16 Non-Obvious Employee Onboarding Best Practices

Employee Onboarding Best Practices | TurnKey

Ready to revolutionize your onboarding process? With remote work becoming more common, it’s crucial that you create a warm and welcoming experience for your new hires. But fear not, we’ve got your back. Here are 16 under-the-radar, top-notch onboarding best practices to ensure your new recruits feel like part of the team from day one. Say hello to a more productive and successful onboarding process!

Table of Contents

Why Is Employee Onboarding Important?

Employee onboarding sets the tone for the employee’s experience at the company. It provides new hires with an understanding of their role and responsibilities, company culture, company values, and expectations.

I’m guessing this SHRM report  will come as no surprise, new team members need about 90 days to prove themselves in the new job and become effective.

In those 90 days, an effective onboarding process can help new hires feel valued, engaged, and motivated, plus reduce the likelihood of early turnover. A poor onboarding experience can lead to confusion, frustration, and disengagement, impacting the employee’s long-term success and happiness at the company.

According to Gallup’s State of the American Workforce report, actively disengaged employees are almost twice as likely to seek new jobs as engaged employees …YIKES! This means stepping up your onboarding is essential, especially since companies with highly engaged workforces also outperform their peers by a whopping 147% in earnings per share.

In this industry, a wrong hire in the senior software developer role could result in costly consequences. The loss of 6-9 months of an employee’s salary is just the beginning. Add to it the lost productivity, low morale, and even reputation damage that can sour any funding deal. Not to mention the delays in product development that will plummet customer and employee satisfaction levels! When it comes down to it, one bad hire has the potential power to taint your entire organizational barrel of apples, resulting in product failure.

To combat this problem and stop the sleepless nights, smart companies reach out to offshore partners like TurnKey. With our expertise in talent retention and onboarding across Eastern Europe and Latin America, you can trust that your new hire will be a valuable addition to your team.

Key Success Factors For An Effective Employee Onboarding Process

Before diving into the best practices, it’s essential to understand some key success factors for an effective employee onboarding process. These factors include:

Key Success Factors For Employee Onboarding | TurnKey

Keeping these factors in mind as you check out the 16 best practices I dragged out of the HR experts for you that can create an efficient and effective onboarding process.

8 Best Practices For Effective Employee Onboarding

From creating a comprehensive training program to providing clear communication channels, I tapped into a few experts to develop this best practices list that can help your new employees feel more comfortable, confident, and better equipped for success.  Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned HR professional doing new hire orientation or a tech executive looking to improve your onboarding process, keep reading for some valuable tips and tricks from our TurnKey recruitment team.

#1. Create a Clear Onboarding Plan

For Kateryna Kurochka, our recruitment team lead, this is the #1 tip for better onboarding!  Although having an onboarding plan is the most evident and vital tool for successful onboarding, the reality is, for many companies, their biggest weakness is having NO PLAN.

A successful onboarding plan should outline the new hire’s first few weeks on the new job well, including training sessions, meetings with team members and managers, and any other activities that will help them feel acclimated to their role and the company culture. Developing a clear plan for new hires’ first 30-60-90 days on the job can help them understand their goals and expectations and provide a roadmap for success. This can include specific milestones, training and development goals, and performance expectations.

#2. Get the Paperwork Out of the Way

It might sound too simple, but one of the best practices for effective employee onboarding is to get the paperwork out of the way as soon as possible This means preparing all necessary paperwork and documents ahead of time, so the new hire can focus on learning about their new role and the company culture. By streamlining this process, organizations can help new hires feel welcomed and appreciated.

#3. Preboard New Hires

Preboarding is the practice of communicating with new hires before their first day of work. This can include sending a welcome package, introducing them to their new team member or members, and providing information about the company culture and expectations. Preboarding helps new hires feel more prepared and less anxious on their first day, which can set the tone for a positive onboarding experience.

Sharing an employee handbook can be an important part of preboarding. Here are three legendary examples to get you started:

  1. One of the most comprehensive company handbooks in the tech industry is the GitLab team handbook. At a staggering 13,804 pages, it serves as a central resource for information on how GitLab operates as a business. The manual is available to the public as part of GitLab’s commitment to transparency, and they welcome criticism. This openness extends to the handbook itself, which can be improved through the “merge request” feature, allowing anyone to suggest improvements or add clarifications. The “issues” option is also available for asking questions.
  2. Netflix’s employee handbook is particularly noteworthy for its clear definition of the company’s vision, culture and principles while making them actionable. By providing concrete examples and suggestions, Netflix empowers its employees to live up to the company’s values.
  3. Finally, Trello is another technology powerhouse that publicly hosts its “employee manual” on its platform. The interactive format is visually appealing and easy to navigate, making it an excellent resource for employees looking for information on company policies and procedures.
Trello Employee Manual | TurnKey

#4. Involve Team Members in the Process

At TurnKey, our recruiting team is responsible for managing onboarding processes and helps to find a buddy or mentor for each new hire who can answer questions, provide guidance, and introduce them to others in the team member company. This helps new hires feel more comfortable and connected from the outset.

#5. Involve Senior Leaders

In addition to involving team members, step it up and include senior leaders in the onboarding process. This can include having the CEO or other executives speak to new hires about the company’s full mission statement, vision, and values. This helps new hires understand the company’s priorities and goals and reinforces their importance to the organization.

#6. Encourage Socialization

Host team-building events and encourage new hires to get to know their co-workers and colleagues. This will help them feel more connected to the company and its culture.

#7. Manage the Employee Onboarding Progress

Measuring the effectiveness of the updated onboarding process is also critical. This can be done through regular employee feedback surveys, tracking retention rates of new hires, and assessing their performance after completing the onboarding process. Use this information to continually improve and adjust the onboarding process as needed.

#8. Keep the Process Flexible

Not every new hire will have the same needs or learning style, so be open to adjusting the onboarding process as needed to ensure each new employee has a successful onboarding experience.

I know that with so many great ideas, you might be in a conundrum on what to implement first. But no fear, I pulled together this table to guide you as you work out your priorities for your onboarding facelift.

Right priorities for your onboarding needs | TurnKey

Regardless if you are a growing tech company or a startup, building a complex recruiting process is going to be… challenging. Since, in the real world, both talents and budgets have limits, consider adding or adapting your onboarding practices step by step, starting with the most cost-efficient options.

Leave Tech Talent Onboarding Best Practices to the Professionals. TurnKey’s HR Team Can Streamline Your Onboarding Process.

What are Some Tips For Onboarding Remote Employees?

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to be more creative and adaptable in their employee onboarding practices, focusing on virtual communication, health and safety, and building a strong culture despite physical distance.  Check out these best practices for onboarding remote employees:

#1. Virtual Onboarding

Another great practice our TurnKey HR experts recommend and use daily is virtual onboarding. With remote work becoming more common, virtual onboarding has become the norm for many companies. This is a great way to introduce new employees to their colleagues and give them access to necessary tools and resources through video conferencing, online training modules, and virtual office tours.

Gather Town for Onboarding | TurnKey

Some companies have fully adopted virtual office experiences with the help of technology. Here are three of the most notable tools they are using:

  1. Gather: this tool is a popular video conferencing platform that allows users to create and customize virtual spaces for online events and meetings. Allow your employees to style their avatars and workstations, play board games, mingle, and use social gatherings as an ice-breaker for new hires.   Pro Tip: If you want a tool to spur collaboration and fun, consider taking a page from the TurnKey team who have adopted Gather for daily interactions for several software development teams we’ve built for our client.   
  2. Remo, Mozilla Hubs and SpatialChat are virtual event platforms that allow users to create interactive virtual spaces for meetings, conferences, and networking events. It features customizable avatars, private rooms, and interactive tools such as whiteboards and polls. (By the way – you can access the demo hub here.)
  3. Wonder: a virtual event platform that allows users to create customizable virtual spaces for conferences, social gatherings, and online events. It features customizable avatars, interactive tools such as whiteboards and polls, and integration with popular video conferencing platforms.

#2. Delivery of Equipment and Supplies

As employees work remotely, this means companies have to deliver equipment and supplies to their homes as part of the onboarding process, including laptops, monitors, keyboards, and other necessary tools. This can quickly become a logistics nightmare for DIY teams when you have a globally distributed team across multiple counties from Colombia to Spain.

You can simplify this by working with an offshore expert like TurnKey. Our IT department has already done the hard work of building relationships with local equipment vendors in many countries to ensure your new team members receive the hardware and software they may need to accomplish their tasks.

#3. Provide Opportunities for Feedback and Continuous Improvement

Regularly soliciting feedback from new hires and using that feedback to improve the onboarding, new hire paperwork and orientation process can help ensure that it remains effective and relevant. This can involve collecting feedback through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one conversations, and implementing changes based on that feedback.

One-on-One Deep Dives | TurnKey

#4. Flexibility

Many companies are offering more flexibility during onboarding, such as allowing new employees to set their own schedules or offering extended onboarding periods to accommodate different learning styles and personal circumstances. Our team can always jump into conversations with our clients to explore flexible ideas.

Want to Simplify Your OnBoarding Process? We’ve Been There, Done That, And Have Experience Worth Sharing.

4 Advanced Employee Onboarding Best Practices You Might Be Missing

Personal growth | TurnKey

#1. Create a personalized experience

Tailoring the onboarding experience to meet the needs of each individual employee can help them feel more connected to key people in the organization and motivated to succeed. This can involve assigning mentors or buddies, providing shadowing opportunities, and giving personalized assignments.

#2. Include a cultural immersion component

Providing new hires with an understanding of the company culture and values can help them feel more connected to the organization. Some of the fastest ways to do this include:  introducing them to key stakeholders, providing opportunities for team-building activities, and including company history and cultural elements in training and development programs.

#3. Eliminate non-essential tools from onboarding

Eliminating unnecessary tools from the employee onboarding process can be a game-changer. Onboarding can often feel like being buried under a mountain of forms, rules, and legalese. Fortunately, there is a solution to make things better.  Rather than using a stand-alone program just for onboarding, consider integrating an onboarding platform with your everyday communication tool to provide a seamless onboarding experience.  Such as, introducing an onboarding plugin for Slack that streamlines new-hire tasks and paperwork within a familiar environment can help reduce onboarding anxieties. With the help of Slack, supervisors can easily track the progress of an employee’s onboarding and develop checklists tailored to their needs.

Onboarding plugin for Slack | TurnKey

#4. Leverage new hire onboarding in cohorts

One approach that can speed up and maximize onboarding effectiveness is cohorts of new employees. Instead of individual one-on-one meetings, onboarding a group of new hires together creates time and energy efficiencies. It also offers a chance for new colleagues to form bonds and build relationships, providing a support system as they navigate their new roles. This method promotes consistent and effective sharing of company-related information while fostering a sense of camaraderie from the start.

Revisit Your Onboarding Process

Revisiting and updating your onboarding process is critical to ensuring that it remains effective and relevant as the organization grows and changes. By assessing your current process, implementing best practices, and continually measuring its effectiveness, you can set new hires up for success and help them become valuable contributors to the organization.

Before you can improve your employee’s onboarding experience and process, it’s important to understand your current process. This involves reviewing the materials and onboarding activities provided to new hires, identifying areas for improvement, and analyzing employee feedback. Start by looking at your current onboarding materials, including any handbooks or training manuals. Do they accurately reflect your company’s culture and values? Are they up-to-date and relevant to the current state of the organization?

Next, gather feedback from current employees who recently completed the onboarding process. This can be done through surveys or focus groups. Ask about their experience and what they found helpful or lacking. This feedback can help you identify areas for improvement and inform changes to your onboarding process.

Your Next Great Hire Is Through TurnKey

Looking for talented software developers to join your high-growth technology company? We specialize in talent retention with a 95% or higher rate across our clients’ teams. Our rigorous vetting process ensures that every candidate we recommend has the skills and experience necessary to excel in the role.

And our services don’t stop there. We provide onboarding support to ensure your new hire seamlessly integrates into your company culture and workflows. From personalized onboarding plans to regular check-ins, we take care of everything to make the hiring process as smooth as possible.

Why Waste Time With Endless Interviews and Resumes? Let Us Help You Find Your Next Great Hire Today!

How do you describe the onboarding experience?

Onboarding is how new hires are integrated into an organizational structure. During this process, the employees are initiated into their roles and learn all of your company's structures, culture, vision, and core values.

What are the 3 most important elements of successful onboarding?

The most important aspects of launching an effective onboarding program are people culture, milestones, and job duties. A standardized and repeatable onboarding program requires few changes and benefits everyone involved. Also, it helps prepare the employee for long-term success.

January 24, 2024

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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