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Onboarding - Getting the basics right for a successful employee experience!

Onboarding is a critical step in integrating your new team member. Most of the time, it’s neglected by managers & HR alike. Before you get sophisticated with your onboarding programme, it’s important that you get the fundamentals right. What's the point of offering cake and balloons when they don’t have a computer or desk on their day one, right?

Here are my top tips for creating an onboarding experience that will surely set your new team member up for success!

1. First impression count - Send a personalized email to your new team member to welcome them in advance. If you don’t have time to write a fancy email, make it informal and send a video of the team welcoming their new colleague

2. Must have equipment - Set their desk up with essential office equipment i.e., computer, office supplies

3. Give them a warm welcome - Hold a morning tea with the team to welcome them to the team. This will provide an opportunity to meet and greet the team and promote a culture of engagement and respect

4. Assign a workplace “buddy” - The go-to person can help familiarise your new team member in their new environment, connect them to the right people and offer support throughout their induction period. This will help to relax any nerves and “new employee jitters”

5. Checklists create structure - Consider creating an onboarding checklist that covers at least the first two weeks of the employee’s journey. We recommend this includes:

  • Meeting with HR to go over some of the important policies & processes

  • Meeting with the team & different departments to increase their network

  • Meeting with the manager to go over the team’s structure, history, priorities & general ways of working

  • An office tour to familiarize themselves in their new home

  • An orientation day for them to learn more about the culture, history & an overview of the company

  • Team lunch to get to know each other on a personal level

TIP – Avoid information overload! Consider breaking this up over a 2-week period. You can make this more fun if you mix this up with videos, online tutorials, gamified learning…

6. Set your new employee up for success. Discuss and agree objectives that your new team member will be focusing on during their probation period. Make it clear what a successful probation looks like. Clearly define success measures and provide reasonable timelines. This will help to manage expectations for both you and your new team member.

7. Set aside time at the end of each week to check in with the employee. Here you can discuss their first impressions, support required, and visit their objective progress. It is an opportunity to better understand the employees’ strengths and look at potential learning and development opportunities.

As the employee is inducted into the new role, it is also an opportunity for the employer to discover what components of the onboarding process went well, and what could be done differently. Asking the employee open questions such as “What additional information would you have liked to know?”, “What would have made your first month better?” and “What areas did you find especially beneficial during the onboarding process?” will ensure that you can continually adapt, evolve and improve your onboarding process.

Let us know how we can support you in designing a great onboarding experience together. Connect with us at

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