More than 50% of new hires leave within the first year of joining. In fact, the first 6 months is what will decide to make them stay or leave. Recruiting is hard and you don’t want your top talent to leave. Your HR driven, onboarding best practices has a lot to do with it. Most HR teams believe that onboarding is only about the paperwork. While paperwork is important, it should be spaced out otherwise it creates a burnout and disengagement that will start them off on a bad note. An onboarding best practices checklist will ensure you give your new hires the best experience.

1. Start even before orientation

Many companies become silent between the job confirmation and the first day at work. Instead, a week before they join work, you can do an electronic onboarding. Send them a welcome pack that includes the company policy, information about the work culture, tell them where they can park, if they need lunch what are the options. In fact, anything that will prepare them for their first day on the job will go a long way to creating a positive impact.

2. Spread the paperwork out

This is an important point on the employee onboarding best practices checklist – reduce the paperwork or spread it over a few days.  A new employee can feel overwhelmed when they are dumped with forms to fill. This is where an employee onboarding software makes things easier. It helps both the employee and company, since the new hire can enter their information quickly and it gets integrated immediately with other processes such as payroll, taxes and more.

3. Make introductions

Every manager has their own way in which they make their new team member feel comfortable quickly. However, it should not be left to individual managers. A company-wide policy for onboarding best practices is a vital part of HR procedure. Every new employee will appreciate it when they are made to feel important. Ensure they get to meet not only their team members but also key people in other teams as well as senior executives. Some companies also have a policy where the new employees go out to lunch. This can be either with the HR and other new employees that have joined that day or with HR and their manager.

4. Pair them with a work buddy

Don’t just hand a new employee over to their manager and forget about them. It is among the onboarding and induction best practices to pair them up with a peer. They are going to have a lot of questions that they will be hesitant about asking their managers. A peer buddy will help to iron out the small doubts that are going to arise and they will also feel that they have made their first friend at the workplace.

5. Define Their Success

Don’t leave the new employee to sink or swim. It is important to give them some training to adapt to the new role. It is just as important for them to know how to define their success. They need to know their KPIs so that they can measure their performance against it. After all, they have been recruited for a job and the company needs them to succeed. Ensure that team managers check this off on their onboarding best practices checklist.

6. Check-in regularly for the first 6 months

Google has found that having a face to face with an employee every month during their first 6 months helps improve contributions and ensures better employee retention. It is not just the manager who needs to do this, the HR team must also make sure that they have a formal or informal chat with the employee every month. This will help get the employee more training if they need it or sort out any glitches that they might face.

Always remember the cardinal rule – you have spent time finding top talent, you must do everything to prevent them from leaving before they can make a contribution. Following these 6 onboarding and induction best practices can help ensure you do just that.