Employee onboarding is the process of introducing newly hired employees to their new workplace. It provides the basic organisational information employees need to feel prepared for their new team, department, and role within the company.

Effective onboarding makes employees aware of company policies and expectations, handles essential paperwork, and answers any questions or concerns they may have before they transition into their new positions.  

Onboarding is not to be confused with orientation. Onboarding is the process of incorporating a new employee into a company and familiarizing them with the company culture and policies, so they can become an effective and contributing member of the team. In short, onboarding new staff members improves retention of staff.

When thinking of how best to onboard employees, we recommended employers consider the following…

  • Consider the working space
    Individuals in low paid roles as often frontline staff, individuals far away from central office. Individuals in these roles often report not feeling valued by their employer, as they are deemed low-skilled and replaceable. Staff who don’t feel valued are likely to be less productive in their roles, and more likely to feel stuck. 
  • Include breakdown of process
    As a new staff member joins, it is good practice to provide them with a full understand of the onboarding, so they have an understanding of what is being covered. Having the onboarding process established also means you can refer back to it over time, and make sure the process is not hard to follow or confusing. 
  • Schedule introductory meetings
    Where possible, we recommend setting up in advance meetings with staff members or teams. Imbedding these meetings into the onboarding process saves time and makes sense joiners are introduced to individuals relevant to their role early on. 
  • Be mindful of knowledge gaps
    In the early stages of starting a new role, it is likely that new staff members will be unfamiliar with their new work environment or have a full understanding of their role. It is important to not heap pressure on to new staff members in the early stages as they start to learn the role. 
  • Use a buddy system
    It can be hard for new staff to build rapport with their new colleagues, particularly if roles are hybrid working or co-located. Where staff tend to work separately for periods of time, organisations should consider implementing a buddy system where new staff are partnered with a current member of the organisation creates a point of contact for new members who have questions, but don’t want to only speak to their line manager.
  • Schedule routine check-ins
    Line managers should establish from the outset regular check ins with new staff members. These conversations are to find out the staff member is settling in at the organisation, rather than conversations around performance or KPIs.