How to onboard a new employee (including new hire checklist)

Editorial Team

5 min read
Grocery employee getting trained

Onboarding is an important, yet often overlooked, part of hiring. Companies that create a formal onboard process for new hires can improve staff morale, increase productivity (and profit), and increase employee retention. Data shows that businesses with an onboarding program see nearly two times the profit than companies that don’t follow any sort of onboarding strategy.

A great onboard process makes time to introduce new hires to the company culture and skills needed to be successful in their role. This is especially important for small businesses, where the cost of employee turnover is much higher. As you design your employee onboarding experience, here are some key steps to include—as well as a new hire onboarding checklist to help you get started. 

How to onboard a new employee

While the process of onboarding could vary slightly for each role, it’s important to create a consistent, structured program that gives each new hire key information that will help them succeed. The new hire onboard plan should provide clear guidelines for the first day–from the dress code to where to park–and continue with a roadmap of the first 30, 60, and 90 days of a new hire’s experience. Your onboarding program can also highlight any training an employee needs to complete, identify managers and mentors assigned to them, and set small goals that can build momentum toward bigger wins. 

Here are some tips that can help you put together a great onboarding experience. 

1. Start the employee onboard program before day one

Ideally, you may want to start onboarding your new team member before they arrive. One study found that 83% of the highest-performing companies started their onboarding prior to an employee’s first day on the job. This means sending all of the relevant paperwork, including:

  • Benefits selection and payroll forms
  • Employee handbook
  • Dress code
  • Parking details
  • W-9 or other tax forms
  • Glossary of company acronyms (if applicable)

In addition, make sure to get any equipment an employee will need before they arrive. 

“There’s little worse than arriving at a new job and finding out nothing is ready for you,” wrote the US Chamber of Commerce. “It sends the signal that your new hire isn’t welcome. When they see that a phone, computer and email address are already set up, your employee will feel as if you view them as part of the family.” 

2. Get everyone involved 

Introducing your new hire to the team is an important step to making them feel confident and invested in the role. For companies that have a hybrid or remote work policy, it’s particularly critical to make sure your new hire gets to know those they’ll be working with. 

“Recent research reveals that 40% of adults report feeling lonely. This sense of isolation is amplified for new hires—who often feel like a stranger in a foreign land—and can increase their chances of leaving a job,” wrote Harvard Business Review.

Introduce the new team member to everyone on the team, and set up one-on-one time with those they will be working with directly. Some companies even implement a formal “work buddy” program, pairing a new employee with someone who can show them the ropes. Alternatively, create a job-shadowing program that can help give your new team member a crash course in the working mechanics of your team. 

3. Simplify the admin

Existing and new employees alike will be grateful for tools that make work easier. Clover offers integrations that can relieve your team of some of the admin tasks that distract from more important work. For scheduling staff, software like Time Clock by Homebase, which is preloaded on your Clover POS, provides a simple way to build schedules and share them with the team. Other apps streamline payroll, manage tables and bar tabs, help you run a retail business, and more.

4. Set a measurable goal 

Transparent, clear benchmarks for your new team members can help your new hire get up to speed quickly. In your onboarding plan, outline the training, goals, and manager support that a new hire can expect during the first three months on the job. Set aside time during their first week to go through the job description with them and outline their responsibilities, resources and support. Setting these expectations early empowers a new hire to ask for help and rise to the role.

5. Check in and ask for feedback

Finally, make sure you check in regularly as the new hire onboards and ask if there’s anything they need. Collect feedback that can help improve your employee onboard process and consider asking your recent hire to participate in the next round of onboarding to share what they learned as they went through the program. 

“Continually seek to build a feeling of camaraderie among your team, and make sure every voice is heard. The more your employees care about your business, the longer they’ll stay and the happier they’ll be,” said the US Chamber of Commerce

New hire checklist 

The onboard process you create should be tailored to each role and to your company’s culture. Nevertheless, here’s a new hire checklist that can help you get started and stay organized. 

Week 0 

  • Complete hiring paperwork 
  • Share employee handbook 
  • Get equipment for new hire
  • Share information needed for the first day (dress code, parking, etc.)
  • Set up accounts and logins

Week 1

  • Schedule meetings with key stakeholders
  • Start training on key responsibilities and company policies
  • Introduce new hire to the entire team in a welcome email or meeting
  • Assign a peer mentor
  • Provide training on key softwares

Week 2

  • Review key responsibilities in job description
  • Create 30, 60, 90-day goals
  • Get feedback on onboarding process

To learn more about how we can help you streamline the employee management process, connect with a Clover Business Consultant today.


This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial, or tax advice. Readers should contact their attorneys, financial advisors, or tax professionals to obtain advice with respect to any particular matter.

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