3 Ways to Make Employee Onboarding Smooth as Silk

3 Ways to Make Employee Onboarding Smooth as Silk

You’ve hired the perfect candidate. You’ve agreed on their start date. As much as you’d like to sit back and relax, you now have to worry about their onboarding. This is often a dreaded process for human resources departments and managers. It takes time to correctly onboard someone, ensuring they feel prepped and welcome.

While you may be tempted to just hand them a laptop and let them be, onboarding is critical to an employee’s success. It can also help with retention, as the more supported an employee feels, the more likely they’ll want to stay. Primarily, the purpose of onboarding is to acquaint the new hire with their duties and integrate them into the company culture. Onboarding should provide new employees with the knowledge and tools they need to do their job well.

You never want a new hire to feel lost, overwhelmed, or disheartened. To prevent these feelings, you’ll need to make certain your company’s onboarding process is efficient and effective. Not sure how to make the process easier for everyone involved? Below are three ways to make employee onboarding smooth as silk.

1. Automate as Much as Possible

Depending on the size of your company, you may onboard new talent fairly often. Whether you welcome new colleagues every week or every few months, it can be beneficial to automate as much as possible. This way nothing falls through the cracks. With automation, a new hire is set up before they even arrive at the office — whether that’s physically or remotely.

Automation can include everything from sending a prewritten welcome note to their new work email to completing required documentation. It can also include necessary video training, such as policy education and safety and security messaging. You can automate sending out many of these tasks before their first day.

If you’re onboarding remote international employees, you’ll likely want to seek the assistance of an HR partner to facilitate payroll processes. In such cases, employers typically work with either an employer of record or a professional employer organization. Your EOR vs. PEO decision will likely hinge on whether you have — or will establish — a legal entity in the country where you’re hiring. If not, an EOR can hire workers on your behalf and handle all payroll, benefits, and compliance matters. If so, a PEO can help you automate payroll and benefits administration for your foreign hires, ensuring they feel taken care of, too.

2. Assign Onboarding Responsibilities to Current Team Members

The bulk of onboarding falls on the HR department and the hiring manager. However, you also want your new hire to start interacting with other people at the company. With this in mind, it can be beneficial to assign certain responsibilities to other co-workers. A few team members might take the newbie out to lunch on their first day at the office. Or someone from an employee resource team could chat with them about ways to get involved in various interest groups.

When assigning responsibilities, make sure to spread the love around. You shouldn’t ask the same employee to be responsible for lunch duty every time someone new joins the team. If you’re in the HR department, you could compile a list of people interested in helping with onboarding. A simple survey to the entire company can inform you of who is most interested in assisting.

Remember, onboarding isn’t a one-day assignment. It can take time, maybe three to six months, before an employee feels really secure in their role. Provide recent hires with a list of individuals or teams they should reach out to for various questions. This can give them a sense of control and autonomy because they won’t always have to turn to their manager.

3. Give Them Time to Absorb Information

Starting at a new company can be overwhelming. Think for a moment about your first day at your current job. You were likely trying to remember everyone’s name while also setting up your workspace. If you were in an office building, you were also attempting to orient yourself and remember where everything was. There’s no denying that starting a new job involves some stress, but giving your new colleague time to process can ease their anxiety.

Scheduling some free time will offer your new hire a chance to breathe and settle in. It’s all too easy to fill their day with training, office tours, and mounds of paperwork. Give them a chance to look everything over, especially if you sent a slew of items to their work email. It will likely take them more time than anticipated to read everything through as they are learning the company’s system and processes.

Speaking of systems and processes, gently introduce them to the systems you use to manage workflows. After a brief tutorial on your project management software, give new hires a chance to look around and explore for themselves. They’ll be able to see what others on their team are currently working on and how tasks are assigned and completed. Additionally, they can get a sense of what they will be working on in the days, weeks, and months ahead.


Onboarding can be a challenge. Yet with the right processes in place, it can be a streamlined experience for new employees, managers, and the HR team, too. In addition, having a positive mindset about onboarding can make a huge difference. Your new hire is smart, and they’ll notice any apprehensive vibes you give off. So stay upbeat and remember that each onboarding is a new opportunity for both your team and the new employee to learn and grow.

3 Ways to Make Employee Onboarding Smooth as Silk

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