13 Ways To Onboard Happy Employees and Increase Retention

Posted June 24, 2019 by Justworks in Hiring and Onboarding
A good onboarding process can help you increase retention and make sure new hires get up and running quickly. Get our favorite tips for better onboarding.

The onboarding experience is a crucial first impression for your new hires. As an employer, it offers the opportunity to set people up for success within your company, and feel that they’ve made the right choice in joining your team.

In this way, onboarding is also helpful for employee retention. A great onboarding process helps new hires become effective employees sooner, which builds their confidence and helps them grow.

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When you think of it like that, it’s a lot of pressure on how you structure those early days of a new employee’s tenure. And it’s true that onboarding can be difficult, especially without a set process in place. When you’re a veteran at the company, it can be easy to forget how confusing those first couple weeks were, and sometimes relevant details can slip through the cracks.

The tips below will help you make sure that doesn’t happen, and that you’re introducing your new employees to a successful and happy career with your company.

New Hire To-Dos:

Group New Hires Together

Starting a new job is intimidating, even for the most confident of us. If possible, schedule multiple new hires to start on the same or similar dates so you can educate them together. This will save you time as well as give new hires a friendly face or two they can share the process with.

These employees don’t need to be in the same department to learn about the brand voice, vision and values. This is a great opportunity for people from different teams to meet, making it easier later to build cross-functional relationships.

Provide Lots of Context

Each new hire has their own role to perform, but a good onboarding experience will help them understand how their individual contributions fit into the larger picture of the company. Present brief overviews of the various departments and teams in your organization to give new employees context about how the company as a whole operates. Not only does this give employees an understanding of how things work, they’ll also know which teams and people to ask when questions come up in the future.

Related Article: How to Maintain Company Culture in a Rapidly Growing Business

Personalize Everything

Little things can make a big difference. Send an email out to the entire company, or at least the new hire’s immediate team members, to introduce them and welcome the new employee. Be sure to include fun details, too. Work isn’t just about your professional talents, but also about the shared connection each of us has as human beings.

Try asking new employees to share their favorite travel destination, their most used emoji, whether they prefer pulp or no pulp in their juice — whatever conversation starter you like. At Justworks, we have new hires stand up at their first all-hands meeting and share their first concert.

13 Tips for Smooth Onboarding:

Here are some things you’ll want to check off you list before the new employee arrives for their first day:

  1. Remind the new hire of what to bring — i.e. two forms of ID, a computer, etc.
  2. Tell them any office commute logistics (Do they have a parking spot? Is it close to a subway stop?)
  3. Send out an email to relevant current employees a week ahead of the new hire's start date, so they're prepared to welcome the new hire.
  4. Assign a buddy or go-to person your new employee can turn to with questions. If possible, ask that person to grab lunch with the new hire on their first day. Invite a few other team members to make it extra special.
  5. Get the new hire a security badge if they’ll need one for your building or office.
  6. Set up your new hire on your payroll and HR system, and any other internal systems you use. For instance, if you use Justworks, you’ll add them as an employee on your dashboard. Otherwise, you should plan on collecting bank account information and other key forms.
  7. Prepare the new employee’s workspace. Whether it’s by providing a nameplate on their office door or desk, giving out a company mug or notebook, or some other personal touch, it’s always nice to show that you’re excited for their arrival.
  8. Set up the computer as soon as possible. If you provide your employees with company computers, make sure they have the necessary software for the job, or that they know how to get it.
  9. Configure the new employee's email account. Make sure they’re added to any email groups or lists they’ll need for receiving team communications.
  10. Set up their phone system, if necessary.
  11. Schedule out 30-, 60- and 90-day meetings to talk about how the new hire is adjusting over time, and address any challenges they are facing.
  12. When they arrive, give a tour of the office, particularly pointing out the restrooms, kitchens, meeting rooms, and other essential office spaces. Getting the lay of the land will help the new hire feel more comfortable and acclimated.
  13. Use this quick and easy checklist to help make sure you've covered your bases.

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In all, your goal here is to make the arriving employee feel as excited as possible to get started on their new role. You want to set these people up for success by making sure they understand the company basics as well as have a few new friends to lean on while they’re ramping up and adjusting.

Proper onboarding provides a fun, valuable experience for all, and on top of that, can actually reduce churn and increase retention. To see how new hires find the onboarding experience at your organization, try asking them for feedback once they’ve gone through the process. This can provide some great viewpoints on how it all went, and how you can make improvements for future additions to your team.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.