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How to Start New
Employees Out on
the Right Foot

How to Start New Employees Out on the Right Foot

You’ve found the perfect person for that open position and they’re starting work this week but getting ready a new employee involves more than a spare desk and computer.

Formal starting or “onboarding” programs can improve employee retention by 14% and engagement by 10%?1 Onboarding is the process of bringing a new employee into a company and getting them up to speed in their role.

Effective onboarding starts when an offer is accepted and includes:

  • Welcome email: (or physical package) sent shortly after an offer is accepted and includes start date, location (with a map indicating public transit and/or parking), company background, policies, procedures and items needed on their first day (such as a void cheque for payroll and any safety equipment).
  • Workspace ready: Set up office and tell on-site supervisors who is coming, when, and what their job will be.
  • Electronics online: Have the computer, phone and email, and company-owned social media accounts set up for the employee (and make sure you have a social media policy on hand!)
  • Welcome! Get someone greet the new hire and help them settle in. Consider the partnering the new hire with a seasoned staff member to help them learn the ropes. If possible, take them out for lunch on their first day, or arrange for someone to eat with them in your lunchroom.
  • Schedule training: From a simple introduction to comprehensive on-the-job training, every new employee needs help to make sure they do things the way you want. Don’t forget worker safety and other training required by law.
  • Set dates for reviews: It’s never too soon to set performance goals and reviews and it helps boost effectiveness. Check in with new hires daily, weekly, monthly to see how they are settling in.
  • Prepare paperwork: Collect applications for benefits programs, tax and payroll information (including banking details), and make sure the new hire has business cards, security cards and access codes. Having a package ready with all the forms to get this paperwork completed on day one will save time and minimize mistakes. All employment contracts, non-compete and confidentiality agreements should be signed before the first day of work.

Starting a new job can be stressful. Make the first few weeks a little easier by planning an effective onboarding program.

How to Start New Employees Out on the Right Foot (PDF version)

The information contained in this HR Tip Sheet is summary in nature and is intended to provide general guidance. It should not be viewed as a replacement for legal or professional advice.

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