simply, employee onboarding is the process of introducing a new staff member to your organisation and to their team members.

Employee onboarding and offboarding process

Getting the process right is essential to the smooth integration of a new starter.

Depending on the organisation, the company culture, the work environment, the specifics of the job and a number of other factors, onboarding can last as long as a year.

Regardless of how long you choose to make yours, the first week of any new starter is always crucial.

Here are some of the employee onboarding process steps you need to consider in the first week:

  • What does the employee need to know about the culture?
  • What role will human resources play?
  • Will I involve line managers and co-workers?
  • What goals should I set?
  • How do I gather feedback and measure success?
  • What new hire paperwork should I put together?

Is Offboarding the opposite of onboarding?

The process begins when an employee hands in their notice. You’ll want to issue a formal resignation acceptance letter, ensure the employee’s team is aware of their plans and contact any clients the employee has contact with to inform them.

The next step is to prepare a work handover. It’s unlikely the employee will be able to finish all of their work prior to their departure, so you need to decide who will take on any left-over work, and who will pick up any regular tasks.

Finally, you’ll want to conduct an exit interview to ask for feedback from the employee. Following the exit interview, recover any company equipment and say farewell.

If you’re aware that an employee intends to leave the business, you’ll want to consider how the exit will impact colleagues and the team they work in, as a whole.

Successful offboarding leaves the door open for an employee to return if they wish to do so.

an employee's first day getting welcomed to the team with a note

Benefits of onboarding new employees

We’ve looked at what employee onboarding actually is—but what are the benefits of it?

Firstly, it can work wonders for your company culture.

A good onboarding strategy shows the new employee this is an organisation that cares about the welfare and development of its staff.

This leads nicely to the second benefit— employee retention.

A good introduction to a business means it’s more likely the employee will continue to show up. If their first day is a horror show, they’ll be looking for the quickest way out of the door.

Finally, there’s the added benefit of productivity—the driving force of any business.

The better your onboarding, the more immersed the employee will be in your company. And the quicker they are in—the quicker they’ll be performing.

Employee onboarding challenges

Integrating a new employee into a new culture doesn’t come without challenges.

It’s entirely possible for a worker to fail at their job because of a poor culture fit.

Overcoming this challenge is part of the onboarding process.

Communicating your organisation’s goals, culture, and history will help engage the employee. But make sure you’re not subjecting the new hire to lecture after lecture, as this is likely to cause them to disengage.

Two people going over the roles and responsibilities of team members

Electronic onboarding of new employees

In the modern workplace, there is always a digital element involved.

You can opt for total online employee onboarding if you wish. For example, you could have them complete training via video tutorials, have them read about the company and then fill out questionnaires to reinforce their understanding.

However, this doesn’t really immerse them in the company culture the way a face-to-face onboarding programme does.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything digitally.

To start, having an employee onboarding email to welcome the new starter leaves a great first impression.

It should come from either the line manager or the director, and welcome the new starter to the company and their team, as well as some details about what they can expect from their onboarding.

If you want to conduct full digital employee onboarding, there are plenty of suppliers who provide services to simplify the process for you.

However, bear in mind this service rarely comes without a cost.

This type of induction can be very useful for remote employees, or those who won’t be in the office for regular hours. Otherwise, we suggest some elements of face-to-face interaction with co-workers and management.

Creative ways to onboard new employees

If you’re looking for inspiration for some creative employee onboarding¸ look at how other organisations do theirs.

Etsy onboards its employees through a boot camp. Bazaarvoice onboards its employees through a scavenger hunt. Valve has an employee handbook full of images, diagrams, and jokes.

Some of these ideas may not be viable for your company, but it’s worth adding some levity where you can to make the employee feel comfortable.

New employee onboarding checklist

So you have everything ready for the new employee’s arrival. Or do you?

Having a checklist can keep the onboarding on track, and helps you clarify which steps you’re yet to complete.

Here’s a rough employee onboarding checklist template:

The Employee’s first day

  • General Orientation
  • Tour and introduction to various teams
  • Run through the employee handbook
  • Run through all relevant policies, including health & safety
  • Explain compensation and benefits
  • Settle the employee into their workspace

The employee onboarding worksheet doesn’t stop there, however. It’s worth drafting up a checklist for the full week.

Week one

  • Provide initial tasks to ensure they are aware of their roles and responsibilities.
  • Check-in with the employee each day to ensure they’re settling in
  • Review performance (if applicable) and set goals
  • Run through probationary period details with the employee
  • Check they have all the equipment necessary for their role
  • Ensure the employee has met all teams they’ll be working with
  • Encourage engagement on social media

If you want to provide a full onboarding experience, you could develop a full onboarding kit for the new employee.

This would involve checklists spanning up to 1 year, and the development of a programme such as the one Etsy has.

a lady completing a background check with the hr team

Help with employee onboarding.

Croner has a team of award-winning HR professionals who are specialists in their field. We've been helping businesses for over 80 years and our advice line is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Why not speak to a Croner expert on 0800 470 2015.


About the Author

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis is the senior manager of the Litigation and Employment Department and assumes additional responsibility for managing Croner’s office based telephone HR advisory teams, who specialise in employment law, HR and commercial legal advice for small & large organisations across the United Kingdom.





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