The Ultimate Employee Onboarding Checklist

May 6, 2022 | 0 comments

Starting a new job is a daunting task for anyone. It’s just like being the new kid in school. You haven’t got a clue what’s happening, don’t know anyone, and feel you stick out like a sore thumb. Despite the best intentions, many companies miss the mark when it comes to employee onboarding. Lack of preparation, super-busy co-workers, and missing equipment are familiar horror stories. However, an employee onboarding checklist takes the stress out of the process for you and the recruit.

Those first few days and weeks are critical to helping the new hire settle in and get up to speed quickly. There are many moving parts to onboarding, and a checklist ensures you don’t miss a vital step. Plus, it makes a great first impression on the worker. It sets out your expectations and shows you have planned and prepared.

Employee onboarding checklists are suitable for organizations of all shapes and sizes. Small businesses hiring infrequently or big companies with many new starters will both benefit from a streamlined, consistent approach.

Research shows just how effective a tool onboarding checklists are. According to a survey from eLearning Infographics, automating onboarding resulted in an 18 percent improvement in initial performance. And checklists also resulted in a 16 percent increase in retention rates for recruits.

Want to deliver seamless and effective onboarding for your new worker? This post makes it easy for you as we share a sample onboarding checklist template.

Employee onboarding best practice tells us onboarding isn’t just a one-off exercise. To be effective, you need to have support in place for a minimum of three months and preferably up to the employee’s first anniversary.

Employee Onboarding Checklist: The Five Phases

Our checklist is organized to cover all the critical onboarding phases:

  1. Pre-boarding. Here, the goal is to create a great first impression with the worker and introduce your company culture, mission, and values.
  2. The first day in the workplace. Your aim is to develop a personalized experience, so the recruit feels welcomed and excited about starting work.
  3. The first week. This phase is all about setting expectations and introducing some meaningful tasks and objectives.
  4. The first 90 days in the job. The hire should be reasonably settled and starting to get to grips with their new role. This phase is about consolidating and building on that progress.
  5. The end of the first year. The honeymoon period is over. Your employee should be confidently and capably working independently. Onboarding now is more focused on retention and career progression.

Use our employee onboarding checklist as a starting point for developing your own version. You can then more effectively manage employee onboarding and get your recruit off to the best start.

Employee Onboarding Checklist Template

You can download this checklist here: Employee Onboarding Checklist.pdf

Onboarding Task Completed By Whom & When
1.       Pre-boarding
  • Send a warm welcome email. Include start date, time, and location. Explain any parking or access arrangements and the dress code. Include links to required reading & background information so that the recruit can begin the onboarding process
  • Advise the team about the new employee’s start date
  • Set up meet-and-greets with the team and key collaborators
  • Identify a co-worker to be the hire’s buddy – their go-to person in the workplace
  • Select a workstation & order desk supplies and equipment, including mobile phone & business cards
  • Put together a welcome package with branded pens, mugs, or t-shirts
  • Create online accounts & provide access to any tools they may need
  • Order security cards or keys
  • Prepare all HR-related documents, including payroll, employee handbook, tax forms, etc.
  • Devise a preliminary timetable for the employee’s first week
  • Consider arranging a pre-employment visit, so the worker can meet new colleagues informally and without the first day pressures
2.       First Day
  • Greet the recruit at the door
  • Introduce them to their buddy and team
  • Take a tour of the workplace, including bathrooms, kitchens, elevators, meeting rooms, etc
  • Show the employee their workstation and ensure all supplies and tools are set up
  • Introduce the new staff member to company systems, such as the intranet, enterprise apps, phones, etc.
  • Complete all paperwork such as logging on to the network and intranet, bank details, tax forms, HR forms, etc
  • Advise new hire of company history and introduce company mission, vision, and values
  • Explain relevant policies, for example, safety and health requirements
  • Describe compensation and employee benefits packages
  • Discuss how the employee’s job contributes to the bigger picture
  • Arrange any new hire training
  • Set up a welcome lunch with the hire’s buddy and teammates
  • Give the employee some downtime to familiarize themselves with systems and processes
  • Check in with the worker at the end of the day to see how things went
3.       First Week 
  • Introduce the worker to the whole organization with a shoutout on team chat
  • Set up a meeting to discuss expectations & short-term goals for the employee
  • Give the employee some initial tasks to complete
  • Review and provide quick feedback on performance
  • Ensure the worker understands what’s required and how business workflows impact their role
  • Introduce the employee to other key personnel both internally and externally if appropriate
  • Confirm all meet and greets have taken place
  • Check all equipment and tools are working and answer any queries
  • Plan additional professional development if needed
  • Encourage networking and social interaction with the team through shared lunches or coffees
  • Check-in each day to ensure the new worker is settling in and resolve any issues
4.       First 90 Days
  • Regularly monitor the employee’s job performance
  • Provide timely constructive feedback
  • Schedule regular one-on-one meetings
  • Set assignments and goals for the next three months
  • Ask for feedback on how things are going and how good a job you’re doing in supporting them
  • Invite suggestions on improvements to the onboarding process
  • Acknowledge the employee’s successes and provide positive encouragement
  • Check employee is on track with training
  • Set up additional job-specific training if required
  • Monitor how well the buddy has performed and how effective the arrangement has been, make any changes if necessary
  • Hold a formal 90-day review meeting and discuss the end of the worker’s probationary period
5.       End Of The First Year
  • Formally review the employee’s performance
  • Discuss what’s been achieved, what aspects they are still working on, and areas for improvement
  • Identify any gaps in tools, resources, or equipment
  • Set new projects and goals for the coming year
  • Assign extra duties if the worker is ready
  • Discuss career progression and any ongoing training and professional development needs
  • Seek feedback on the success of the onboarding program, including:
    • How well it met the needs of the employee
    • What aspects of the program did not work well
    • How you could improve company onboarding


Benefits Of Employee Onboarding Checklists For Managers

The bottom line is onboarding checklists set a solid foundation for the new hire. Expectations are clear from the outset. And the worker is made to feel welcome and has the necessary support from day one.

Furthermore, a checklist ensures you don’t miss a critical step. And all employees receive a consistent, well-planned experience.

Ensuring your new employees achieves their optimal performance level in record time is only part of the picture. Also significant are the following additional benefits:

  • Better job performance: Employees are equipped with the necessary tools and support to achieve goals faster and more effectively.
  • Stronger commitment to the organization: Whether it’s employee experience, engagement, or corporate culture, positive onboarding results in more robust connections between employees and employers.
  • Reduced stress: Checklists take away the stress and anxiety for both managers and recruits.
  • Increased job satisfaction: In one recent survey, 92 percent of recruits report feeling productive and valued within their first month following a positive onboarding experience. Don’t underestimate the long-term impact of onboarding on job satisfaction.
  • Higher retention rates: When it comes to the retention of top talent, onboarding is the essential starting point. According to Harvard Business Review, retention rates in businesses with formal onboarding programs are an impressive 50 percent better.

Get the onboarding process right, and you will impact employees’ satisfaction, engagement, and tenure in the company. Get it wrong, and you could find your investment simply walking out of the door.

Refine this checklist to suit your organizational requirements and ensure that doesn’t happen in your organization. It’s a no-brainer.

employee onboarding

Intranets Make Employee Onboarding Easy

Finally, we share a few thoughts on how intranets can support effective onboarding. Here are just a few of the practical ways an intranet makes things easier.

  • Automated Processes: Use the intranet to automate your employee onboarding checklist. The intranet will automatically notify all relevant personnel of the new arrival, highlighting any lead-in times and dependencies.
  • Centralized Onboarding Resources: Create an onboarding hub on the intranet. Whether it’s employee profiles, explainer videos, team chat, or organizational policies, everything is available in one central location.
  • Support Ongoing Training And Development: Take your pick from podcasts, how-to videos, wikis, surveys, and manuals or standard operating procedures. Whether your recruit is office-based or working remotely, training is easy with an intranet.
  • Obtain Employee Feedback: Intranet-based employee surveys and polls are an excellent tool for harvesting insights from employees that have experienced onboarding. Find out what went well and what needs to be improved. Even better, pulse checks can be anonymous, so staff feel free to give honest unbiased feedback.

These are just a taste of how an intranet can support effective employee onboarding in your business.

Interested in finding out more? Get in touch with the expert team at MyHub. Our super-easy to set up and manage cloud intranets will support effective staff onboarding. Find out how with a free demo or 14-day no-obligation trial and discover the many business benefits intranets have to offer employee onboarding.

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