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Creating an Effective Timeline for Employee Onboarding

employee onboarding timeline

Finding the perfect new employee to bring into your company is an exciting experience. But that excitement can quickly turn to disaster if you don’t have a solid onboarding process in place. Small companies in particular tend to make the mistake of just “winging it” when it comes to onboarding. This can result in new hires feeling lost or completely overwhelmed on their first days at your office. Effective employee onboarding, on the other hand, can help new hires feel right at home and get to work quickly.

Your employee onboarding plan doesn’t have to be particularly elaborate, but it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place for bringing new people onto your staff. Here’s a basic outline of an effective employee onboarding timeline:

Before you hire someone new…

New hires don’t get their first impression of your business on their first day. They get it weeks or even months before that when they research your company online. Make sure that every person who applies for a position at your company has access to good information on your website about your company culture, your values, and what it’s like to work for your organization. This helps ensure that people who apply for positions with you already know what to expect in terms of office culture.

Before your new hire starts…

Rather than overwhelming a new employee with loads of paperwork on their first day, send that information to them before they start. That way, they can fill out any necessary documents without feeling rushed or pressured, and they will have more time on their first day for social interactions. You can also send over an employee handbook and information regarding dress code and where to park on their first day so that new employees feel confident when they walk into your office.

On the first day…

Take time to figure out what your new hires will need to know on their first day and who they should meet. In the days before their arrival, coordinate meetings and lunches with the people who your new hire will interact with most. You should also think about what questions they might have on day one that they might be too nervous or excited to ask. Information like where the copier is and how to use it, where the bathroom is, and where people tend to spend their lunch breaks can all be very helpful.

It’s a good idea to have a standard process for your new employees first days so that things don’t get overlooked or overcrowded, but you should also take some time to personalize the experience. Make each new employee feel like they are important and like they are part of the team.

The first week and beyond…

Have a set schedule for regularly checking in with your new hire and making sure that they have the information and resources that they need. As time goes on, continue to keep tabs on your new employee to ensure that they are getting along with coworkers, have the resources to complete their assignments, and are having a positive experience of your organization.

About Joy Ruhmann
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