Blog Archives

Onboarding Team Members

Ideas for onboarding your new talented team member

onboarding new staffYou’ve recruited an amazing new member for your team. It was hard work finding the right person, now it’s important to keep them engaged and motivated. In growing businesses, one of the biggest challenges is keeping pace with the number of new people you need to meet you customer/client demands.

When things take off it’s important to ensure that each person you hire is set up to be successful from day one, each person who joins your business is affected by your onboarding/induction process. It is important to have a great and effective onboarding experience for each new starter and a bit of effort up front means you can.

Employee onboarding done badly is handing someone a computer and telling them where to sit. A well thought through process, executed well, leaves a lasting impression and is the first step in keeping your talented people excited, happy, and engaged. Setting up someone for long-term success takes thought and time, but it’s always worth the effort.


The first step you can take is research, to uncover first-hand experience of your current process, you could ask the following questions:-

What were the first few days like after we hired you? What information did you receive that was useful? How did it make you feel about the business?

  • What was your first week at work like? How it did feel for you and what happened?
  • What worked well and what do you wish you had more of?
  • (I’m sure you can think of lots more)

Keeping your employee experiences as the focus means you will you make focused improvements and create a meaningful onboarding process for your people.


Meet the Newbie

Ask your new starters to create a quick bio and share it with the team – this can be face to face, as an email or posted on your intranet. A simple template with questions means they don’t have to come up with what to say all on their own.

Who does what

Create a “Meet the Team” Doc so your new starters can see who everyone else is and begin to learn whom they can go to and what for.  This can help break the ice and get conversations started.

Make time

Schedule in time for new starts to meet with their team/ and other team leads. Simple guidelines for these sessions are useful to set expectations on both sides and to ensure the new team member understands team roles. These sessions can also help to give insight into how people are working collaboratively toward the company vision and goals.

Social time

Make a point of getting out of the office with new colleagues, and this encourages you to chat about things outside of work. Some companies have “First Lunches’, where the team orders in lunch to celebrate your new team member and make them the star of the show.

Getting Organised

The first few days and weeks are an exciting (and crucial) time for you and your new starter, but there is also a lot to get through and usually an extended to-do list. Having a complete “getting started” process all in one place makes things easier and ensure you don’t miss anything. Break it up into tasks that can be completed before starting and in the first week. If you have lots of new starters in a month it might be worth considering an on-line to keep track of everything and everyone system. There are many HR tools available, and I would recommend trying a few out on trial.

It can be helpful and reassuring to your new team member to send out some extra details like:-

  • Where to go – a map and photo of our front door
  • What time to show up
  • What to expect
  • Who they’ll meet within their week
  • What to normally wear to work,
  • What to expect for lunch and timings.

Removing some of these anxieties allows people to focus on the important stuff of getting to know their colleagues and the business

Getting started

  • A list of tools the new starter will be using and logins
  • A list of team members + bios
  • A short bio + contact information
  • Security checklist

Fresh perspectives

You will spend plenty of time with each new person, and they will bring fresh eyes: they will see things you may have missed. Through the onboarding period schedule a series of check-ins each month to discuss their insights, changes they might make or what they’d wish they known on day one that they didn’t learn until day 30.

Work friends matter

Being new at work is a bit like from being the new one at school. Wouldn’t it be nice to make a friend on the first day? A sense of purpose fills the air growing businesses as everyone is focused on delivering. To new starters, it can feel like others are too busy or in too much of a hurry.  It’s worthwhile encouraging your team to slow down and take time get to know new people and make them feel welcome.

Work friends matter and friendships will naturally form over time. Feeling settled in shouldn’t wait and many businesses appoint a buddy to look after newbies.  Here are a few things they can do:

  • Make time chat every couple of days to see how things are going.
  • Share a story from the team events
  • Share “unwritten rules”
  • Give a run-down on whom to ask for what

Instead of awkwardness and uncertainty, you’ll have a friendship, support, connections, and a warm welcome, making this a helpful process for any business to put into place.

Head4Performance, or H4P, offer coaching and mentoring for ‘Leaders’ as well as programmes and workshops for nurturing the talent in your business.


Client Testimonial

Keep in Touch

Sign up to our Blog & Mailing List, and be the first to receive special offers, newsletters and updates.

(Sara’s) approach was structured and sensible and allowed us to create a clear vision for the people in our business now and in the future.
Nicola RayManaging DirectorModern