The 7 Most Important Steps to Streamline Onboarding

By cielhrtech | September 27, 2021

After a long recruiting process, you’ve finally hired the right person for the job. However, the hard work isn’t over yet. Now it’s time to start the onboarding process, one of the most important parts of your business operations. This process introduces new hires to the company and can make them feel like part of the team on their first day. You can also arm them with the right tools so they can be successful from the get-go.
Unfortunately, many companies lack a streamlined onboarding process or have no official onboarding process. Remember, onboarding is your first introduction between the new employee and your company.

1.  Streamlining Your Onboarding Process

Onboarding new hires are no easy feat. You may need to issue employee numbers and ID badges along with the necessary logins. Payroll will also need to be set up and training materials distributed. New hires will also need to fill out the proper tax forms. In addition, several things need to be accomplished in your onboarding, all of which can affect the overall experience for the new employee. Follow these steps to streamline your employee onboarding process.

2.  Automate Everything You Can

With technological advances, you can automate the onboarding process easily and prioritize the time of employees and new hires to ensure your tasks are completed while you save time. Automating everything from job postings and responses to filling out the necessary paperwork can help you save time and make the process simpler for the new employee.

3.  Use HR Onboarding Software

You can automate almost everything in the onboarding process with HR software that can help you save time and money while reducing employee turnover. Employee onboarding software can help your organization:

  • Automate email notifications
  • Set up workflows
  • Complete forms
  • Set up training programs and comprehension tests

With this software, you can eliminate the need for an HR manager to spend their entire week with a new hire. Instead, you can set the new hire at their desk and have them work through training programs and sign paperwork through a digital platform that makes the entire process easier for everyone.
This software allows your new hires to take the onboarding process home with them, which can be especially beneficial if any of these individuals will be working from home in the future.

4.  Ask for Feedback

If you want to streamline your onboarding, ask your current employees what you can do better. Those who have already been through the onboarding process know exactly how it went and how they felt about it, so they can give you feedback based on their personal experiences.
You can solicit feedback from your employees in the form of a digital survey that covers the entire process. As soon as new hires complete onboarding, have them fill out the same survey about their experience. In your survey, ask:

  • Which areas of the onboarding process need to be improved
  • If it helped them feel equipped to handle their new responsibilities
  • If the onboarding process has given them a clear image of what their future at the company holds

You can also ask your business’ managers and HR team where you can make improvements by asking them:

  • Are there any knowledge gaps?
  • Is there information missing?
  • Should more team members be involved in onboarding?
  • Is there a part of the process that can be automated?

Ask team leaders who have trained employees to take on their previous duties after being promoted questions about what training entails. Employees who have trained new hires can give you information about what they think new hires need to know before they officially begin working at your company.

5.  Set Standards

Onboarding should be consistent throughout your entire organization regardless of position and level. While part of your onboarding may include shadowing someone within the department where the new hire will work, make sure the training schedules, tours, and form signing all happen at the same points of the process for every new employee.
Depending on the role and the job duties, you will need to make adjustments. For example, the onboarding material you share with someone working in a warehouse will differ from the onboarding information you share with the receptionist. Overall, though, standards should remain the same.
Your onboarding process should give new hires:

  • A basic understanding of company values and culture
  • A sense of belonging and purpose
  • The tools and materials necessary for doing their jobs

You can create a checklist or onboarding application to ensure each of these elements is achieved and everyone follows the same basic onboarding guidelines.

6.  Determine Training Needs

If you want to streamline your onboarding process, you’ll need to determine the training needs for each new employee. Each individual has different strengths and weaknesses. Before these employees arrive on their first day, make a plan of action for training. Remember, some positions may need more hands-on training experience than others. For example, your new sales rep will need to learn the proper scripts, while a social media manager with ten years of experience may need to be given the proper tools to succeed in their new positions.
Managers in charge of the hiring process should determine the necessary needs. While an HR manager knows enough about the job position to hire for it, they may not know everything that goes into a certain position. For this reason, you may need to involve department heads in providing the training for a new employee. In addition, managers can create a plan of action that includes regular chats and meetings with new hires to ensure they perform their job well and enjoy the company.
You can also use a plan to track employee progress and outline what’s expected of them so you can give them a raise after they’ve completed a trial period. By scheduling regular chats, managers and new hires can build trust and better understand processes, performance needs, and goals while allowing the employee to ask questions.

7.  Follow Up

Finally, the key to onboarding is following up with new hires after a set time. While their managers will let you know if there are any problems, you should also make sure the employee knows what’s expected of them and be available to answer any questions. Building a relationship with an employee can also help them get more comfortable coming to the HR department with questions and concerns so they feel their opinions are valued by the company.