Amp Up Your Onboarding Program

First impressions are everything. The candidate did what they could to “wow” you and your hiring staff, so now it’s your turn to impress your new hire. 90% of employees decide whether to stay with a company within the first six months of starting a new job. So the question is, what needs to be done to make your rockstar employees want to stay? It all starts with your onboarding program.

For starters, it’s important to remember that onboarding is not training. Onboarding is all about the personal touch and giving the employee the attention they deserve to make them feel comfortable in their new role.

Here are some key factors that should be implemented into your onboarding program before, on, and after the start date:

Before the Start Date

Uh oh, does anyone know where the new hire is supposed to sit?
Your new employee is already feeling nervous and slightly insecure walking into a brand new role. Make sure their office is set up, including their computer, phone, and a desk filled with the necessary office supplies, before their first day. Fumbling around trying to find a place for the new hire to work makes them feel unwelcomed and forgotten about right off the bat. Perhaps create a checklist of everything that needs to be accomplished before the first day to be used for every new hire.

Communication & Paperwork
Prior to the start date, send your new hire an email and give them all of the necessary information needed such as, how to dress, who they should ask for, parking, what they should bring on their first day, etc. to make them feel a little more comfortable. This gives them a contact to reach out to as well if they have any further questions before their first day. And let’s face it, no one enjoys first day HR paperwork. Email the paperwork to them to fill out prior to their start date to make the first day a little less tedious.

On the Start Date

Where’s the Bathroom?
If your new employee has to ask where the bathroom is, you did something wrong. As soon as the new hire settles in, give them a tour showing them everywhere they will need to go. Also make sure they have an updated company phone directory so if they have any questions, they don’t feel stuck or alone.

Check List
Give your new employee some time to settle in to their new workspace. Create a list of tasks for the new hire to complete on the first day to keep them busy and feeling productive. Whether it is simply creating an email signature or reading over the company handbook, it’s work that isn’t too stressful for the first day. Always make sure someone is around for them to ask questions if needed.

Make it Special
Take your new hire to lunch! It’s a great gesture that helps break the ice on the first day. If lunch isn’t in the budget, do something else to make them feel welcomed, such as a personalized welcome card or some company branded material.

After the Start Date

Make it a Company Effort
HR shouldn’t be the only department involved in the onboarding process. With all of the departments assisting, not only will this make the new employee feel like a part of the team, but it will help them understand what it is each department does and what they’re accountable for. Have the new hire sit with as many different departments as possible to really give them a feel for the company.

Check in on a regular basis with the new hire and give them feedback on how they’re doing. It’s also important to take advantage of the fresh set of eyes and ask for their feedback in return. Maybe they have some ideas on how to make your onboarding process even better.


These are a just a few of the ways to improve your company’s onboarding program. In order to get your employees to stay, prove to them why they should! The onboarding process is not something that can be forgotten about and should be the same for every employee joining your team.