As we mentioned in a previous post, putting on new staff comes with a mountain of onboarding paperwork. But, that certainly doesn’t mean your new starter’s first day should be all about filling in forms.

Far from it. There are much better ways to get your new hire off to a great start. And it’s far more likely that they’ll stick around for the long haul if they have a great experience from the get-go.

Workplace culture

Employees are more likely to invest themselves personally in a company’s success if they feel aligned with the business. And this starts by understanding the culture. It’s essential to get your new employees involved in your company’s culture on day one. The best way to do this is for new starters to spend time with employees from different areas of the business with various levels of seniority.

Likewise, implementing a buddy system ensures your new starter has someone to talk to, which is so important in the first nerve-wracking weeks of a new job.

Mission, vision and goals

If you want your new starter to embody the company’s mission, vision and values, then you need to share this as part of your onboarding process and show them where the business is headed. It’s equally important for everyone to understand their own goals and how they relate to the big picture. Communicating the goals of their role during the onboarding process will help new hires focus their efforts towards achieving them.


Getting to know all the new faces and personalities in a business can seem daunting at first. Your role is to help new employees settle into their new team and get to know the clients, colleagues, managers, etc. they will work with so that they become recognised and integrate naturally.

Onboarding is a process

If you’re going to ace first impressions, you need to start your onboarding process well before day one. Beyond the onboarding pack, it’s important to think about how you’re going to immerse your new starters into your company culture and instill in them the knowledge and behaviours that will lead to their long-term success.

So, rather than thinking of onboarding as a one-day orientation, think of it as a continuum: a process that lasts anywhere from 3 to 12 months. Here’s some practical ideas to help you to create an onboarding process that helps your new employees get off to a flying start.

Onboarding Checklist. Before they start.

Work Space

  • Prepare their work area/office space and equip it with supplies.
  • Order appropriate access keys/security cards and make sure they work.
  • Order business cards.
  • Arrange for parking, if required.

Technology Access

  • Order technology equipment (computer, iPad, phone) and software.
  • Set up their system in advance and assign them to a printer
  • Arrange for access to common drives.
  • Add their name to relevant email lists.

General communication

  • Share the news about the new starter with everyone in the business so everyone’s ready for their introduction. It’s a good idea to share something personal about your new hire such as their love of coffee or their favourite footy team. In this way, other employees have something they can use to break the ice with them when they meet.
  • Assign a buddy or mentor the new hire can rely on to show them the ropes and answer their questions, even show them the best place to grab lunch.

First Day

  • Have a small gift waiting for them such as your company t-shirt, mug or keychain.
  • Give them a tour of the office or workplace and introduce them to key team members.
  • If you haven’t already given them the Onboarding Pack before they started, make sure you present it on their first day, and give them time to complete the paperwork over the week ahead.
  • Meet with them and their manager to explain the expectations of their role. The new starter needs to know what they’re supposed to be doing, and how that contributes to the company bottom-line.
  • Have their manager assign any straightforward tasks.
  • Take them out for lunch with their manager and buddy or mentor.

First Week

  • Introduce them to employees from different areas of the business and have them shadow them so they can experience the business from many different aspects.
  • Meet to check they’ve signed the paperwork and have accessed, read, and acknowledged your company policies.
  • Check-in with them and their manager regarding any first tasks.
  • Have their manager assign them their first project.