Effective Onboarding Practices For New Hires

Effective Onboarding Practices For New Hires

Written by Irina Kashina.

Are you an HR professional looking to discover the secret to transforming new hires into thriving assets for your organisation? Are you a line manager searching for ways to improve your onboarding practices for your new team members? Are you a new starter looking to expand your knowledge and get prepared for what’s to come on your first day? Well, all of you are in for a ride! Today, I invite you to join me in exploring the methods that allow a seamless integration of a new joiner into the organization. Let us embark on this journey together, guided by a shared commitment to excellence and growth.

It’s safe to say that in our eyes here at Greentube there are 5 pillars of a successful onboarding journey: well thought-out pre-onboarding phase, personalized welcome, structured first day program, buddy and mentor programs and regular check-ins. Let’s discuss them one by one.

It all begins after the offer is accepted. Pre-onboarding is vital because it lays the foundation for a seamless onboarding experience by addressing administrative tasks and engaging new hires before their official start date. By streamlining processes and fostering early engagement, pre-onboarding contributes to a positive employee experience and facilitates a smoother transition into the organization.

The next and the most common point is the personalized welcome of the newcomer. Here, we don’t just talk about a warm greeting of the new joiner in-person, but about providing a welcome kit/personalized messages from team members or leaders/a guided tour of the workplace. Any and all of those points can really break the ice and improve the experience because as we know, percentage of resignations on the first day is very high which often stems from feelings of disconnection or uncertainty during the initial stages of employment.

(C) Pexels – Cottonbro Studio


Next, a well-planned, well-structured first day can leave a great impact on the newcomer’s impression of the company and the organization skills of HR professionals and managers in particular. Here is our advice on what to include in the first day program:

  1. Include a welcome presentation. This sets the tone for the employee’s experience and may include an overview of the company’s history, mission, values and main rules. Additionally, you can provide an online documentation or online onboarding journey.
  2. Provide a company overview. The employee can receive detailed information about the organization’s structure, departments, key stakeholders, and strategic objectives. This helps them understand how their role fits into the bigger picture.
  3. Describe your perks and benefits. The onboarding program should cover the organization’s benefits package, including discounts, transportation, vacation policies and any other perks or incentives available to employees.
  4. Introduce the new hire to the team and, maybe, to the other important stakeholders. This helps foster early relationships and collaboration.

Thirdly, we believe it is crucial to implement different buddy/mentor programs. Pair new hires with experienced employees who can serve as a go-to person for questions, support and guidance during their initial days and weeks.

Why is it important?

(asked no one ever)

Well, there are some benefits to these practices:

  1. It will help facilitate integration. Starting a new job can be daunting and having a buddy or mentor can make the transition smoother.
  2. It can advance learning. Buddies and mentors can help accelerate the learning curve for new hires by sharing their own experiences, best practices and tips for success. They can provide on-the-job training, answer technical questions and offer guidance on navigating challenges.
  3. It can promote engagement. Knowing that they have someone they can turn to for support can boost the confidence of new hires and increase their engagement with their work and the organization.
  4. It can improve retention and satisfaction. Research shows[1] that employees who participate in buddy or mentor programs are more likely to feel supported, valued and satisfied in their roles. This, in turn, can lead to higher retention rates and lower turnover, saving the organization time and resources associated with recruiting and training new employees.

Lastly, the check-ins. Having feedback sessions 1 month and/or 3 months after the start date can really help the employee feel like they have space to address any concerns or questions they may have and ensure they are adjusting well to their new roles and the company culture.

With these 5 easy steps, we can ensure that our new joiners are happy, engaged and supported.

(C) Pexels – Fauxels


Additional tips for managers.

  1. Be sure to prepare in advance before the new joiner’s arrival. Ensure that their workspace is set up, all necessary equipment or resources are ready and their schedule for the first day or week is planned out.
  2. Don’t forget to – enthusiastically – greet the new joiner and make them feel valued and appreciated from the moment they arrive. Introduce them to the team members and give them a tour of the workplace.
  3. Communicate your expectations clearly, explain the new joiner’s role, responsibilities and milestones for the first 3 months. Remember, for the first few months the goals should not be overwhelming, as the person has just begun their journey in the team.

What should I remember if I am the one starting a new role in a new company?

  1. Rest, rest and rest! Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before your first day to feel refreshed and alert. Starting a new job can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time, so being well-rested will help you stay focused and engaged throughout the day.
  2. Keep an open mind and set realistic expectations for your first day. Understand that it’s normal to feel nervous or uncertain in a new environment, but also remember that everyone is there to support you and help you succeed.
  3. Approach your first day with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn and adapt. Be open to new experiences, challenges, and opportunities, and remember that every new job is a chance to grow and develop professionally.
  4. In case you can be a little socially anxious, take some time to practice introducing yourself and talking about your background, skills and interests. This will help you feel more confident when meeting new colleagues and making a positive first impression.

In conclusion, effective onboarding practices are not just a checklist to be ticked off. They are the cornerstone of a successful and thriving organization. By investing time, effort and resources into crafting a thoughtful onboarding experience, HR professionals have the power to transform new hires into passionate advocates for their company’s mission.

[1] Every New Employee Needs an Onboarding “Buddy” Harvard Review

The Impact of Buddying on Psychological Capital and Work Engagement Research Gate