Onboarding

Onboarding is the process of assisting new employees within the company, helping such employees adapt to a new culture and brand, while also providing new employees with the tools and information they need to become acquainted with the policies of the company.

Generally, the first step in the onboarding process is a new hire orientation, which allows new employees to learn about the payroll and benefits of the company as well as any other important items. Since onboarding can be an exciting yet anxious-ridden process, companies want to ensure that its new employees are comfortable and ready to begin their new journey.

Advantages of Onboarding

  • Onboarding provides a foundation for success for both new employees and the company
  • Onboarding provides new employees with all facts about the company, including benefits, HR issues, and other things to expect when working for the company.
  • Onboarding helps the company provide a welcoming environment for the new employee in order to foster a positive relationship from the outset.
  • The onboarding process can also be a time when new employees will be paired with a mentor who has been with the company for some time and can assist the new employee in any issues that may arise while working for the company.
  • Onboarding can also increase both loyalty and longevity to the company.
  • Onboarding can also provide new employees with an understanding of what is expected of them, and the time it generally takes to be promoted.
  • Onboarding also assists the company, who can reduce costs of training on the job if a proper orientation takes place.
  • Onboarding saves both colleagues and managers time that would otherwise be spent training new employees, thus increasing production.

The How and Why of Training

It is important to note that training is not the same as onboarding. Training occurs on an ongoing basis, whether the training be conducted in-person or via the company’s online platform. Training is essentially a learning process in which employees learn what is expected of them not only in their specific job functions but what is expected of them on a personal behavioral level. For example, when working for a company, employees must behave in a certain way; no company will stand for harassment or discrimination in the workplace. Training is provided to reiterate this. Further, the company will provide training on its culture, which new employees will first learn about during the onboarding process. Training may also be conducted through a mentorship program. The program itself may be introduced during onboarding; however, the mentorship with the mentor will grow the longer an employee is with the company. Such mentorship programs can help reduce turnover and keep employee’s happy if the program can further help employees careers with the company.

The 10 Commandments of Onboarding

  1. The employer should not falsify the job description. It would not be a good idea for a new employee to learn during the onboarding process that he or she is expected to do something entirely different than was assumed and stated during the interview process. 
  2. The employer should provide new employees with objectives and responsibilities that will be expected of hem.
  3. The employer should advise new employees that the orientation is meant to help them better understand what is expected of them, and that they should give their undivided attention to the speaker(s) during such orientation. No email, no texting, no phone calls unless it is an emergency.
  4. The employer should have all relevant paperwork ready for new employees to read and sign. Some paperwork, including payroll, is more important and the new employees will want to ensure that it is completed immediately so not to delay the process.
  5. The employer should introduce all new employees to colleagues working within the same department. If the company is very small, then the new employer should introduce the employee to everyone.
  6. The employer should ensure that the new employee’s workstation is set up and ready to go.
  7. The employer should ensure that the new employee’s manager sets up a one-on-one meeting on day 1 (or week 1) to go over any open-ended items that may not have been answered in the initial orientation. This is a good time for the manager to identify what is expected of the new employee in 30-days, 60-days, and 90-days.
  8. The employer should identify that it allows for a proper work-life balance
  9. The employer should clearly identify the company culture. Ensure that new employees are well aware of all company policies, dress code, vacation and sick days, medical leave, etc.
  10. The employer should think ahead. Don’t just create an orientation for onboarding; you’ll want to provide additional feedback and training for what is expected of such employees after a period of time.

If you need help creating a better onboarding process for your company, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.