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BLOG: 6 tips for smooth employee onboarding

First impressions make a big impact on your employees experience of your organisation.

After hiring the perfect candidate, you want them to quickly become a loyal and productive colleague. A new hire will make up their mind about your organisation in their first months, and decide to leave, or not. Therefore, a solid onboarding strategy is key. Steven Van Raemdonck, Top Employers Institute Belgium's Country Manager shares some best practices from the Belgian community of Top Employers.


1. Start early
Practical information for car parking, on-site facilities and lunch hours, but also important information such as company values, insurance documents etc can be shared easily, even before the first workday. So, go ahead, give your new employee access to an online portal or an app with this information. They will be more engaged on their first day.

2. Take time
No, a one day welcome is not going to give you loyal and motivated colleagues. It takes weeks or even months for a new employee to get used to their new environment and tasks. The best organisations develop onboarding processes with both general and job-specific information spread over time. 

3. Involve your Board
There's no better way to get your new hires engaged than by showing them they’re important. If a board member takes the time and effort to, for example, explain the company’s strategy or the company values to the newcomers, this will certainly have a positive effect on their feelings towards their new organisation. Remember, they want to be reassured they've made the right choice.

4. Involve others
Motivate team managers to organise an informal lunch. Give peers the possibility to train or mentor new colleagues. Assigning a ‘buddy’ to the new employee acknowledges existing colleagues and helps the new one integrate faster.

5. Start a community
Organise regular get-togethers with new hires or set up an online forum for this group to exchange experiences. These initiatives will be a great foundation for a cross-departmental network for the new hire to build upon.

6. Measure
Set up clear objectives for your onboarding process and measure results. Ask for immediate feedback in the first days, to check whether your onboarding process is ok. What is obvious to you can be unclear for a newcomer. Repeat this process after around six to 12 months. Did he feel welcome? What can you do better for the next new employee? 

Got inspired by this article? Download our full report on on-boarding and discover more insights and best practices.