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28 Awesome New Employee Onboarding Checklist

One of the most effective methods of bringing in a new employee and getting them up to speed on their job responsibilities is through the use of an onboarding checklist. A new employee onboarding checklist will allow a mentor or supervisor to be able to take that worker through specific tasks so that they can begin the learning process.
The best checklists aren’t in random order. Onboarding checklists should be sequential in nature and have a place where the mentor can sign off that a task has been completed. Working hand-in-hand with a new employee, this checklist can make sure that there are no excuses when it comes to performance.

Here is a list of example items to include on your new employee onboarding checklist. Please note that they are also in sequential order.

1. Print out the New Employee Onboarding Checklist.
2. Review materials from orientation and what the probation policies happen to be. Included any specific times that employee reviews will be scheduled.
3. Go to Human Resources to receive ID, employee number, and make copies of a Social Security card or proof of citizenship.
4. Include reminder to enroll into benefit programs [401k, Pension Plans, Health Insurance].

It is also worth noting that specific onboarding tasks can be assigned to the department where an employee will be working. Here are some examples of department onboarding items that can be included on the overall checklist.

5. Introduce the new employee to all co-workers.
6. Distribute the first assignments to the new employee, schedule a departmental meeting to review expectations, and hand over any required access cards or passwords.
7. Discuss the internal policies for requesting time off within the department and what will happen if there are absences that are unexpected.
8. Review what is considered to be appropriate clothing for the department’s dress code.
9. Introduce the new employee to the office equipment to see if there are any potential operational issues that may need to be addressed.
10. Schedule an IT orientation so that the employee can go through any networking tools that may be necessary to complete job tasks.
11. Provide a tour of the department so that the new employee knows where the bathrooms are, where the break room is, and how to leave the building in an emergency.
12. Have a welcoming lunch for the new employee so that everyone can get to know them a little bit better.

Not every task on an onboarding checklist needs to be completed immediately. New employees will likely be around for months, if not years. Some tasks will take more time to complete. Here are some examples of checklist items that could be completed in an extended amount of time instead of immediately.

13. Review the employee manual and provide a meeting that allows for a Q&A session.
14. Activate any remaining identification materials that are necessary for job completion.
15. Acquire a permanent parking permit to replace the temporary one that was given on the first day of employment.
16. Complete direct deposit forms for paychecks.
17. Arrange a tour of the full facilities of the organization instead of just the one department where the new employee will be working.
18. Review the new employee’s performance and make suggestions that could help to improve efficiencies without entering the disciplinary process.
19. Go over practical application of the organization’s mission and how company values can be translated into individual performance.
20. Review the safety plan that is in place for the department.
21. Fill out any remaining access forms that are required for the employee to do their job adequately.
22. Schedule any additional supplemental training that might be job specific.

What is the one thing that is often forgotten about during the new employee onboarding process? A final review over the results that the new employee has been able to achieve. A general rule of thumb is that it takes an employee 6 months to get used to a job and another 6 months to become good at it. This process should be specifically documented on this checklist.

Here are some critical long-term items that should be included on the checklist documentation that you’re developing.

23. Attending any additional new employee orientation classes, leadership classes, or other training items that are required after 120 days.
24. Setting 90 day, 180 day, and 1 year goals that the employee wishes to achieve with their new position.
25. Reviewing performance progress and objectives at the 6 month mark.
26. Discuss the training that the new employee has completed and what their perspective of the training happened to be.
27. Set a time for a 6 month performance review and an annual performance review that can document overall strengths and weakness.
28. Set objectives for the new employee to achieve in Year 2 of their employment.

The reality of new employee onboarding is that it is an ongoing process that is never really completely satisfied. Employees transfer to different departments and face different job responsibilities. Every change should be accompanied by a checklist that includes some of the examples provided for here so that there is consistency in the quality of work that is being produced from every employee.

It is also important to limit the amount of people who have access to the new employee onboarding checklist. Many companies allow anyone to sign-off on the items that have been included. That makes completing the checklist a lot easier, but that also tends to lead to inconsistent results. The employee, the employee’s direct supervisor, the hiring manager, and the onboarding mentor should be the only people who have access to this checklist and actively work to complete it.

A new employee onboarding checklist is a valuable piece of documentation to have on hand. It can even be completed digitally complete for organizations that have gone paperless. The advantages are clear. New employees get consistent training. Companies receive consistent results. Use these checklist examples and you’ll create a win/win situation for your next onboarding scenario as well.

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