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An Employee Onboarding Checklist

Posted on 11/01/2015 by


Onboarding is the process on inducting a new employee into your organisation and getting them up to speed.  Rather than just leaving them to get on with things, it’s important to make sure that a new member of staff understands your brand and values, the working culture of your organisation and their personal targets and expectations.

A good onboarding process means that a new employee can become productive much more rapidly, helping you to recoup the time and costs involved in recruitment more quickly.

This month’s blog takes the form of a checklist that will help make sure you don’t forget any steps in this important process.  And don’t forget that temps, Trustees and volunteers will need onboarding too!

Before they start

Hold a planning meeting before the new employee starts with key stakeholders, so you can ensure nothing is forgotten and everyone knows which areas of the onboarding process they are responsible for.

Work with your IT team to make sure they have a workstation, email, telecoms, network drives etc set up.

Order business cards.

Make sure key events and meetings are in their diary before they start.

Update your org chart, telephone directories, staff list, seating plans & circulate to all staff.

Make sure the new employee knows when and where to report and who to ask for at reception.

It’s a really good idea to create an induction manual to ensure everything is covered and that the process is consistent for all new members of staff.  This should include your organisation’s background, mission and structure plus staff policies, health & safety information, etc.

On the first day

Book time slots in your diaries for induction, and make sure you go to a meeting room so that you are not interrupted.

Make sure you give your starter a written plan of their objectives and responsibilities.  This is crucial to making sure they know what is expected of them and where to direct their energies.

If there is a probationary period, make sure it is clear what is needed to pass probation.

Have all HR paperwork ready to be completed on day one (or in advance if possible).

Introduce the starter to all their colleagues (or all employees in smaller organisations).

Assign a mentor or buddy at the same level as the new employee to help with day to day issues.

Take them out to lunch with a group of colleagues on their first day

Run through your organisation’s formal policies, as well as informal conventions like dress code, sickness procedure etc.

In week one

Arrange induction meetings with all teams and back office functions for the new employee, so they have a good understanding of what different areas of the organisation do.

If possible, it’s a really good idea to arrange a welcome meeting with a director or the CEO, so they can personally make the starter feel welcome and explain their vision for the organisation.

Arrange training if needed.

Make sure they have some actual work to do, not just learning.  It’s virtually impossible to take in everything if it’s presented in one unbroken block of information.


Set regular (weekly if possible) meetings to check the progress of the new employee and that all areas of the induction have been covered.

Arrange a formal progress meeting (often a probation review) after three months.  This should have been enough time for an employee to settle in and start producing work of value.

In the unfortunate situation where things are not working out, act promptly.  It’s in everyone’s interest to be told about the situation as soon as possible.  Set a plan for improvement and if that fails, cut ties as soon as possible.

Useful Links

Induction advice from CIPD
Induction & probation forms and templates from HR Bird
Recruitment & induction booklet from Acas
Downloadable probation documents from CIPD