Hiring great employees is a major priority for most companies. The time, expense and effort that goes into the process makes it critical that you have a high success ratio when they walk in the door on the first day. But hopes are often dashed. Up to a third of new employees will quit within 6 months, forcing you to start all over again.

Is there a better way? I believe that there is. The solution is to have an effective, systematic on-boarding program. I have prepared an Onboarding Checklist and 30-Day Onboarding Program for you.

Get the bonus content: 30-Day Onboarding Checklist and Program

What We Want to Achieve

First, a definition of what we want to achieve. The onboarding process should:

  • Integrate the new employee with the company and its culture
  • Give the new employee the tools and information needed to be productive
  • Let managers evaluate the new team member’s progress early on, gather feedback, and make adjustments before it is too late

How long should your onboarding program be?

General Electric is famous for its 18-month management training program, with three 6-month assignments in GE facilities around the world. Years ago, when I was hired by Macy’s, I was put through a three month training program of classroom instruction, shadowing managers and closely supervised work. (The program was known as the “Harvard of Retailing” at the time. Just saying.)

Small businesses don’t come anywhere near the size and resources of a GE or Macy’s. The reality is, you don’t have to. A simple, inexpensive 30-day onboarding process can be highly effective for you, and your employees.

First, let’s get prepared.

Onboarding Checklist

The Employee Onboarding Checklist has 36 items organized into three “actions”:

  1. What you want to do before the new employee arrives (i.e. set up their email, phone, etc.)
  2. What the new employee can do before they arrive (i.e. complete benefit and payroll forms)
  3. What you want to do face to face (i.e. discuss policies, tour the office and make introductions, and start the 30-day onboarding process).

One employee should be assigned overall responsibility for completing the process. Other employees may be responsible for specific items.

Once the employee arrives, it is time to implement your 30-Day Onboarding Program.

30-Day Onboarding Program

Week One

  • General Orientation, following the Checklist.
  • Assign a coach, a person with the same responsibilities, for the new employee to follow. (56% of employees surveyed said this was extremely important in integrating them into the company. Do not neglect this!)
  • Employee meets with HR or Supervisor on Friday.
  • Employee is given “Company Culture Test #1.”

(What is a Culture Test? Anything you want to create, perhaps a multiple-choice test or essay that will show if they are processing what they have learned so far. This can be a great tool, especially if the employee is quietly overwhelmed).

Week Two

  • Employee shadows other departments to understand what they are doing, and further socialize the new hire into the company.
  • Employee meets with HR or Supervisor on Friday.
  • Employee is given “Company Culture Test #2.”

Week Three

  • Employee starts their own job under supervision.
  • Employee meets with HR or Supervisor on Friday.
  • Employee is given “Company Culture Test #3.”

Week Four

  • Employee performs their own job under supervision.
  • Employee is given a 30-day Performance Evaluation.

The benefits of the Onboarding Checklist and 30-Day Program are many:

  • New team members will be properly welcomed and given the training and support they need
  • It is a system that anyone can follow
  • It is completely customizable
  • It greatly reduces turnover and quickly increases the productivity of new employees

Let me know how it works for you. Need help? Contact me.

Get the bonus content: 30-Day Onboarding Checklist and Program

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