New Employee Onboarding Guide and Checklist

Alex Cleary

Employee Engagement

Your employees’ success starts their very first day at your business. Help your new employees achieve their maximum potential by providing a solid employee onboarding process.

Starting at a new job is a daunting task. New names to remember, new accounts to create, new processes to memorize. It’s no surprise that many employee onboarding processes last weeks if not months.

A solid onboarding process should set your new hires up for success right from the start. It should also save both management and employees time and effort helping a new hire get settled.

Create engaged employees, strengthen your company culture, and reduce employee turnover by giving your onboarding process the attention it deserves. We break down essential employee onboarding tips and best practices to help you in the process.

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What is Employee Onboarding?

Your onboarding process is how your employee first learns about their role in your company. It’s also how they’ll learn about their colleagues and support systems.

Needless to say, the onboarding process helps frame how new hires see your company and culture.

Employee onboarding in a practical sense refers to the steps you take to acquaint new hires with their new position.

It’s important to differentiate between employee onboarding and orientation; the former is the overall process of employee introductions, while the latter is simply a subset of this process that involves the administrative aspects of onboarding, like setting up employee emails and new accounts.

Why is Employee Onboarding Important?

Not only does effective employee onboarding raise new hires’ productivity, it also has numerous other benefits.

A formalized onboarding process can save time and effort from your HR department. Ideally, your onboarding process features a new employee survey from which you can gather important insights to help refine your onboarding process.

An effective onboarding process should also reduce the number of interruptions your existing employees encounter from your new hires. If your new hires are probably informed as to where to ask their questions, they’re less likely to ask the wrong people for help.

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Benefits of Employee Onboarding

Your workplace onboarding process is your chance to set expectations for your new hire. Letting your new employees know exactly what is expected of them and when, you can alleviate anxieties and help them manage their time better.

Ultimately, employee onboarding introduces new hires to your company’s culture. While some of this should have been covered during the interview process, your new employees should feel content with their new career decision based on their experience of your work culture. Employee experience is an important aspect of the overall onboarding process.

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Employee Onboarding Best Practices

Whether you’re conducting remote employee onboarding or in-person induction, the best digital employee experiences for onboarding have a few things in common. Namely, there are a number of employee onboarding best practices that should be guiding your efforts at all times.

Before you begin the onboarding process, review these new employee onboarding best practices:

  • Take stock of every employee touchpoint across your employee recruitment and onboarding experiences. This includes your career pages, job descriptions, interview questions, and anything else a new hire or candidate will encounter. This ensures a seamless onboarding experience.
  • Ensure that you’re absolutely clear and transparent regarding company policies that will affect your new hires. This includes remote work policies, and vacation policies.
  • Identify designated resources that employees will need for the onboarding process. This could be an intranet, employee newsletter platform, or employee handbook. You’ll need to ensure that all new employee onboarding documents are available and easily accessible on this platform ahead of your employee’s first day.
  • Make sure to create a timetable for your employee to follow. Include specific employee onboarding tasks and employee onboarding training that your new hire will need to complete. We provide an employee onboarding schedule template below.

If your organization is hiring numerous employees at once who all require onboarding emails, consider creating a custom email list to easily send new employees onboarding updates. With ContactMonkey’s List Management feature, you can create custom email lists—without IT—that integrate with your Human Resource Information System (HRIS) like Workday and ADP, as well as Azure Active Directory, so they’ll update automatically.

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What Should Employee Onboarding Include?

The onboarding process will look different depending on what kind of organization you’re working in.  That’s why you should focus on building your onboarding process according to the goals we outlined above.

In addition, we’ve provided a new employee onboarding checklist with 5 key steps to follow during the onboarding process. It includes specific employee onboarding tasks you need to complete, alongside employee engagement ideas to motivate your new hires.

Alongside each of these steps, we suggest creating a formalized onboarding process with set dates. These will help new hires move onto each new stage of onboarding.

You can use the following steps as a new employee onboarding checklist template:

Step 1: Introduce your new hire

Establishing stronger work relationships is important for your new hires’ success, so give ample time for employee introductions early in the onboarding process.

Employee introductions give new hires a chance to build rapport with their coworkers. New hires can also learn about the overall structure of the organization via employee introductions.

A new employee introduction email is a great way for new hires to introduce themselves. A new employee onboarding email template can save you time and effort by containing messages from management introducing the new employee, or even feature messages from the employee themselves:

Screenshot of new employee welcome email template created using ContactMonkey's email template builder.

New employee introduction emails are great for companies with remote employees. They alert everyone when a new person has joined, and can give them a heads-up to introduce themselves.

Your onboarding process should help your new hires establish a manageable pace for their starting at your company. Allow for plenty of time for your employee to get through their employee orientation materials.

Your goal is to help new hires become acclimated to their new role and coworkers. Help your employees feel confident in their new position and encourage them to ask questions whenever they need guidance.

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Step 2: Choose your new employee onboarding software

One of the quickest and easiest methods to optimize your onboarding process is to use a dedicated software. An employee onboarding tool can reduce the amount of time you spend creating new emails and content.

With ContactMonkey, you can save time on your HR email templates by:

  • Reducing the amount of email design time via our easy-to-use email template builder.
  • Creating re-usable email templates for future new hires.
  • Scheduling email sends to various distribution lists.
  • Tracking your email analytics to hone your content to what your audience wants to see.

Want to use ContactMonkey for employee onboarding automation? Our internal communications software can schedule onboarding email for your new employees. Ensure that they get all the resources and employee onboarding documents they need to succeed by automating their onboarding emails.

Step 3: Choose/create your new employee onboarding templates

With ContactMonkey, you can easily create an effective onboarding process with customized email templates.

You’ll have the option to choose from dozens of pre-made employee onboarding templates and employee introduction emails, or customize your own using a drag-and-drop menu.

All you have to do is  switch out the relevant information for new hires. You can also personalize the text of your new employee emails using merge tags:

Screenshot of merge tags inserted into an email using ContactMonkey's email template builder.

It’s super easy to create stunning introduction emails using ContactMonkey’s drag-and-drop email template builder. Improve your onboarding program by creating new employee onboarding surveys for your new hires.

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Pick a plan that suits your unique internal communication needs.

Step 4: Understand new hire needs by gathering employee feedback

Conduct surveys and collect feedback, using your internal communications to drive employee engagement and find what needs to be improved in your employees’ first onboarding experiences:

Screenshot of survey options within ContactMonkey's email template builder.

Step 5: Set up events for greater dialogue with new employees

In addition to creating onboarding resources, you can organize onboarding events for your new hires. For instance, you can organize a company-wide video call to introduce your new hire as part of your remote employee onboarding checklist.

In addition, you’ll want to organize employee onboarding training events and team-building activities. These are essential for driving workforce engagement and helping your new hire adjust to your company culture.

With ContactMonkey’s employee onboarding training software, you can easily plan, invite, and track onboarding events using event management:

Screenshot of event invitation created using ContactMonkey's event management feature.

Events are a terrific way to help new hires meet their coworkers and learn about your company culture. With ContactMonkey you can embed invitations into your employee emails and even collect employee comments on your RSVPs. This enables you to ensure a smooth, automated employee onboarding process.

In addition to event tracking, you can use ContactMonkey to track your internal emails to new employees. Tracking email metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and read time can help you determine if you’re overwhelming new employees with emails:

Screenshot of engagement distribution timeline within ContactMonkey's campaign overview dashboard.

Email analytics are a great way to fine tune your onboarding process. With ContactMonkey, you get way more information about how your new employees are acclimatizing with their new roles.

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Does your organization have internal or external regulations around email privacy? With ContactMonkey’s anonymous email tracking, you can gather email metrics will maintaining your employees’ privacy.

If you’re having troubles starting your onboarding emails, you can get ideas by using ContactMonkey’s OpenAI ChatGPT integration. Simply describe what you want to accomplish with your new employee onboarding email, select the generated content that you like and edit it according to your audience.

Optimize Your Employee Onboarding Process

Investing in effective onboarding for your employees is a highly beneficial undertaking. Not only do you set up your new hires for success, but you help the image of your company by taking legitimate interest in the success of your employees.

Treat your onboarding with the care it deserves by optimizing your onboarding program. Use the objectives we discussed to structure your process, and employ a software solution for the best onboarding results. The success of your onboarding program is one of many great ways to measure employee engagement, and contributes to better workplace engagement statistics.

Want to learn more about how ContactMonkey can help with onboarding your new hires? Book a free demo today and see all that ContactMonkey can do for your business:

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