How to create your own onboarding guide

The hiring process is over. The contracts are signed and you’ve got an enthusiastic employee ready to get started in their new position. Do you have a solid onboarding process in place to make sure everything runs smoothly for the new employee starting on day one?

Research from Deloitte shows that 27% of organizations say onboarding employees in a timely manner is the most challenging part of their talent acquisition process. At the same time, onboarding is crucial to building a strong relationship with new employees: nearly 9 out of 10 employees say they decide during their first 6 months of employment whether to stay with a company long-term.

This means that a proper, effective onboarding is vital. This is why more companies are developing onboarding guides to ensure the process is a success, every time. Find out below how to create an onboarding guide that matches your organization’s employees and goals.

What is an onboarding guide?

An onboarding guide is a document that clearly lists all the activities that need to take place in order for new employees to be fully onboarded. Think of it as a step-by-step roadmap for each employee’s onboarding journey.

Some onboarding activities, like receiving a name badge to enter the office, may apply to every new employee at your organization. Other activities, like training and mentoring activities, are job-specific. This means you’ll need to keep a different onboarding guide on file for each role within your organization.

5 tips for creating an onboarding guide

These five practical tips will help you create effective onboarding guides:

1. Make it employee-centric

Each activity within the onboarding process needs to be designed to make new employees feel as welcome and appreciated as possible. When planning activities, always put yourself in the new employee’s shoes. Remember that processes and procedures that may seem obvious to you could be fully unfamiliar to the new employee.

2. Make it a group effort

Talk to hiring managers and members of your training team. Do it to gain a clear view of all the activities that an employee will need to go through during their onboarding. Make a list of all the activities, along with the stakeholders to involve. Successful onboarding requires teamwork. The more people you can involve in the onboarding process, the better.

3. One step at a time

Trying to create onboarding guides for all the roles within your organization at the same time will be an enormous task. To make it easier, start by creating onboarding guides on an as-needed basis. When hiring a new employee, create a reusable onboarding guide for their specific position. Then keep that guide on file, so you’ll have it ready to go the next time you’re hiring for the same position. You might also start by focusing on job positions that you hire for most frequently (such as customer support employees). Once you’ve written the guide, it will always be there for you to follow when you need it again.

4. Keep your guide up to date

Job descriptions change from time to time. Whenever the job changes, the onboarding process may need updates too. Remember to check your guides regularly (at least during each new hiring process) to ensure your onboarding plan is still valid.

5. Automate the flow

To make sure your employees have access to all the information and documents they need, consider automating your onboarding process. This eliminates the risk of forgetting something important, and leaving your new employees without the information they need. For an example of how to automate document sharing during onboarding, check out this video from FourVision about how to create welcome guides.

Successful onboarding is worth the investment

A little extra planning in advance will help you make a great impression on new employees. To make sure you don’t leave anything out of your onboarding process, be sure to also check out our helpful employee onboarding checklist.

Effective onboarding puts your new employees on the path to a long career at your company. It’s one of the best defenses against the high cost of employee turnover. Considering that losing an employee is estimated to cost your company at least 33% of that employee’s annual salary, successful onboarding is well worth the investment.

How to set up an onboarding guide

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