onboarding best practices

9 Onboarding Best Practices That Improve Retention & Productivity

Research by Glassdoor has shown a well-planned onboarding process increases new hires’ productivity by 70 percent and retention by 82 percent.

A positive onboarding process is crucial to any business because it helps new hires get familiar with their work faster and retain good employees.

Here are 9 onboarding best practices you should apply when building your company’s onboarding procedure.

9 onboarding best practices you should apply

1. Start before the starting day

The onboarding process begins way before the first day of work for the new hire. It actually starts from the moment your company appears on the search bar or an ad on a recruitment website. Everything about your business that job-seekers can find online will give them an idea of their working experience at your company.

Start the onboarding process early. Make your branding and messages honest, consistent, and appealing to applicants. When you reach out to suitable candidates, be professional and engaging.

2. Make expectations and tasks clear

Requirements, tasks, and expectations should be clear right from the beginning. If you’re a new start-up and things can get hectic, don’t hesitate to tell the candidates. You don’t want them to run off after a few days of work just because you didn’t make things clear from the start. This costs you a lot of time and money for nothing.

3. Inform candidates about HR processes

Inform new hires about salary, benefits, and company procedures. Send them forms and paperwork they need to fill out. You can send digital documents in advance, and let them sign when you see them in person.

4. Prepare necessary equipment

If the new role includes using equipment such as computers, desks, or chairs, you should set them up as soon as possible. Purchase the necessary device and prepare a clean workspace for the new employee.

And don’t forget to ask the new employee about things that they need to do the job well. You don’t have to provide everything they ask for, but it’s professional and it shows that you care.

5. Answer the essential questions

New employees might have lots of questions about small stuff, not just their job duties. Things like:

  • Where are the restrooms?
  • Who should they contact in case they need something?
  • Where can they take a break? Is there a break room?
  • Where can they have lunch?
  • Is there any workplace communication app they need to join?

These questions seem to be tiny, but newbies often wonder about them. Take new hires on a workplace tour and introduce them to people so they can get familiar with the new layout and culture.

6. Apply welcoming practices

The work environment is an important factor that influences employee satisfaction and retention. If you have someone new on your team, introduce them to other members and help them build relationships.

You can set up team lunches, give small welcome gifts, or organize get-to-know activities. These small gestures help new employees feel involved and less worried.

7. Check in regularly

Once everything needed is set up, don’t just leave the new hire there. Check in with them regularly so that they don’t feel abandoned.

New people often feel lost and insufficient for the job if no one in the new workplace cares about them. Assign a mentor for them if you can.

8. Ask new employees for feedback

There may be small problems in your onboarding process that you can’t figure out. Asking for feedback and recommendations from employees will help you make changes and refine your practices accordingly. Seek feedback after a few days, months, or at the end of the onboarding process.

9. Have an onboarding best practices checklist

Putting the practices on paper ensures you don’t miss any steps, and you can incorporate them into company procedures as your company grows.

If you haven’t had a clear onboarding best practices checklist for your business, you can download it here.


Although there might be various factors affecting the onboarding process, applying the best onboarding practices is a vital thing to do.

If you make a positive impact on your employee’s work experience, they are more likely to be productive, engaged, and stay with your company. In other words, you minimize the headache of hiring, training, and spending on new hires.

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