5 Onboarding Tips to Set New Hires Up for Success

Finding the right candidate for a job is a lot of hard work. However, the job of your new employee and your collaborators has just begun. The next crucial aspect of your new hire’s success is your management of their onboarding (no pressure!). The following are some pointers for successful onboarding:

  1. Establish Expectations

Your agreement on what your new hire is expected to do and achieve in their work will be your number one priority at the beginning of onboarding. Follow the below steps and tips to establish clear expectations:

  • First, make sure to provide them with an expectation setting resource that explains the full scope of their role.
  •  Second, outline what success will look like for 30, 60, and 90-day goals. It will probably involve a combination of work-related activities, relationship building (such as beginning to develop sincere and helpful relationships), and knowledge-related activities (such as learning to use a system or process with little assistance). These objectives will serve as the framework for your 90-day discussion.

Tip: Asking your new employee for input on objectives helps incorporate them into the process of onboarding, further personalizing the experience.

  • Third, specify your preferred communication, relationship building, and work-related preferences, traditions, and requirements. Get their perspective, and be open to evaluating your preferences and traditions, but also be honest about your perspective.
  1. Integrate Learning with Action.

Your new employee, regardless of how qualified they are, will need learning and development to succeed.

What we suggest:

  •  Prioritize connection, development, and learning as you increase “doing.” Give your new hire time to adjust and form connections, especially in the first few weeks, if it makes sense for your environment. But be sure to find a healthy balance so you’re not overbooking their time with meetings and training!
  •  Let them finish the task. Choose one or two jobs that will provide them enough shadowing and side-by-side work with you to fully immerse themselves in their roles in the first few months.
  • Wrap up everything. While, for some roles, a large portion of your new hire’s learning will come from formal learning opportunities and side-by-side work using the I do/we do/you do model (for instance, planning an event together), a lot of their learning—especially for roles that require the person to take on their full responsibilities all at once—will come from well-timed check-ins and debriefs.
  1. Create Positive Habits

The best thing about a new management arrangement is that you can standardize tools, methods, and procedures right away. Use the onboarding process to establish and strengthen virtuous management practices:

  •  Conduct frequent check-ins. You might wish to conduct brief check-ins everyday or every other day for the first week or two. Change to weekly after the first two weeks, and give your new worker ownership of the agenda for check-ins. You’ll spend a lot of time in the first month answering queries, providing context, and debriefing.
  • Create a feedback system. Use regular 2 by 2s to share compliments and suggestions for improvement in your weekly check-ins, and conduct debriefs once tasks or assignments have been finished. The more you can normalize feedback right now, the better your long-term relationship will be positioned.
  •  Use tools for delegating. Establish a routine of discussing the five Ws, asking for repeats, and assessing your preferences, traditions, and requirements.
  1. Place an Emphasis on Belonging

People are more empowered to contribute their best work when they feel welcomed, appreciated, and valued. You have a special opportunity and duty as the manager to foster and uphold a sense of community for your new employee. Developing a sense of belonging can be done in the following ways:

  •  Ask about their access requirements. One method to establish an environment that honors access and nurtures belonging is to regularly check in on people’s access needs—things they require to communicate, learn, and fully engage in an activity.
  • Act as a link. Your new employee will depend on you to assist them in making connections with other team members over their initial few months. Making introductions, providing background information about a significant relationship prior to a one-on-one, or even just inviting them to join a conversation over the water cooler are all examples of how to do this.
  • Share the strategy (and request suggestions and questions). Sharing knowledge that will enable your employee to accomplish their job properly is a crucial part of putting them in a successful position. Remember that you (ideally) hired them to own, improve, and—in certain cases—co-create the vision and strategy for success in their field, not just to execute the work as directed by you or others.
  • Own your errors and grow from them. Early on, your new employee will observe how you respond to mistakes made by others, and yourself. Their capacity to take chances and occasionally make mistakes without worrying about consequences is essential to their psychological safety in the work over the long term.

If you’re looking to standardize your on-boarding process for new hires and promotions, email us at to learn more on how we can help in not only on-boarding but fostering a great experience for all employees.


Written by

Amalia Swanson