Starting a new hire can be stressful for the employee, for management, and for current team members. The right orientation process will help ensure the integration of your additional team member starts off with a solid foundation.
Having a streamlined and organized process for new hires is vital to employee retention. Here are some ways you can be sure your new hire checklist is set up for success.
1. Start With Paperwork
Although probably not the most exciting part of the new hire process, it’s important to start your new team member’s day by ensuring all of the proper paperwork has been filled out.
Start with the company contract if there is one. Be sure your new hire has read it properly and reiterate important bullet points within the contract such as any non-compete clauses.
Verify you’re both on the same page where salary, commissions, and bonuses are concerned. Ensure the new hire is aware of what their hours will be, their work responsibilities, and that they understand potential termination conditions.
The Benefits Package
Next, go over the benefits package with your new hire and fill out any forms needed to enroll your new hire in medical, dental, retirement, or other benefits.
Explain the various benefit packages and how each type of benefit works. Are there waiting periods for medical coverage? What are the annual deductibles? Is there a retirement contribution match program?
Although you would have likely gone over some of this during the job acceptance meeting, now is the time to scour your new hire checklist regarding benefits and thoroughly explain all benefits to your new employee.
Tax, Legal, And Banking Forms
And don’t forget to have your new hire fill out all tax, legal, and banking forms. Some suggestions include:
- W-4 withholding form
- State tax withholding form
- IRS I-9 Eligibility form
- The Direct Deposit Banking form
- E-verify system eligibility
Include any other forms necessary to your company as well. Having all of the proper paperwork filled out as a part of your new hire checklist will help ensure future errors and omissions are avoided.
2. Conduct A New Employee Orientation Session
An orientation session is vital to properly training and retaining new hires. Starting a new job is stressful enough. Starting a new job and not being properly introduced into company culture and expectations can be so tough that it compels a new hire to leave.
A new orientation session of an hour or more will give your new employee a more in-depth feel for your company and its basic policies and best practices.
Create or revamp your orientation session so that it gives new hires a thorough introduction to your company. You’ll want to cover items such as:
- Your company’s mission
- Dress code
- Personal conduct code
- Disciplinary policies
- Emergency procedures
- internet/phone use
- Upper management introductions
At the end of the orientation session, you’ll want to ensure your new employee has a strong feel for what the company is about and how the company is run.
3. Cover Logistics Items/Do a Tour/Walkthrough
After orientation is finished, you can take your new hire on a tour or walkthrough of the building/office. During this portion of your new hire checklist, you’ll want to focus on more casual subjects.
- Where they can find items like office supplies
- Where the cafeteria is
- Places to eat out in the area
- Where the restrooms are
- Emergency exits
- Fire distinguisher locations
You can also do casual introductions to employees you run into on the tour. Quickly share names, what the person’s job title is, and something personal about the person.
As you walk and talk, feel free to share other bits and pieces about the company atmosphere. Share information about any fun events or how birthdays and other celebrations are handled.
This second, more casual leg of your new hire checklist will help your new employee get comfortable around the office.
4. Personal Or Team Lunch
Another idea that works well on a new hire checklist is to schedule lunch at a local eatery. This lunch can be done with immediate management alone or with the team.
You can also include upper management, a few close team members, or the entire team your new employee will be working with. If you don’t include the rest of the team or other management members in the lunch, at least include your new hire’s peer mentor (more on that later).
Treating your new hire and/or other employees to a casual lunch can be a great way for them to get to know you and/or other team members in a fun, relaxed setting.
And it can give your new hire a chance to take off their learning hat and relax a bit as well. A scheduled lunch can also be a time for your new employee to have a more casual atmosphere for asking questions about the company history, policies, and culture.
It’s often easier to talk about those subjects in a relaxed, casual setting.
Be sure to leave plenty of time for lunch with your new hire as well. Schedule in a couple of hours if possible, and choose a restaurant that has a private room or corner where conversation won’t be interrupted.
Doing so will help ensure your new team member has a chance to really get to know your company and your other employees.
5. Peer Mentor Meeting And Move-In
After lunch is a great time to help your new hire with a more personalized introduction or one-on-one with their peer mentor. A peer mentor is someone at the same lateral level within your company as your new hire.
Your new hire’s peer mentor will be their first-contact support system within the company. They will help your new employee with technical and job-related inquiries as well as with social and professional development on a minor level.
You’ll want to choose a peer mentor for your new hire that is experienced, patient, and good at making connections. Or you can choose a peer mentor that is in need of having a push to that next level of personal responsibility within their position at your company.
Encourage your new hire’s peer mentor to check in with the new team member at least once or twice a day. Allow them to give constructive criticism and suggestions as the new team member learns the ropes.
And encourage your new team member’s peer mentor to include your new hire in on-site or off-site work social gatherings as well.
Peer mentors are vitally important to the new hire process. New employees often feel hesitant to contact their manager with every little question. Having a peer mentor gives them someone to go to that can answer questions about the non-crucial aspects of their job and the company, and it helps them feel included and valued.
Once your new team member has connected with their peer mentor it’s time to help them move into their desk or office. Show them where all of the technical supplies they’ll need are as well, such as the copy machine.
Related: How To Train Employees Effectively
6. Send Out A Welcome Email Introducing Your New Hire
If your company is big enough and it’s appropriate, it’s nice to send out a welcome email where you introduce your new employee to your company.
Keep your welcome email somewhat brief; you can include a bit about your new hire’s background, talk about the position they’ve accepted, and why you think they’ll be a great asset to your team.
Encourage existing employees to stop by and introduce themselves as well. And if your new hire has a job position that will require extensive contact with your clients, it might be a good idea to send a welcome email to certain clients.
This can be helpful if, for example, your new hire is working in a sales position.
7. Schedule Regular Check-Ins
Now that your new hire knows a good deal about the ins and outs of your company, your team, and their personal work responsibilities, it’s time to create a schedule for regular check-ins.
Regular check-ins help ensure your new hire feels supported and valued. What your check-in schedule looks like is up to you, but we have some suggestions you may be able to create your schedule off of.
- Month 1: Weekly check-ins
- Months 2-3: Bi-weekly check-ins
- Months 4-6: Monthly check-ins’
- Ongoing: Quarterly or annual check-ins
While some companies don’t hold regular check-ins with employees, doing so can be a great way to help keep team members on track and growing.
Regular growth is vital to ensuring team members don’t feel stagnated in their careers. Attention spans are short these days and, unfortunately, so is employee recognition.
In fact, according to one report as many as 79% of employees who leave a company do so due to lack of recognition.
Having regular check-ins can be one way to ensure your new (and existing) employees feel valued and appreciated.
You and/or your human resources staff have put a tremendous amount of work into hiring what you hope will be just the right employee for your needs.
Be sure your new hire checklist contains the right ingredients to help establish and solidify a successful, long-term relationship with your new employee.