How to effectively onboard employees

HR Tips

Adaptation and integration of a new member into a team does not have to be rocket science. Keep in mind that your newbie already has positive impressions and determination thus far, that's why they chose you. Nevertheless, the highest rate of new employee retention occurs during the trial period, when onboarding mostly takes place. Let's look at ways to reduce turnover and avoid common onboarding mistakes!

TIP! Everyone has experienced a drop in motivation at some point. Check out these ways to prevent it!


1. Don't underestimate preparation

Keep in mind that your work environment is very unfamiliar to a new colleague. First of all, you should ensure that you have all the administrative onboarding pieces squared away. Other necessary protocols may or may not be as obvious. So, let's go through the basic points of onboarding together!

  • Your place of work - provide the newcomer with a desk, chair, and everything they will need to fulfill their role and responsibilties. For example, buy them a nice calendar and writing utensils. You will make a lasting, positive impression!
  • Inform your whole team about the arrival so that the newcomer’s arrival is anticipated with excitement. On the day of arrival, everyone will already know who they are and you will avoid awkward situations.
  • Give the newbie a schedule for the entire first day, ideally the entire first week, so they know exactly what will happen and when. For example, add lunch or an after-work drink to lighten the stress on the newcomer.

If you have several onboardings per month, prepare a detailed to-do list that you always fill out before onboarding.

TIP! Create onboarding process tasks in ATS that you can easily view and always have in sight!


2. Set diverse goals

Discuss together the goals and tasks that the newcomer will fulfill during his onboarding period. Expect the task completion process to be slower than for more experienced employees. There should be tasks ranging from short-term to long-term ones. A great motivational tool at the beginning is to provide simple and quick tasks, this way the newbie will feel good and feel that they have achieved something. Never criticize, but rather praise any progress the newbie makes during onboarding. It will be beneficial in the end!

TIP! Track candidate satisfaction with recruitment so you know what to change during the recruitment process!


3. Don't forget communication

There is a reason that they say communication is the key to many doors. Onboarded employees may have a deep understanding of their entire agenda and workload, but that doesn't mean you should stop paying attention to them. Ask them how they are managing the assigned work. Listen how they respond to you, because sometimes “fine" doesn't always mean "fine". Honest feedback is your friend. Therefore, ask for it as often as possible.

Summarize all the information you gave them. Feel free to do it more than once, so that they are always certain of their direction. Not all newcomers feel confident or are in the mood to ask questions about information you told them earlier during the onboarding a second, third, or more times around. 

TIP! Constantly educate newcomers and your entire team, knowledge holds a rightful place with all professionals!


4. Feedback at the end of the trial period

The end of the trial period is up to your discretion. But when this comes, you and your newcomer should sit down one-on-one and discuss their work so far in the company and their vision for the future. During this, you should give specific assessments of the entire onboarding process.

There are two main paths you can take after onboarding:

  • The colleague met your expectations and you wish to keep them at the company. At this point, you should let them know how impressed you are with their onboarding. You should reiterate the duties of their position and kindly ask them for their evaluation of the partnership so far.
  • You have decided not to continue the partnership. You proceed similarly to the recruitment process. You should provide them with clear feedback and justification for why you decided to terminate. During this, you must maintain a positive attitude and not be critical of them as a person. Positive impressions are important even after onboarding!  


Onboarding is a vital period for every employee. By following the steps above, you can avoid the most common mistakes. Think back to your personal experience, how was your first few days and what could be different? This answer may point you in the right direction. If you have open opportunities and do not know how to write an attractive job description.Take a look at our 5 steps to writing the best one!



Author: Anna Křivská

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