August 5, 2019

ThinkingAhead’s Own Onboarding Checklist

Over the past decade we have seen a growing number of people diving into new job opportunities. However, this doesn’t mean that making a career change isn’t challenging. Transitioning into a new career can be a scary and uncomfortable process that can keep someone from taking that leap. Many organizations do not realize the importance of making a transition that will make their new employee feel like a good fit, but it has an incredibly strong impact on how productive this employee will be in the future. At ThinkingAhead we have a method known as the “Employee Onboarding Checklist” that makes settling into a new career easier and more beneficial. This method covers from the pre-start date all the way to their first 90 days with the company.

Pre-boarding. This phase begins before the new employee’s official start date. There are many tasks in this phase that are crucial to the new employee’s success. Some of the tasks include: pre-populating their calendar with activities and trainings, assigning a sponsor, filling out pre-hire paperwork, and working with IT to get their work space set up. Also setting a little welcome gift on their desk. This allows the employee to meet and connect with coworkers, have a mentor who can answer any confusion, and make for an organized and comfortable first day.

Day one. A new employee’s first day shouldn’t be frantic and stressful. Let them ease into their job, they are already nervous! At ThinkingAhead, day one consists of introductions to staff, senior leadership, and lastly their sponsor. They will be given a small tour of the office so they know where everything is located and they will also have lunch with their team leader to discuss management styles and preferences. This allows for clear communication with what the leader expects and the type of management style the new employee prefers. Lastly, the employee should complete any paperwork not filled out during the pre-boarding phase.

Week one. This marks the ending of the new employee’s first week and things are still very new. So, at the end of the week the major task that takes place is the employee’s first formal one-on-one meeting with their team leader. This meeting includes a variety of different topics from hot issues, the leader’s vision for the organization, to initial roles and responsibilities, and ensuring their job roles are clearly communicated. The leader will confirm that they are included on email distribution lists as well as provide a list of key stakeholders that the new employee will begin calling/meeting. At this point, this is where we start to see the new employee become more comfortable.

30 days. A full month has flown by for the new employee! This is where the leaders at ThinkingAhead like to do a check-in. In this phase, the leaders and the new employee finalize the employee’s performance objectives, create a plan to monitor development and success, facilitate network opportunities, and give feedback on the employee’s experience after 30 days. This allows the leaders to see from the perspective of a newcomer and how they can tweak and continue to better the transition process. Lastly, a welcome breakfast will be scheduled so the employee and staff can interact in a less formal environment.

90 days. This is the last phase of the employee-onboarding checklist. At this phase everything is starting to come together for the new employee and they should feel more comfortable and confident in their career. They should identify professional development opportunities, revisit performance objectives with the team leader, and have an informal review. This allows the employee to provide feedback on their experience so far and the leader can provide feedback on performance. This way, both the employee and company are growing and learning together.

Here is just a little insight of what our team here at ThinkingAhead does to welcome and transition new employees. It just goes to show that transitions aren’t as scary as we make them out to be, don’t be afraid to make a change!