Onboarding is an important part of the hiring process for businesses.

 If you have had a job, you have experienced a part of what onboarding is.

 When we are first hired, we are so excited to have the job that we may overlook red flags in the beginning.

  • Did you get a welcome email with instructions? 
  • Was there something to do on the first day?
  • Were they clear on the training you were to receive?
  • Did the qualification in the job posting match what you were being trained on?

If you have had a job, any one of these scenarios may sound familiar to you.

Now as you look at hiring a new team member, prepare now so you can give them a fantastic onboarding experience.

During the first 6 months, the employee decides if they want to stick around or leave.  If you don’t make your new hire feel valued the likelihood of them leaving increases.  In a study conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management  they found providing employees with a solid onboarding process that gives them a good foundation, improved their retention by 82%.    

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is an important part of making sure all your new hires are successfully integrated into your business.

It is the process that a company goes thru once an individual is hired to get them ready and trained to work for their company.It’s the BIG picture from beginning to end.   Pretty significant right?  

When a new employee joins your company, they have to go through a process of learning new material, procedures, signing the proper paperwork, and working with a team.   Yes, to many this can be very daunting!   Another recent study from the Society of Human Resource Management found that 76% of organizations are not providing an effective onboarding process.  That is a significant number!  When employees are not trained properly this can lead to a low productivity and motivation.   

To help you further this breakdown will give you a glimpse of what onboarding is about:

Hire and Welcome  

This is the first part, deciding  to hire someone.  Before you even begin with the hiring process and the preparation of welcoming the new employee to the organization, you need to know what you need to have ready for them. 

Prepare and get everything ready from the welcome email wording to setting up their arrival and office set-up.   Be sure that the candidate is applying and understanding what the job is and the type of company you have.  

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Responsibilities and expectations 

Set the the guidelines and expectation of what their responsibilities will be as well as the goals and performance expectations.  

Create an accountability plan that outlines the following:

  • What their responsibilities and task are. Make it clear so they understand what is expected.
  • Any company expectations and guidelines they should know about.
  • Who they will working with and who they can go to for questions.
  • Include your company mission goals so they know what the company values are that you are working towards.

Communication and connection 

Making the right introductions and providing the tools and information to know to who they should be communicating with and how will make them feel welcomed and supported.  

Provide them with a go-to person that will be their point of reference. This person can serve as a mentor for them until they feel comfortable on their own.  Many companies establish a 90 day to 6 month support mentorship, depending on the job hired for.  If it is just you or a small team, having them shadow someone for a brief amount of time works.


Give your team member the proper training they need. Have your other team members prepare any check lists, videos and visual tools to help.  This training process can take a few days to a few months depending on the position.

It is so important to make sure that they get the proper training.  You can create a great culture, give them all the tools but if they are not trained right to use them- you are setting them up for failure.   

Give support 

Support throughout the whole process is super critical.  If you have a team already, you want to designate someone that is their buddy and can serve as a guide and mentor.  Having someone they can reach out to for questions and support is needed.    The key component in each step of the way is to make sure your new team member is receiving the proper support and training that they need.   


Just remember….

Orientation and training alone are NOT onboarding.  Yes, the paperwork must be signed and they must be notified of all the tax and federal guidelines, but it is only a small part of the process.   

Automate. Having a system in place that is automated and they can follow is easier for everyone.

Training can take awhile.   Many organizations assume that a quick training and orientation along with on-the-job practice will work for onboarding.  In reality, the process can take up to 90 days or longer.   

Small businesses and entrepreneurs need onboarding too.  Small companies with less employees benefit from having an onboarding process even more.  They usually have employees that carry many responsibilities and wear many hats.  Because of that, making sure the proper training and adequate support is given is imperative.   Also, entrepreneurs that hire part-time can also benefit from having this in place as it will make it easier to train occasional help.

So how do you prepare?  

  • Decide what position you are hiring for and the responsibilities that go with it.
  • Create a systems outlining what your company does and how it is done so they can use it as a guide and system to use.
  • Have a welcome process and packet ready.  
  • Be prepared for them on their first day, with an outline what of will be done. 
  • Provide them support and training. This includes a mentor to support them. 

Finally, entrepreneurs and small businesses need an onboarding process too.   

They may not need all the formal procedures that large companies do but they do need to have an onboarding process in place.  Once  the decision of hiring someone is made,  they will need structure and onboarding process in place.  Each business has a different onboarding process that is unique to them which is great!  Create a process that is in line with your company culture and will keep your employees satisfied, well trained, and set up your company for success.