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Onboarding Essentials

You’ve gone through the process of finding a batch of great new hires, chosen carefully from dozens of applicants and considered prospects. No doubt, your business runs like a finely tuned machine and each of your employees is a skilled operator. Your new recruits have all proven that their personalities and skills will fit well into your company structure but they don’t start on day one knowing all of your intricate internal procedures. That’s what orientation training is for. Of course, you want the most helpful and efficient coursework possible. Structuring your training program with these ten onboarding essentials will make sure that you have all your bases covered and the new team members are ready to start their work tasks by the end of the orientation sessions.

1: Welcome on the onboarding day

Show your new employees how happy you are to have them, then introduce them to the company, buildings, and their new jobs. A quick tour around the office or facilities can help them get that movie-opening impression of how things work and where everything is. This is a great time to show them their new assigned workspaces and answer initial questions.

2: Company History and Culture as part of the Onboarding Essentials

Tours can be exciting and difficult to listen through, so don’t start the real content until you’ve settled back into the orientation space, then dive straight in with the company history. Many companies have an interesting or unique founding history that will engage new hires and help them grasp the company philosophies from the root. From here, you can segue smoothly into company culture, making it clear the kinds of shared attitudes and break room behaviors that are supported. If you have company sports teams, group outings, or favorite catering days, now is the time to share them.

3: New Hire Paperwork

One of the primary reasons to gather and do orientation together is to fill out the new hire paperwork completely and accurately. Normally this doesn’t take very long, but tends to occupy everyone’s attention for a few minutes as they write in personal details and double-check legibility. Make sure to collect the forms promptly to avoid any possible risk of loss or coffee stains.

4: Compensation and Benefits

This topic is keenly important to your trainees who are planning their lives around the circumstances of their new job. At this time, cover pay periods, direct deposit, payroll deductions, health insurance, and any additional benefits or payment details that apply to your business model and their employment packages.

5: Attendance and Leave

Not every company requires the standard 9 to 5 from all employees, and most differ at least a little in leave policies. Make sure your new employees understand timecard procedure and their expected work hours along with any schedule flexibility your company allows for like voluntary night shifts and alternate week patterns. This flows smoothly into enumerating when and how leave is applied for, taken, and counted. Finally, make sure to cover absenteeism policy and how meal break periods work in your company culture.

The way you onboard will not only determine how well your employees adapt to their new positions, it can also shape your company culture and influence how happy each new hire is to be on your team.

Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on how to cover absolutely everything you need in a single onboarding lesson plan. Last time we talked about the first half of this process including giving a little background on the company, handling the HR paperwork, and clearing up questions about time off and benefits. Today, let’s pick up at compliance, an undeniably important topic that should not be left until later.

Also make sure that the workstations (PC, notebooks) are available on the first day, as this is one of the onboarding essentials to ensure motivation.

6: Policy and Compliance

Companies are complex and their policies reflect that. While you can’t expect your trainees to memorize every policy, give them the list and highlight everything that has daily significance. Conduct expectations, travel procedures, expense reporting, and workstation upkeep are all good focus topics for the policy section. Compliance, on the other hand, are things that are absolutely necessary for the smooth legal functioning of your company. Rules about how to deal with clients, health considerations, and maintenance procedures for things like heavy machinery or perishable goods can help your trainees avoid critical mistakes down the line. 

7: Safety and Security

From thievery to ransomware, no company can do without a thorough security system but the actual measures in place will depend on your industry, facilities, and company culture. New trainees need the full rundown on building keys, ID keycards, workstation logins and security measures, how to maintain client information security, and parking policies. By thoroughly covering how to enter and exit the building, you can reduce the number of instances a new hire accidentally locks themselves out and has to be retrieved from the roof, parking lot, or locking supply closet.

8: Sign Up for Training

In many cases, some additional training may be required by your trainees in order to fully understand their new positions. It’s best to get this introduced, scheduled, and on their calendars before the orientation group disperses to their various departments, teams, and managers. Make sure they understand where the new training locations are and how to get there to help them start out on the right foot after orientation. One classic of onboarding essentials.

9: Introduction to Teams

While you passed by their offices during the welcome tour, now it’s time to introduce each of your recruits to their new teams and managers. Give them time for greetings and a few questions and introduce them to either their personal workspace or the workspace sharing policies in place. This will help your new employees gain a clear understanding of how to start their first post-orientation day and who to report to.

10: Closing Question & Answer to Onboarding Essentials

As you close your orientation training, take the time to welcome questions. Because this is a complicated and important change in each of their lives, some people may take a few minutes to solidify the questions they have developed throughout orientation while others will have taken meticulous notes and be ready with a pre-written list of questions. Encourage both styles and take the time to answer the questions thoroughly. This is your final chance to prevent misunderstandings and newbie mistakes in the near future and will save time later if addressed now. When everyone’s done, thank your new employees for their cooperation and wish them luck in their new positions.

During orientation for a new job, even in a familiar industry, it can be hard to soak up all the new information in a timely manner. Knowledge Anywhere is dedicated to helping your company build the best possible training program to get your new hires up-to-speed without creating that ‘information overload’ feeling. From the opening tour to the final questions, we look forward to working with you to ensure that every one of your valuable employees feels both welcome and well trained at the end of their orientation. Armed with high-quality recruits and a solid training program, you’ll be seeing smooth team integrations and great work performance from your new employees in no time at all.

For more helpful advice about onboarding essentials and training new hires, contact us today!

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Georg Tichy

Georg Tichy

Georg Tichy is a management consultant in Europe, focusing on top-management consultancy, projectmanagement, corporate reporting and fundingsupport. Dr. Georg Tichy is also trainer, lecturer at university and advisor on current economic issues. Contact me or Book a MeetingView Author posts