Effective onboarding is more than just showing a new hire where their desk is. A solid onboarding process will consist of several steps that can touch many departments in your organization. That’s why having a good new hire onboarding checklist can ensure the process of folding in employees goes smoothly.
Venngage for HR professionals makes it easy to create onboarding checklists and other employee communication materials like training manuals, presentations, infographics and reports. All you have to do is customize an onboarding checklist template to begin. No design experience required!
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What is onboarding?
Onboarding is the process of hiring and integrating new employees into your organization. Yes, it includes things like having their picture taken for a name tag, but it also extends to making them feel comfortable in their jobs and welcomed into your organization’s culture.
This isn’t an optional process if you want new hires to become veteran team members. Good onboarding makes for a better and happier workforce.
According to a Society for Human Resources Management study, almost 70% of new hires said they’d be more likely to stay at a company for at least a few years if they experienced a great onboarding process. And organizations with a coherent onboarding process saw 50% more productivity out of new team members.
Effective onboarding touches four distinct phases — compliance, clarification, culture and connection. While these are generally referred to as phases, they don’t necessarily take place at distinct times. Still, it’s important to understand how they differ.
Check out the infographic below for a quick summary of the four phases. You can also find more information on the in the FAQ.
What should an onboarding document include?
Because onboarding typically consists of many types of activities, it’s a good idea to separate those into individual onboarding checklists.
For example, a checklist of necessary documents will be more straightforward to assemble than one covering organizational culture. You can edit the one below to reflect this.
So, think about the four phases when creating your materials and determining what your onboarding document will include. Remember that understanding company culture and building connections takes place in formal and informal ways, so your checklists and other onboarding documents may not be able to cover everything.
It’s likely your onboarding materials will include several checklists, breaking down something like this:
Compliance: first week
- Fill out paperwork, make copies of legally required documents
- Review employee manual or handbook
- Receive ID, business cards and key or keycards
- Be trained on office equipment, including computer and phone
- Have tour of facilities
- Meet teammates and others in organization
Clarification: first month
- Receive training on day-to-day job tasks
- Shadow teammates who excel at tasks
- Conduct regular check-ins with supervisors to ask questions about job tasks and receive progress report
Culture: first six months
- Become accustomed to company norms and unwritten rules
- Ask for further clarification (if needed) on job tasks, policies or other issues
- Begin to build relationships with teammates and others inside the organization
- Take on more freedom in job tasks or added responsibilities, as warranted
- Take part in six-month performance review
Connection: first year
- Take part in annual performance review
- Continue to build relationships with teammates and others inside the organization
- Master all tasks and functions of job
Certain aspects of the employee onboarding process lend themselves more to a checklist method, so it’s likely the most effective onboarding checklists in your organization will cover the early days of a new hire’s tenure in your company.
Did you know? Employees that understand their jobs are more likely to be engaged. Learn some of our favorite ways to integrate visuals into your employee communications to boost engagement rates.
How do I make an onboarding checklist?
Keeping onboarding tasks clear is a challenge, as a good employee onboarding process covers an array of both formal and informal activities. However, creating an onboarding checklist can be as simple as putting pen to paper. If you want to repeat a good onboarding process over and over again, creating engaging materials with Venngage is your best option.
Here are 5 simple steps to help you create an actionable and clear checklist for effective onboarding processes:
- Step 1: Think back to the four Cs and determine what phase or phases the checklist should cover.
- Step 2: Pick the onboarding checklist template that best suits your needs (scroll down to see our collection of onboarding templates)
- Step 3: Update the steps to cover your specific needs.
- Step 4: Apply your company’s brand guidelines with a few clicks using My Brand Kit.
- Step 5: Download and print the checklist to share it with your new hire.
And you can also collaborate with your team members in real time, which really comes in handy when you need to create collaborative materials like onboarding checklists:
Now, let’s take a look at some of the templates you can customize for your new hire orientation and onboarding.
14+ onboarding checklist templates
Employee onboarding checklists
Employee onboarding checklists can cover a variety of topics, and they can also help you keep track of the onboarding process itself. Your employee onboarding checklist may consist of several pages, or it may be short and sweet.
Customize this employee onboarding checklist to cover a variety of facets of training a new team member, from making sure their paperwork is on file to ensuring they’re thriving in their new role.
Below is another great option. This employee onboarding checklist has space to assign team members to each task.
Make sure everybody on the team knows what areas they’ll be responsible for when it comes to training a new hire. Assign different duties to those best suited for them, and hold them responsible for the new team member’s uptake of that information.
New hire checklist
New hire checklists are best used during the first few days with a new employee. Use them to make sure important legal documents have been filed and a variety of company policies have been explained.
This new hire checklist is ideal to have on hand for employees in just about any department. Update and expand the first section to cover the documentation your company has to collect for legal and compliance purposes.
Remote employee onboarding checklist
This onboarding process template is perfect for new employees working remotely. No matter their location, help them prepare with a document outlining their virtual tasks.
New hire employee training checklists
Here’s a modern and sleek alternative to the above onboarding templates.
This onboarding template offers a high-level summary of what to expect, spanning from the first day of employment to the first year. It’s also one of my favourites, because the checklist shows you have a long-term vision for their success.
For a more casual and relaxed feel, try the template below.
This one spans a variety of onboarding initiatives and areas to review, broken down into sections. Placing specific emphasis on company policies lends well to organizations who have a number of conduct rules to abide by.
Though this checklist is technically an offboarding checklist, it could easily be modified to cover training employees on all the equipment they’ll need to do their jobs. (Learn more about how to create an effective offboarding process.)
And this checklist was designed to ensure enhanced cleaning guidelines are followed, but your organization could customize it to cover the policies you’ve gone over with a new employee during their first few days on the job.
HR onboarding checklist
I love the design of this onboarding checklist template. If the blue hues aren’t for you, feel free to customize the colors to match your own branding guidelines too!
Venngage’s My Brand Kit, available with a Business plan, automates this process. A few clicks, and you’re golden. (Or red, or fuchsia, or sage, or taupe…you get it)
Onboarding checklist templates
Onboarding checklists can help you keep track of the entire onboarding process from start to finish, or they can touch on one or two aspects of the overall process.
Send this onboarding checklist to a new hire before their first day begins so that they arrive on Day One ready to get started.
Adding gamified elements to your checklist all but guarantees employee engagement. While this template is geared towards employee development, it’s a cinch to rework the content so it reflect stages of the onboarding process instead. New hires will be more motivated than ever to “level up” their training.
This checklist template is ideal for ensuring both supervisor and employee agree that each task has been done. If the supervisor has checked something off but the employee hasn’t, that’s a good sign that your onboarding process needs a bit of work.
Though this is an audit checklist, it’s organized in a way that’s ideal for monitoring employee onboarding thanks to the color-coded sections.
General onboarding templates
A good onboarding template can include checklists, but there are other types of materials that are useful for both the organization and the employee during the onboarding process. This includes manuals, presentations and more.
This remote employee onboarding template is ideal for the tricky task of bringing new remote workers onto your team. Even after the pandemic, many companies are expected to accelerate their use of remote work, and onboarding is a major challenge when employees and managers are in different physical locations.
As this microlearning onboarding menu shows, creating engaging materials can be a useful way to make sure both the employee and their supervisors and team members don’t lose steam.
Present your onboarding manual in an easy-to-understand format like this template. Update icons as needed and use your brand’s colors to reinforce your company identity.
Onboarding process templates
Creating an onboarding process is challenging, but Venngage has you covered there, too. Take a look at some simple onboarding process templates and guides to help you craft your own onboarding materials.
Use the advice in this infographic to help craft your onboarding strategy, and remember that what works for other companies may not work for yours. If certain processes aren’t effective, refine or abandon them.
When setting out to craft your onboarding processes and procedures, consider what exactly you want to get out of them. Then, create materials that speak to those objectives. Need help with documenting business processes? We’ve got you covered.
A good onboarding process begins long before you even have a job opening, as understanding what it takes to be successful in your organization begins with the job functions themselves. This infographic can help you explore in more depth how to welcome new employees and transform them into successful team members.
Employee onboarding handbook
Time to bring it all back to where we started! Don’t forget to review and update other forms of employee onboarding documents you’ll share, including your employee handbooks.
Here’s one I really enjoy. Its playful color pallette and diverse icons bring a welcoming feel to documents that are often boring and drab.
And if that’s not your speed, there are a ton of other employee handbook templates to choose from.
Onboarding checklist template FAQ
What is an onboarding checklist?
An onboarding checklist is an organizing document that serves a dual purpose. First, an onboarding checklist guides employees through their first days, weeks and months of employment. It does so by informing them on the steps they’ll need to complete during training, so they know what’s expected of them.
Second, these checklists help employers remember the steps they need to take to set up new hires for success in their role. Its completion verifies to leaders that they’ve prepared employees effectively to succeed at their day-to-day tasks, and understand what’s expected of them.
What are the four phases of onboarding with examples?
The four phases on onboarding are:
- Compliance: Your new hire will fill out paperwork, go over employee manuals and generally gain an understanding of organizational processes and procedures like how to ask for time off or when their insurance coverage begins.
- Clarification: This phase ensures that new employees understand the responsibilities of their jobs, including day-to-day tasks they’ll be expected to complete as well as long-term duties that may fall to them. It’s important they understand how their responsibilities support and are supported by the rest of the organization.
- Culture: This phase gives new employees a clear understanding of how things work at the company beyond the written policies. During this phase, managers should strive to ensure new employees are well-versed in company norms.
- Connection: This is typically the trickiest and longest phase, as it involves helping new hires build relationships with their teammates and others inside the organization. A good onboarding process will go beyond introducing everyone, and managers should encourage positive, friendly relationships in both formal and informal ways.
How do I edit onboarding checklist templates in Venngage?
You can edit your onboarding checklist templates in four steps:
- Sign up for a free Venngage account
- Select the onboarding checklist template that best suits your needs
- Customize the templates’ text and visual assets so they speak to your organization
- Optional: apply your company’s brand guidelines with a few clicks using Venngage’s My Brand Kit
- Share or download as desired
Check out this section for more information.
How do you measure onboarding process effectiveness?
Employee feedback is a great way to review the results of your onboarding process and programs. HR managers and team leaders can accomplish this through scheduling 1:1s with the employee. There, they can share their onboarding experience and any questions or concerns they have.
For quantitive info, employee feedback surveys are also a great option. Use these to garner quick feedback or to reference when reporting.
Creating an onboarding checklist helps keep track of this complex but important phase for new team members
With these handy onboarding templates, you’ll be ready to onboard any new hire like a pro. Use Venngage for HR professionals to create onboarding checklists, manuals, presentations and other materials to share with new hires.
Browse through our extensive collection of professional templates designed to upgrade the employee communication process, and easily apply your brand guidelines and collaborate in real-time with team members while designing your HR materials. It’s free to get started.