6 onboarding tips that will improve employee engagement

By Wendy Dessler

The onboarding period is a critical time for both the employer and employee. It’s during this time that the employee will start to form their impression of the company and make decisions about their tenure. It’s during this critical period that many employees decide if they’ll stick around or head for greener pastures.

As an employer, the more positive you can make the experience, the better. Here are six onboarding tips that will create engaged employees and reduce quick turnover.

Take a customer service approach

Before you outline an onboarding process, reframe your mindset from that of someone hiring an employee to that of someone engaging a customer. Taking a customer service approach to building your onboarding process will make it easier to conceptualize and execute a positive user experience.

Consider the user experience from the day your new employee first reads your job posting to their first anniversary with the company. How will you show them that you are worthy of their dedication and loyalty? If you want employees who aren’t just working for a paycheck, you need to give them a reason to strive for more.

Put the right systems in place

A vital part of creating a strong user experience is having the right systems in place. Having a strong onboarding program will reduce paperwork and give the new employee more control over their onboarding experience. This approach also helps reduce the overwhelm of having tons of information dropped on their lap.

According to HRPayrollSystems.net, there are many other benefits to having a streamlined, centralized HR system in place, including quicker onboarding with mobile access and a step-by-step process and faster hiring.

Start before day one

Learn from the mistakes of thousands of other businesses: don’t start on day one. Instead, begin the onboarding process before day one. There’s no reason why a new hire can’t start sorting through the social media policy, health and safety paraphernalia, and other documentation that typically dominates the first day.

Don’t limit yourself to paperwork and assignments at that time, either. Send your new hire a welcome packet that helps take the nerves off walking through the door for the first time. Have their manager call them the day before they start to ask if there are any questions or concerns. Start building that rapport right away.

Prepare the workspace ahead of time

One of the most frustrating experiences for new employees is arriving for their first day at work and having nothing prepared. By the time your employee is walking through the door, they should have a designated workspace with a network connection, security pass, and everything they need to get started.

Failure to prepare gives your new employee the impression that they don’t matter, or your business doesn’t have their ducks in a row.

Schedule a team-building activity

Meeting a new group of people is intimidating. Rather than throwing your new employee to the mercy of the team, set up a team-building activity to welcome them.

This activity doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. Take the team for a group lunch at a local restaurant. If it fits your company culture, pop a bottle of champagne in your office at the end of your first day.

Schedule check-in and goal meetings

It takes longer than the first week to completely onboard a new employee. Rather than leaving them floundering, work with them to set onboarding goals for their role.

Give them extra support by scheduling regular check-in meetings for the first few weeks, as well as at the 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day mark. Ensure that the employee knows what’s expected of them and has the resources they need to achieve their onboarding goals.

By using these six tips for employee onboarding, you can set your new employees— and your business— up for success.


Wendy Dessler is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in HR, digital marketing and tech and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

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