New Employee Onboarding Best Practices: Factors to Consider for Success

According to one recent study, replacing an employee who has left your business can cost between 50% to 60% of that person's salary. This is why it's virtually always more expensive to hire a new person than it is to simply retain one of your existing workers. If you're replacing someone who makes about $100,000 per year, it could cost between $50,000 and $60,000 just to get someone new in the door - and that's before they've had a chance to start working.

If you need a single statistic that underlines the importance of employee onboarding, let it be that one.

Salaries are a huge part of the costs incurred when running a business, yes - but they're also not the only expense of a high turnover. Not only does it delay the ability of your team to drive revenue, but it also significantly hurts employee morale in the long run.

Thankfully, you can take several steps during the employee onboarding process today that will help pave the way for success tomorrow.


The Age of Pre-Boarding is Upon Us

Truly, one of the most important things to understand about all of this is that it's never too early to start preparing someone for their first day on the job. In recent years, many businesses have begun to engage in this prior to the start of the official "onboarding" process.

This is known as pre-boarding, and it can involve a number of things such as:

  • Sending a new hire a welcome kit, which can include merchandise like t-shirts with company branding, a laptop or other assets that they'll need once they get started, and more. If nothing else, you'll know that they A) have access to certain tools, and B) you'll have already begun making them feel like they belong.

  • Sending "what to expect" messages. This is a great way to get someone's expectations in order as early on in the process as possible. Let them know who they'll be interacting with on their first day, for example, and what items they should bring with them.

  • Conduct team introductions. For someone to be at their best, they need to feel like they're contributing to the larger whole. To get to that point, you'll want to introduce new hires to team members even before they begin onboarding in earnest.


Take Care of Administrative Tasks First

Once onboarding does begin, you'll want to make sure that new hires have a "clear runway" to get to know the business and its culture, so to speak. This means completing all common onboarding tasks prior to someone's arrival. If nothing else, this can help make sure that there are no unnecessary delays in their training and ongoing education.

Just a few of these tasks include but are not limited to things like:

  • Making sure that all necessary security logins to your business' technology, along with building access keys, have been accounted for.

  • Setting up a new hire's desk for them complete with necessary equipment like a computer, monitor, cables, adapters, and phone service. At the very least, you should make sure that they have a desk to report to in the first place.

  • Create a profile for the new hire (complete with any associated logins) for any attendance tool that you're using.

  • If yours is the type of business that hands out uniforms and personalized name tags, these should be among the first things that the employee receives on their first day on the job.


Hit the Ground Running

New employees are always at their best when they're engaged with your business. To get there, they have to be excited about their new job. This means that you should go out of your way to make this person's first day, and the beginning of their larger onboarding experience, as exciting as possible.

If scheduling allows, arrange a lovely lunch with this new hire and a few of the people they'll be working with. Send out an email to the entire business that introduces the new employee and lets people know when they'll be starting and how exciting it is that they've arrived. You could even give them a gift for their first day.

In the end, it doesn't matter how much experience a new hire has, or how impressive their resume is. They still need to be onboarded properly. Remember that if a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, your teams are only as strong as their weakest member. Don't let that weak member be someone who wasn't onboarded properly because, in that situation, the only people at fault will ultimately be company leadership.

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