How to Set New Employees Up for Success from Day One

May 16, 2022
Onboarding New Employees

Onboarding is a prime opportunity for employers to win the hearts and minds of new employees.

Don't waste it.

Onboarding is a magic moment when new employees decide to stay engaged or become disengaged. It offers an imprinting window where you can make an impression that stays with new employees for the duration of their careers.

For an onboarding program to be effective and successful, you should proactively onboard your new hires for as long as the entire first year. However, at a minimum, it should be applied intently for the first 90 days. A successful onboarding strategy will reduce attrition and increase employee engagement, impacting your team's productivity, customers' satisfaction, and your company's bottom line.


Managers sometimes do all the right things when it comes to recruiting, selecting, and hiring new employees. But as soon as the new player shows up, they make the mistake of treating the person the same as an employee who has been working for the company for a long time.


All too often, there's no structure for onboarding and integrating new employees and no orientation period. This is a huge mistake because the new employee must quickly come to feel like they belong and understand how they fit in.

Without a plan for integration, your new employees will be less effective at their jobs. They won't have the institutional knowledge needed to help them contribute, and it will take longer for them to feel like they are actually part of the organization. As a result, they will be more susceptible to the factors that often result in their leaving the company before giving the new job a real chance.

Start Setting Your New Employees Up For Success

Following is a condensed checklist for managers to use when introducing a new team member to the organization. In my opinion, this is not solely the HR Department’s job. With the manager being very involved in the first few weeks of a new employee’s employment, you will capture that magic moment of connection that will create high morale and productivity.


Want the Full Onboarding Checklist?

Checklist for Orientation and Training

  • Have you made sure the new employee has an office or work location and the appropriate equipment and supplies?
  • Are you prepared to greet the new worker and pronounce his or her name correctly when making introductions?
  • How will you follow up through the days and weeks to be sure the employee is feeling comfortable?
  • Are you prepared to explain job duties and expectations?
  • How much time will you set aside for questions?
  • What will you do to support the socialization of the new employee?
  • What training objectives do you want the employee to meet during the first six months on the job? The second six months?
  • Do you have money in the budget for training? If so, how much?
  • How could your organization benefit from an on-the-job training program?
  • How comfortable are you with adult learning methods and techniques?
  • What types of training methods are best for the kinds of people you employ?
  • Do you prefer individual or group training? There are advantages and disadvantages to both.


About the author:

Vaughn is the co-founder of Results-Driven Leadership. He is a leadership development expert, podcaster, and author. His methods are brought from his real-world experience working on the front lines and living the role of being a high-impact leader and manager. There was no theory, just common-sense advice and direction. He is a former executive with CarMax, the world's largest and most respected company in the auto industry, and is a Fortune 100 Best Places to Work.

Vaughn's mission is to improve the impact of executives and other managers by increasing their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

His motto is "No matter what business you're in, you're in the people business."

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