What New Starters Need to Look Out for During Employee Onboarding

From meeting new colleagues to having a tour of the office, the employee onboarding experience can be an exciting time for new starters. It’s the time when you’re really introduced to the culture of the company you’re working for and gives you the chance to make connections from day one. When the employee onboarding experience – which can be broken down into different stages from pre-hire to the first day and first week – runs smoothly, you’re likely to feel comfortable in your new role and happy to be part of a new team, but do you know exactly what a smooth employee onboarding experience consists of?

Here we take you through six of the steps you need to be looking out for during your onboarding stage at a new company. If these six steps are met, you know that HR is aware of the importance of a good employee onboarding experience.

1. Provide relevant documents and sign contracts

A good employee onboarding experience is one where HR have encouraged you to sign work contracts and send over relevant documents before or on your first day.

If the HR team works with employee onboarding software, you should be able to easily access the system and upload and sign any documents needed, including scans of your passport for example.

HR should encourage you to carry out this task before as soon as possible, in order to ensure all appropriate details are included within their HR system.

2. Meet the team

You want to make sure that HR has introduced you to your colleagues on your first day – whether you’re working remotely or in the office – and given you time to interact with them so you can start to feel comfortable in your new job.

You can bond with your colleagues and get to know them better during a team lunch for example. You also want to make sure that you’re given an office tour (if you’re working in the office) so that you’re familiar with where each department/team is located – by including this in the employee onboarding stage, HR are helping you feel comfortable and at ease in your new work location.

3. Company policies and processes

On your first day HR should be taking you through each section of the employee handbook so that you understand company rules and expectations. If there’s anything you don’t understand, you want to make sure that HR are encouraging you to ask questions.

4. Company goals and values

Do you know what the aims, objectives, and values of your company are? HR should try to set up an introduction meeting between new starters and the CEO (or with other members of the senior leadership team if the CEO is unavailable) to give you a better understanding of the history of the company and the future goals they are working towards.

You want to be aware of the work each department/team does and how it helps the organisation achieve its goals, whether that’s to increase their share of the market or grow the size of the company. This awareness can give you better context behind the work being done by everyone in the organisation, including you.

5. Regular check ins

While the onboarding process can be exciting for some, it can also make others feel nervous.

A good employee onboarding experience consists of HR teams checking in regularly with new starters to hear how they are doing. This gives you the chance to share your thoughts on your first few days or weeks, and to express any worries or concerns you have.

6. Good communication

As new starters, you should be looking out for good communication from HR teams and line managers during the onboarding process so that you are aware of what needs to be done and by when.

Good communication involves your HR team encouraging you to ask questions, to voice your concerns, and letting you know about deadlines for certain onboarding tasks. 

If you think something is missing during your onboarding, don’t be afraid to talk to HR and voice your opinion.

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