Creating an employee onboarding checklist ensures that you and your employees get the most out of your new hire process.
An employee onboarding checklists helps new employees will feel more grounded and confident in their roles. It also enables your employees to retain more information faster so they can become meaningful contributors to the company.
However, creating an effective checklist might not be as easy as you think it would be. Here’s a sampling of some of the things you need to include on your onboarding checklist to ensure that you get the best results:
12 Things to Do before Employees Start Work
Your employee onboarding checklist should begin before your new hire even starts work. The exact checklist will vary from industry to industry and from company to company, but a basic checklist before employees start should include tasks such as:
- Submit new-hire paperwork to human resources
- Confirm the start date and time, location, required documents, parking information, and other details about the employee’s first day
- Arrange for the hardware and software needs of the new employee
- Arrange for a cubicle, office, or other work space for the new employee
- Order any necessary office or work supplies
- Identify and provide the name of an onboarding buddy or mentor
- Create a work schedule for the first two weeks, including specific assignments and overall goals
- Create a welcome packet that includes company phone lists, maps, company mission statement, employment rules, and other important information
- Add the employee to the computer system, including creating an employee ID and assigning an email list
- Arrange social appointments for the first few weeks, such as lunch with co-workers or receptions with department heads
- Notify co-workers and department heads about the employee’s start and include biographical and work information
- Schedule appropriate training sessions
There may be much more you need to do to prepare for an employee’s first day of work, depending on your industry. For example, you may need to order a uniform or specialty equipment that the employee will have to use. You may need to create a pass code, access card, or copy of a set of keys. You may even need to assign reading for the employee to complete before starting the job.
Use this list as a general guideline that will get your employee and your team ready for the new hire’s start.
Checklist for the First Few Days on the Job
The first day is an exciting one that is often filled with an overwhelming number of logistics. Many employees don’t feel like they’ve properly started their jobs until after the first week. You’ll likely have to extend your employee onboarding checklist for the first day to the first several days and maybe even the first week.
Here are 10 things that you’ll likely need to include on your checklist for that first week:
- Clarify the schedule for the first week, including the first day’s activities, training during the week, and scheduled meetings
- Provide a description of or review the duties and expectations for the position
- Provide a departmental overview chart
- Discuss policies for overtime, requesting vacation, sick and personal time, work hours, and other issues pertaining to scheduling and work hours
- Take the employee on a tour of the company and make introductions to pertinent co-workers and department heads
- Provide logistical essentials, such as a building key or access card, a computer log on, and whatever pass codes are necessary
- Arrange for parking on the first day and have HR give the employee long-term parking options
- Discuss the performance review process; set initial goals
- Provide the first work assignment
- Take the employee out to lunch
Your goals during this first week should be to orient the employee, to help him or her understand goals and expectations, to give the employee all the logistical things that are required to begin work, and to help him or her feel comfortable and welcomed.
Goals and Checklist Items for the First Month
The first month is when employees will really get started with the job, though they will continue to need guidance and support.
Employees are still learning their way, though they are slowly gaining their footing. Creating an employee onboarding checklist that includes that first month will ensure that your employees will stay on track so they have a better chance of long-term success.
Here are six things you should include on the checklist for the first month:
- Create a schedule for regular check-ins to see how the employee is progressing, to troubleshoot any problems, and to answer any questions
- Provide regular feedback with constructive criticism and plenty of praise for what is going right
- Review performance goals and revise as needed
- Continue to schedule meetings and lunches for the employee with key people in the company, and continue making meaningful introductions
- Assess the effectiveness of the initial training and schedule additional training if necessary
- Make new assignments that build on the initial work and encourage the development of new skills while also providing more responsibility
Continue to make yourself available to employees during this time to provide feedback and to find out what support they need. Ideally, you should have assigned a mentor for each employee at the beginning, and those mentors should also be available to provide support.
Continue the Onboarding Process throughout the First Year
Onboarding is an ongoing process, and you should have an employee onboarding checklist that extends through the first year.
Here are a few things you should make sure happen during each of your employees’ first year:
- Schedule and conduct a performance review at three months, six months, and one year
- Provide additional training where necessary
- Schedule or facilitate professional development opportunities outside the company
- Invite employees to company activities that promote morale or recognize achievement
- Redefine employee goals, if necessary
- Ask employee for feedback about job, training, company policies, and any other pertinent topics
- Develop a plan for long-term goals and professional development with the employee
By continuing to follow a checklist through the first year, you can reinforce company goals, troubleshoot problems, and help your employees get the skills they need to do their best on the job. It is essential that you consider the entire first year when you are making plans for your new employees.