The onboarding experience for employees shouldn’t be anything like a first day in a new school. So why do companies often get this wrong? It seems so often that companies aren’t prepared enough to even have a workstation set up for their employee’s first day.

As we all know, first impressions count. And ultimately this impression determines whether they are going to be around a year later or not. Employers can spend thousands in a recruitment process to then miss a simple trick such as making an employee feel welcome on their first day. For small businesses, losing a new hire is costly. Therefore, ensuring you have a good onboarding process is vital to the success and retention of your employees.

Read our top 3 tips on how you can improve your onboarding experience:

  1. Begin onboarding before day one.

Paperwork and payroll set-up, along with computer/phone/network connections should be completed and organised ahead of the employee’s first day. There is nothing more underwhelming than “Welcome. Please sit here and complete all these forms and call the IT department. Once you have done that come and find me, if I am not in a meeting”.

There are a huge variety of free or cost-effective tools which can support onboarding tasks remotely. This could be completing all new starter documentation online, completing some e-learning and getting to know the names and faces of your team.

  1. Setting expectations and objectives early.

Setting objectives and/or expectations for the first week, first month and first three months will help new employees establish a sense of routine as well as also having a purpose for their induction. These expectations and objectives could form part of a probation process and could include a calendar of upcoming milestones. Importantly, the expectations will give the new employee some responsibilities to ensure they are an important part of their new organisation and/or team.

  1. Check in regularly!

Leaving new employees to fend for themselves can be isolating, however, as line managers or business owners, you do not have time to micro-manage a new starter through every task you set them. That’s why regular checks are paramount. These could be in the form of 121s to review progress on objectives and more generally about feedback from both parties. In addition to this, you may wish to consider assigning the new starter a ‘buddy’. This could be from their team to support on work tasks, or this could be someone from another area of the business to promote collaborative working and give the new employee a way to get to know another area of the business.

We can ensure your new team members join you in the most inspiring and informed way, just in get in touch! Drop us an email at