Congratulations! You've hired a new employee (or you're thinking about it) and want to make them feel welcome. That shows that you care about your employee experience, which is the first step in creating a stellar onboarding process.

So how do you make the right first impression (or second impression… if you count the hiring process)? We've put together all the essentials to welcome new hires in 2022.

Create an Onboarding Checklist

Every company should have an onboarding process to follow for every new employee. Creating an onboarding checklist will help you maintain continuity as you onboard, and it will also help make sure you don't forget anything. While the specific onboarding checklist may vary depending on the job role you've hired for, here's what most employers need to include in employee onboarding:

  • Make sure it's official: Connect with your HR department to make the job offer official.

  • Send a welcome message: A warm welcome goes a long way.

  • Prepare new hire paperwork: Gather tax documents, payroll information, a copy of the employee handbook, employee benefits paperwork, contracts, and other new hire forms.

  • Put together the equipment they'll need to do the job: Ready their computer, mouse, keyboard, monitors, phone, headsets, etc. If your employee is starting in person, you want their equipment set up and ready to go. If the employee is remote, you want to leave enough time to ship the equipment so it arrives before their first day.

  • Assemble their workstation: Find or purchase their desk, chair, filing storage, and any necessary privacy partitions.

  • Set up their accounts: Partner with IT to be sure the employee has all the logins they will need.

  • Schedule onboarding: Set up necessary meetings and training.

  • Make an announcement: Once your employee starts, send an announcement introducing them to the company or the department.

  • Foster intentional connection: Help your new team member build relationships by facilitating social connections with colleagues (this is especially important for remote workers).

  • Set up a review cadence: Schedule 30-day, 60-day, and/or 90-day reviews.

  • Gather feedback on your onboarding process: You're not going to do 100% right 100% of the time. Stay open to feedback and make necessary adjustments to your onboarding process.

Write a Welcome Email

Sending a welcome email to a new employee can lay a strong foundation that makes the employee feel appreciated. Once the employee has accepted their formal offer letter, you can send an email welcoming them to the company. You want to take care with the note because it’s the employee’s first real introduction to company culture.

Sharing specific details can make the welcome letter more personal, intentional, and sincere. What stood out to you about this person? What were you particularly impressed with? Is there a particular reason you're excited to work with them? Including a line or 2 in the welcome message can go a long way toward making your new employee feel valued and for you to begin building a relationship of trust (which in turn helps employee retention).

Communicate Any To-Dos Before the Employee's Start Date

Either in the welcome message or a separate email, you want to communicate anything the employee will need to have ready for their first day. This includes government ID requirements for hiring documents and anything else they might need to bring. While the welcome message may feel more personal coming from the hiring manager, it’s generally better for human resources to communicate onboarding logistics.

Give Them Everything They Need for Their First Day

Set your new team member up for success by ensuring they have everything they need for the first day. If your employee is starting their new role in person, will they need a badge to get into the office? Do they know where they need to go on their first day? If they're remote, will they have their computer and necessary passwords?

Set Up the Employee's Workstation

Give hybrid and in-person employees a dedicated workstation that makes them excited to come into the office. At the most basic level, the employee needs a desk, a chair, and filing/storage.

Opting for an adjustable height desk gives employees the option of active work throughout the day. Ergonomic chairs promote posture. Workstation furnishings come in every style, so the workstation setup allows you to cultivate the message you want your office environment to communicate.

As you set up the workstation, you'll also want to work with IT to get them the computer equipment they'll need.

Center Employee Experience in Your Onboarding Program

Your employee onboarding process should set the new hire up for success. That means making sure they have access to the information and people they need to get acclimated at a reasonable cadence. It can be tempting to schedule everything in the first couple of days, but you may be better served by spreading meetings and training out over a few weeks. That way, employees have time to process, and they'll be more likely to retain all that important information.

Choose the Right Onboarding Perks

A new job comes with perks. Company swag is a common way to welcome new employees. Other popular ideas include a stipend to update their home office or a membership to a coworking space for remote employees. If you want to ensure that your onboarding budget is spent well, consider surveying existing employees to gain insight into how your current perks are being received and what different perks they'd like to see.

Celebrate With a Team Lunch or Happy Hour

Get the entire team together for some social bonding. Personal relationships inform working relationships. A team lunch or happy hour will help everyone get to know each other on a personal level. For in-person or hybrid employees, that might look like heading to a nearby restaurant. For remote workers, consider organizing a virtual lunch or happy hour. While it might feel clunky, establishing that connection is even more important when you can't rely on informal in-person interaction.


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