Onboarding: Plan for Success

Beginnings are both exciting and intimidating, full of potential and woven with vulnerability. Starting a new job can encompass all of these, but an employer can do a lot to alleviate nerves by incorporating a well-structured onboarding plan as a part of each new team member’s introduction to the organization.

Onboarding is crucial to the health of an company. It is recognized to increase employee satisfaction, reduce turnover, save money, and improve performance. The key to successful onboarding is creating a standardized plan through which each new employee is guided. Here are some helpful tips on designing a fruitful onboarding program:

Onboarding Begins Before the Employee Arrives

Start your onboarding program before the new team member arrives for their first day. Anticipate ways to make them feel welcome and comfortable before they walk through the door. Sending a personal welcome email as well as their schedule for the first week and setting up their workstation are small gestures that can go a long way in making a new employee feel at ease on their first day.

90 Day Plan

The first 90 days is the prime window of opportunity for an organization to welcome and acclimate a new team member. Prepare a structured, step-by-step plan for those crucial 90 days. Be ready to greet and introduce the new employee on day 1. Give them a welcome packet and a small project. Have a plan for subsequent days during their first three months, i.e. after a week, after two weeks, after a month, etc. Crafting a well-thoughtout 90-day onboarding schedule will ensure that the employee is happy in their new position and far more likely to be a productive and long-lasting employee.

Don’t Skip the Little Things

Everyone has been the new person in the office at some point, and it’s knowing the little things – the office quirks and peculiarities – that can make even the smallest tasks go smoothly. Give new team members a tour of the office and show them how to run the printer, where the office supplies are located, how to make coffee, good places to go for lunch, etc. These simple pieces of information can save new employees stress and help them settle in much faster.

Use the Buddy System

Partner new employees with a mentor on their first day. This provides a direct resource to necessary information that goes a long ways in helping a new team member find their stride within the company. A mentor also provides them with a familiar face on their first day. This is a first step in team bonding, which is key to the success of a new hire.


Take the opportunity to get out of the office and give new employees a chance to get to know their new team. Take them out for lunch with a group of people from their new team, go to happy hour at a local establishment, or set up one-on-one coffee outings within their department. Giving new hires an opportunity to get to know their co-workers on a personal level makes them feel more comfortable and welcome within the organization, and ultimately, results in a happy and productive team member.

Onboarding is an excellent way to introduce a new team member to your organization’s culture, express expectations and goals, and help ensure a long-lasting employee. Creating a step-by-step plan for your organization’s onboarding programming takes the guesswork out of the process and constructs a solid foundation for success for both the employee and the organization.


Sources: Entrepreneur.com, Inc.com, Forbes.com



About Christy Nix