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Improve Employee On-Boarding Pt. 1: Create a Framework

The time and resources needed for recruiting and on-boarding new team members can be daunting for any company. After all, the path from open position, to making a hire and training a new employee can cost in the hundreds, and more likely thousands of dollars.

Creating an on-boarding framework that you can repurpose for every new hire will save your existing team time, and set up your new employee for success.

Start with a Checklist

No matter the size and varying duties of your team, each new employee will have some housekeeping items to prepare before their arrival. We keep a checklist of these items, and just duplicate the checklist each time we make a hire. Our checklist includes:

  • Human Resources & Paperwork: From the offer letter to the 30-day review, this covers all of the forms employees needs to sign, steps to get them set up in our HR portal, and other personnel items.
  • Building & Workspace: Detail all of the access points he or she will need for your building (keys? alarm codes? parking?), and make sure to have a workspace stocked and ready!
  • Technology & Supplies: Even if you don’t have the many accounts and tools that we do, this could be as simple as setting up their computer, phone and email address. Don’t forget to schedule a headshot, order business cards, and update the team on your website.
  • Fun Stuff: I love to have the gift of company swag ready on arrival. We also want to remember to recognize our new team member on their birthday and “work-iversary”.

When you can just copy an existing checklist for every new team member, you have a jumpstart each time you on-board. This list even serves a dual purpose – duplicate it, and do the reverse to create an employee exit checklist.

Our MVP: The Welcome Packet

If you know HighRock at all, you might be surprised by this oh-so-analog piece of our on-boarding process. We geek-out over technology, but a good old fashioned welcome packet can cover a lot of ground. Maybe one day we’ll hand it over in 3D VR, but for now we just have a folder with materials intended to guide our newbies through their first few days as a HighRocker.

What’s inside?

  1. Necessary forms and agreements: Any new employee forms not taken care of at hire.
  2. Company Handbook: Our handbook lives in our HR portal, so we include that access point in our Week 1 Checklist below. Otherwise, including a printed copy will do the trick.
  3. Insider Information: Your new hire has probably read everything about your company that they can find, but they’re part of the team now! Give them the information that isn’t part of your public marketing materials to help them start to feel like part of the team.
  4. Core Values: You might have shared your core values during the hiring process. Either way, provide a copy to reinforce how important your values are to your company, and begin the process of setting expectations for culture and performance.
  5. Role and Reporting: Each team member at HighRock has a Role and Responsibilities document that details what their role is, who they work with and report to, and what they are responsible for.
  6. Week 1 Checklist: The newest addition to our welcome packet (learn each time!), this little checklist provides a list of all of the things new team members need to address during their first week.

Have a Training Plan

At first, training a new employee will take a lot of time, and anyone who will be involved should plan how this will work into their existing schedule. Much like our on-boarding checklist, we have a basic training plan to cover the things that every team member should know. This helps to start everyone off with the same sheet of music, and streamlines on-boarding.

No matter the department, every training plan includes:

  1. Tours and introductions: Meet the team, and get comfortable with our space.
  2. About Our Company: An overview of what each department does, our services, and our organizational structure.
  3. Role Q&A: Here’s what you’ll be doing, and how we’ll measure success.
  4. Get Plugged In: Tools they’ll need for the first week, including email, instant messenger, HR portal, intranet, etc.
  5. Takeaways: Any tasks that a new employee can tackle with little-to-no training will be like gold during those first few weeks. Be prepared with these simple tasks that will give you both a break from training, and give you early insight into their style and quality of work.

Read Part II of this series on improving your on-boarding process, where we discuss how we implement our on-boarding framework to make that first day experience a whirlwind success.