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Onboarding on a Shoestring

Help new employees get up to speed in the organization on a limited budget

OnboardingWhile the idea of an elaborate, fancy onboarding program is exciting (look at the programs some of the larger companies have in place – amazing!), it’s not always possible. The organization may be too small, management may not want to participate, Human Resources (HR) can’t handle it all, budgets may be tight, and any other number of reasons may impact the launch of an onboarding program in the organization.

However, onboarding is necessary to enable for new hires to be more productive in the organization sooner and to feel engaged in the organization. Nothing like starting at a new company and feeling like you don’t even exist there and no one seems to care that you need help.

The solution – develop an onboarding program on a shoestring! A bit of preparation is all that is needed by HR in order to pull together an onboarding program that, while not fancy, will benefit the organization, new hires and take some of the weight off of HR.

To develop your onboarding program – use an employee (company) portal as the main connection point between new employees and the organization. This portal will be their guide through their first few weeks on the job. Consider the following to be included in the portal:

  • Welcome video from the president of the organization
  • All HR documentation and forms (health insurance benefits, W2 forms, 401K information, paycheck direct deposit form, other benefit information/forms.)
  • Company information: history, vision, mission, overall organization chart, strategic plan, operational plans, leadership team members, overall policies and procedures (vacation time, holidays, sick time, etc.)
  • Information about each division and department: includes customer information, products and services, processes and procedures and workflows, information about the marketplace and competitors, key contacts in each department, job descriptions, department goals and tactical (operational) plans
  • Employee directory
  • Handouts/checklists on using technology (computers, phone, videoconferencing, etc.)
  • Training videos, training PowerPoints or materials; links to webinars
  • Employees who are willing to be “buddies” to new employees – individuals who are willing to be approached with questions, to ask for help, or to just provide guidance and take the new hire out to lunch

As part of the onboarding program, once an offer has been accepted provide the new hire with information on accessing the portal including a brief tutorial via video as well as handwritten.

Human Resources might arrange for lunches with the new employee’s direct supervisor or manager and lunches with the new employee’s co-workers. Regular check in is essential to ensure the new hire is utilizing the portal effectively, finding what they need and so that they have a “human connection.”

Over time, as the organization gets used to onboarding and sees the value of onboarding new employees, expand on your onboarding program with a more “personal” touch.

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