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90-Day New Hire Onboarding Checklist

By: Unknown / Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Onboarding — the process of turning new hires into happy, productive employees — might start with getting your employee onboarding packet signed, but it doesn’t end there. It takes time to get your employees acclimated to your company’s processes and culture, and ready to take on a full workload.

Smart HR managers have figured out that 90 days is the sweet spot, when most employees stop considering your company “a new job” and begin to make it “their job.” As a result, it’s common for recruiters and HR departments to have a 90-day plan for new hires, to make sure the onboarding process goes as smoothly as possible. To help, we’ve developed a list of common tasks that may arise throughout the onboarding process. Use this new hire onboarding checklist as a resource to help develop the right plan to introduce your company and your culture.

Before the first day

  • Task 1: Set up your new hire’s work space.
  • Task 2: Develop and distribute your orientation schedule.
  • Task 3: Get all your onboarding documents signed online.
When your company appears prepared and professional, it inspires the same attitude in your employees. If your new hires show up to work on the first day with an orientation schedule in hand and their desk, phone and email accounts already connected, you’ve made an important long-term step in helping them feel welcome at your company, and they will work harder to match your company’s level of productivity.

Likewise, take a good long look at your onboarding paperwork — documents like your employee handbook, non-disclosure agreements and IRS Form W-4. If you put off getting these signed until the day your employees start work, you’re burdening their first day with frustrating, mundane tasks. Use e-signatures instead, and your new hires can review and complete them at home at their own pace.

On the first day

  • Task 1: Send out a welcome email.
  • Task 2: Meet with key co-workers and staff.
  • Task 3: Give a welcoming gift.
The first day is all about feeling welcome and comfortable in a new environment. Start things off with a welcome email to your whole team introducing your new employee — an easy way to help break the ice. Next, fill your employees’ first day with short, informal meetings with the supervisors and co-workers with whom they’ll be working. Even a quick introduction can go a long way. Finally, give your new employees a gift — something useful that they’ll be able to take home, like a water bottle or laptop bag — to show off their exciting new job.

In the first week

  • Task 1: Schedule time for orientation and training.
  • Task 2: Give your new hire a small project.
  • Task 3: Organize a social mixer.
The next items on your onboarding checklist begin to switch the focus from social welcoming to your new hires’ job duties. This is where you begin your training in earnest, as well as review company policies such as security and legal protection. Give your employee one small project to keep them occupied — an easy way to learn the ropes of how your team works. Finally, at the end of the week, organize a social mixer like a happy hour so your new hires can get to know their coworkers in a less formal setting.

In the first month

  • Task 1: Ramp up to normal workload.
  • Task 2: Have an initial check-in review.
The rest of your new hires’ first month should focus on building routines. Daily tasks and weekly meetings only take a few repetitions to feel like second nature, and at the end of the month, your new hires should be fully trained and nearly ready for their full workload. At the end of the month, schedule some one-on-one time with your new hires, so you can discuss what is or is not working in their roles.

In the first 90 days

  • Task 1: Initiate and complete one major project.
  • Task 2: Follow-up and gather feedback on your onboarding process.
Your onboarding process reaches its conclusion after 90 days. By this time, your new hires should have progressed into fully functioning members of your team. Give your employees the opportunity to initiate a project on their own — they may shake up your team’s workflow for the better. At the end of the 90-day provisional period, schedule another meeting to follow up on your 30-day review. This time, look for feedback from your new employees, especially on your onboarding process. This two-way dialog is a crucial part of building and maintaining your company’s culture. There’s always room to improve!


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