How To Lead A Successful Team Onboarding Process

The onboarding process is an important time for both businesses and staff. Many organisations use this time to ensure staff have the information and skills they need to complete their work, and while it takes time for new starters to get up to speed, the disruption can be minimised by a good, thorough process where everyone knows what’s expected of them at each stage.


Posted by: Stuart Margetts


One of the challenges of employee onboarding is that the number of tasks, documents or pieces of information can be overwhelming, and this is compounded using systems or tools that aren’t designed for such a process. This means it takes longer to complete and certain things can be missed as staff move from tool to tool, and to different locations.

The benefits of a tool that is designed to handle employee onboarding is that both the new starter and management can track what’s been done and when, as well as highlighting areas to improve in the future. OurPeople understands how important the onboarding process is, and the kind of results that can be seen by utilising a good one.

Onboarding New Team Members

Onboarding processes differ in every business, but they are all designed to do the same thing – get people integrated into the organisation and ready to work as quickly as possible. How this is done also changes, but it’s clear the onboarding process is important to both staff and the business as a whole.

Hiring and training new staff takes time, and minimising the impact on the business, so it can continue to operate and grow, but done right onboarding can also help staff feel welcomed and a part of the team, which makes them more invested and committed right from the first day.

What Is Onboarding?

Onboarding is helping a new staff member – or multiple people who join at the same time – learn everything they need to know to succeed in their new role. When working in a single, centralised location, employees can benefit from closer supervision and support, but frontline teams will often work in different places, and in some cases with less support than is ideal. Knowing where to find that support can make all the difference.

Employee onboarding covers what’s expected of staff, HR and legal documents that need to be read and signed, company policies, responsibilities, processes and much more. This is a lot to absorb, and there needs to be a record of new staff understanding and accepting everything presented to them.

The Steps Of Employee Onboarding

The employee onboarding process fall broadly under four main steps:

  • Once someone accepts a job offer, the first stage of onboarding begins. This is crucial as there’s limited contact with the new employee. You can use this time to complete legal documents and contracts, as well as gather information that ensures everything is set up for the start date.
  • Once the start date arrives, you can begin immersing the new hire into the business. This means an induction into the different departments of the business, the locations you operate from, and the policies and processes that apply to all staff. Introduce them to people, especially their new team and help them feel settled and welcome.
  • The most important part of any onboarding process is the training new staff receive. This should be handled by a manager or senior employee who knows the role the new start will be doing. Ensure they have the knowledge and skills to start working and succeed.
  • The final phase is helping new hires transition to employees. This means removing safety nets and being clear about expectations and responsibilities. You can set goals and show a development plan that proves you are invested in their career and want them to succeed.

    This is a broad look at the process, and there were be variations and differences in every business, but knowing what happens can help you identify where you can improve the experience for everyone involved.

How Can You Ensure A Smooth Employee Onboarding Process?

Now that we know how important the employee onboarding process is, we can look at how to make it as smooth and thorough as possible. This ensures that every employee can get the best induction and make sure they’re totally prepared for anything they might face while working.

Preparing for every outcome is impossible – no one can predict everything that might happen – but providing the right skills, information, and resources can help any frontline employee handle any situation. There are ways to improve employee onboarding to make it more engaging and relevant to each staff member, though, and this can make a huge difference to how effective the process is.

Create An Onboarding Process For Different Roles

The most common approach with employee onboarding processes is that everyone goes through the same one, receiving the same information and instruction so everyone starts from the same position. This is admirable, but can ultimately harm employee engagement.

This is because each member of staff needs different resources and knowledge – and some of the resources in your business will not relate to their role. Working with customers in a leisure facility, for example, requires different guidelines and tools than someone in an office environment.

To help streamline the onboarding process, to make it more relevant, you can make a process for each role or department in your business. This prevents information overload, and gives staff just what they need to work without all the excess. It also shows you understand the employee’s role and what they need to complete it.

Ensure Onboarding Resources And Documents Are Easily Accessible

Almost every onboarding process has documents to read and sign, showing the staff member has understood what’s contained in them. Some of these documents highlight processes and tools, but these can also be confusing.

However you manage the onboarding, reducing clutter can make things much simpler. An integrated platform, like OurPeople, can help frontline workers communicate with their teams and staff in other departments and locations easily thanks to a tagging system. This extends to resources and documents they need, and this can be explained in the onboarding process.

The goal here is to make it simple to find what staff need to do their jobs. It helps with a dedicated tool, but however your business operates – and wherever your resources are – they should be easy to find and access.

Make Each Part Of The Onboarding Process Simple To Complete

While a necessary part of any staff induction, employee onboarding can be seen as more of a chore than anything. Documents can be hard to find, tough to read, and not engaging at all. For staff on frontline teams that will have customer demands from the get go, this is a recipe for failure.

Making the onboarding simple to complete, with easy, actionable steps, will ensure it’s completed – and in a timely manner. Allowing everything to be done from a mobile device always offers more flexibility, which means tasks are more likely to be completed no matter where the employee is based.

Using checklists, and stopping the progression until tasks are completed, can help make sure everything is done.

Improve Employee Onboarding

Employee onboarding processes set the tone for the future of all new staff, and organisations who allow this to happen over multiple tools or platforms are making it harder for staff to get to grips with what they have to do and where they can find everything they need. Keeping everything to do with onboarding in one place makes this a seamless and easy process.

Whether it’s reading and signing documents, completing training, or being able to communicate with other staff and managers, this is the first impression a staff member will have and the better the onboarding, the better opinion they’ll have of your business. That will be reflected in their attitude and work.

Adapt Your Employee Onboarding Process From Feedback

Creating an onboarding process isn’t the end, but the beginning. As your business grows, the staff you hire changes, and the information they need evolves, you’ll find that what once worked slowly loses effectiveness.

Constantly evaluating your onboarding process – as well as other aspects of your business – will help you keep them relevant and useful. You should also listen to staff feedback as to what they would like to see in the onboarding process; what was good, what was missing, and more.

Use this to ensure future staff are not left wanting and can perform as you expect from the beginning.

Handle Employee Onboarding On One Platform

The more tools a business uses, the more confusing it can be for new employees to get to grips with. Finding where everything is and knowing what to use each tool for, can be overwhelming. Frontline teams are especially vulnerable to this as they are going to be on the go from the start, working on tasks and dealing with customers right away. Having to stop and check multiple tools or platforms for what they need will lower their productivity.

The OurPeople platform is more than a team communication tool. It can handle training, file sharing, and the employee onboarding process you set up. You can direct staff to this tool and know everything they need is in one place. OurPeople can be accessed on computers and mobile devices, so no matter where your staff work from, they can communicate with colleagues and access the resources they need.

If you’d like to know more about what OurPeople can do, and how the employee onboarding process works within it, get in touch with our team now and we’ll answer any questions you have.