How to Onboard a New Employee More Efficiently

Last verified Feb 4, 2022

We all know that onboarding is important. It sets the tone for new hires and can make or break their experience at a company. It’s not surprising that during this ramp period employees are at the highest risk for turnover. Per Glassdoor, organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and overall productivity by over 70%. 

Here’s what you don’t want: A traditional, outdated onboarding methodology that leaves employees overwhelmed by information. Even worse, the information-overload they experienced during the onboarding process is not readily available for them to reference after the fact. More often than not, the process can leave new hires frustrated and with more questions than answers.

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Of course, onboarding doesn't look the same at any two companies but these templates should give a jumping-off point. Go ahead and personalize these cards by creating a FREE Starter plan with Guru today.

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Here are some quick stats that support the fact that traditional onboarding isn’t doing the trick: 

  • Only 37% of companies extend their onboarding programs beyond the first month. (Clickboarding)

  • 40% of new hires say getting a response from HR about their question takes too long. (Digitate)

  • People who had a negative new hire onboarding experience are twice as likely to seek a different opportunity in the immediate future. (Digitate)

“The traditional corporate learning portal (the learning management system) is rarely used (other than for mandatory compliance training) and it often takes many clicks to find what you need.” - Harvard Business Review 

The question then becomes; how do we enhance the onboarding process by liberating company knowledge and incorporating it into the workflow of employees? Implementing a knowledge management (KM) solution might just be your key to a kick-ass onboarding process that will get your employees off to a strong start and ensure that information is on-hand when they inevitably forget how to schedule a conference room.

How do I create an employee onboarding plan?

Using our own tool as an example, we’ll show you how to integrate a knowledge management solution into your onboarding process. Use these Guru card templates to inform your new hire process flow and onboarding checklists

First things first, try to make it fun! Legal documents and system checklists are inherently dry. Wherever you can, try to insert a light-hearted tone in your documents to remind new employees why they joined your company and make the process painless for everyone. This helps to avoid the first few weeks burnout... 

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Onboarding information-hub template:

This should serve as a home-base for your new hires and they should be able to go back to it whenever they need clarity on exactly what they need to get through to successfully finish their training, and should allow them to access what they need in whatever order they find most useful. Here's an example of how we structure our onboarding materials in Guru:

Add an onboarding document, equipment, and systems checklist template. 

Simplify the (often dull) document completion portion of onboarding for your new hires. Creating an org-wide checklist for mandatory items will streamline the process and make it repeatable moving forward. This can also be a great place to highlight the systems and tech stacks that each team uses internally. Providing a touch person for each application will reduce repeat questions and enhance productivity.

Getting to know new hires during their onboarding. 

Make sure that part of your onboarding process includes a step for new hires to share a little bit about themselves, where they’re coming from, and the best ways to work with them. Here at Guru we do this in the form of a “Life Story Card” which is available for all employees to go back and reference to get to know their co-workers on a more human level. Here’s what it looks like: