10 Step Employee Onboarding Checklist for 2024

10 Step Employee Onboarding Checklist for 2024

Great onboarding improves new employee retention by a whopping 82% and increases employee productivity by 70%, but only 12% of all employees feel like their onboarding process was effective. So, while businesses feel like their employee onboarding process and strategy is satisfactory, employees do not consider it so, and thus, the goal of onboarding is not met. Want to ensure that your employee onboarding process is top-notch? You need our 10-step employee onboarding checklist for 2024. 

Our employee onboarding checklist will teach you how to onboard a new employee. It covers more than job training, and helps with making new employees feel welcomed, valued, and fully prepared for their roles.

In addition to our employee onboarding checklist, this article will explain what good employee onboarding should look like, highlighting the benefits of implementing a solid employee onboarding procedure and sharing best practices for new employee onboarding.

What is Employee Onboarding?

Employee onboarding is a process that integrates new hires into your company culture, aligning them with your organizational goals and equipping them with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed. Effective onboarding shapes a new employee’s first impressions and lays the foundation for long-term engagement and retention.

Benefits of a Comprehensive Onboarding Checklist

A comprehensive onboarding checklist is not just a to-do list; it's a strategic tool that shapes the employee experience and impacts the overall success of your organization. Here are the key benefits of using an onboarding checklist:

Improved Employee Engagement and Retention

When new hires are properly onboarded, they feel a deeper connection to the organization. This sense of belonging and understanding of their role in the larger picture significantly increases their engagement. As a result, they are more likely to stay with the company, reducing employee turnover and the associated costs by 82%.

Accelerated Time to Productivity

A well-planned onboarding checklist ensures new employees have a clear roadmap from day one. This clarity helps them understand their responsibilities and how to execute them effectively. With this approach, new hires can contribute meaningfully to their team's goals much sooner, enhancing overall productivity by up to 70%.

Enhanced Company Culture and Team Integration

Onboarding is the first real taste of company culture for new hires. A robust checklist helps integrate them into this culture seamlessly, promoting values like teamwork, open communication, and mutual respect. By understanding and embracing the company culture early on, employees can more effectively collaborate with their peers, fostering a healthy and productive work environment.

Reduced Anxiety and Increased Confidence

Starting a new job can be overwhelming. A comprehensive onboarding checklist helps mitigate this by providing clear guidance and expectations. When employees know what to expect and feel supported, their anxiety levels decrease, and their confidence in their ability to perform their new role increases.

Consistency in Employee Experience

A standardized onboarding checklist ensures that all new hires receive the same level of information and support, regardless of their role or department. This consistency ensures fairness and equity in the workplace, leading to a more cohesive and harmonious work environment.

New Employee Onboarding Checklist

Our 10-step employee onboarding checklist for 2024 is designed to ensure a comprehensive, engaging, and effective employee onboarding process for new hires in your organization.

employee onboarding checklist

1. Pre-Onboarding Communication

New hires are usually anxious about what their first day of work will look like; they constantly think about what to expect, whether to send an email to their boss introducing themselves or whether to wait for an introduction from the team they would be joining. A pre-onboarding communication helps address their fears and concerns, starting with a welcome email. 

A welcome email differs from a congratulatory email, so even after congratulating the new hire on landing the job, you still need to give them a warm welcome.

Welcome Email Sample:

"Hi [Name],

Welcome to [Company]! We're thrilled to have you on board and can't wait for you to start. Here's what you can expect on your first day..."

The email should also include digital copies of all the necessary paperwork, allowing new hires to review and complete paperwork at their own pace before their first day. Also, provide new hires with a detailed agenda for the first week. This can include orientation sessions, team meetings, and initial training sessions, giving them a clear roadmap of what to expect.

2. Customized Welcome Packages

Let employees settle in comfortably with welcome packages that convey your company values. More than being a cute way of gifting brand items, welcome packages also make new hires feel accepted, which makes them more accepting of the company. Welcome packages don’t have to be something big and fancy, they could be small and unique. 

Items like a branded mug, a notebook, or a company T-shirt can instantly make new employees feel like part of the team. You could also use this opportunity to equip your new hires with the necessary hardware and software from day one. This could include a laptop, necessary software access, and security credentials.

3. Comprehensive Orientation Plan

Orientation is an important part of onboarding because it equips new hires with the basic knowledge they need to succeed. An orientation plan ensures you don’t skip any important detail that should be shared during new hire orientation. Your orientation plan could simply take the format of an event program so you can easily share it with new hires. 

Here’s a short sample of an orientation plan:

“9:00 AM: Welcome Breakfast

10:00 AM: Company Culture Presentation

11:30 AM: HR Policies and Safety Protocols

2:00 PM: Departmental Overview…”

Orientation facilitators, however, would have a more detailed plan containing key points to discuss and some notes to share with new hires.

Orientation does not have to be boring; employ engaging formats like videos or interactive presentations to convey your company's mission, values, and ethics. However, since an orientation aims to equip employees with the knowledge they need to succeed and shape behavior, you cannot only focus on the fun aspects.

Clearly outline important policies and protocols, ensuring new hires understand the company's expectations and their rights. Also, provide an organizational chart and explain how different departments interact. This helps in understanding their role within the broader company context.

4. Introduction to Team and Mentor Assignment

Team leads should also play an active role in onboarding new hires, as these hires would be working closely with them. You can ensure that new hires feel accepted into the company and their respective teams by having each team lead send an email to new hires. 

Here’s a team introduction email sample:

"Dear Team,

Please join me in welcoming [New Employee Name] to our [Department] team! [Name] brings a wealth of experience in [Field/Area] and will be a great addition..."

You can also facilitate casual meet-and-greet sessions, either virtually or in person, to help new hires build connections with their team members. 

Assigning a mentor or buddy will also help provide guidance and answer any questions the new employee might have, helping them navigate the new work environment more comfortably.

5. Role-Specific Training

Tailoring employee onboarding training to the unique responsibilities and tasks of a new hire's position is crucial for equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their job effectively. 

This step accelerates a new hire's ability to become productive and confident in their role, helping bridge any skill gaps and aligning their work with company standards. 

Key components of role-specific training include customized training modules, a mix of theoretical and practical tasks, and up-to-date training materials. 

6. Setting Clear Goals and Expectations

Establishing well-defined objectives and performance standards provides clarity and direction for new employees. It gives them a sense of purpose and understanding of what is expected, aiding in their focus and prioritization of tasks

Achievable short-term and long-term goals should be set during the first week, aligned with team and company objectives, and regularly reviewed and adjusted. For instance, you could set a goal with the employee: "In your first three months, we'd like you to focus on mastering our client engagement process, aiming to handle client consultations independently by the end of this period."

7. Regular Check-Ins and Feedback

Scheduled meetings between new hires and their managers or mentors are vital for discussing progress and challenges and providing feedback. These check-ins foster a supportive environment where new hires can share their experiences and seek guidance. 

Weekly one-on-one meetings, constructive feedback, and using these sessions to adjust goals and address concerns are essential practices. A typical check-in might be, "Let's catch up every Friday morning to discuss your week, any challenges you've faced, and how we can support your growth here."

8. Integration into Company Culture

Immersing new employees in the company's ethos, values, and social dynamics is crucial for them to feel a sense of belonging. Cultural integration is key to building a connected and engaged workforce, influencing how well new hires adapt to the company and engage with their peers. 

Involving them in social and cultural events, using internal communication tools for engagement, and sharing stories that embody company values are effective strategies. 

9. Offering Professional Development Opportunities

Providing opportunities for new hires to enhance their skills and advance their careers shows that the company invests in their growth, boosting morale and loyalty. Give new hires access to training programs, workshops, seminars, mentorship programs, and career development plans. 

These training programs don’t even have to be large-scale or even physical. You can send short inspirational messages and talks to employees. You can also create slideshows on industry trending topics to keep employees abreast of changes in the industry and how they can adapt to or take advantage of them. 

10. Gathering Feedback and Optimizing the Process

Seeking feedback from new hires about their onboarding experience is essential for understanding the effectiveness of the process and making necessary adjustments. Conducting surveys or informal feedback sessions, acting on the feedback to improve continuously, and learning from any shortcomings are vital steps. 

For this, you can send a simple feedback request like so, "We value your opinion on how we can improve. Could you share your thoughts on our onboarding process through this quick survey?"

This would also show new hires that you value their opinion and are willing to improve the process moving forward.

how to onboard a new employee

Professional Tips When Onboarding New Employees

Utilizing Technology for Employee Onboarding Automation 

Automation can significantly streamline the onboarding experience, making it more efficient and less time-consuming for both HR professionals and new hires. Consider integrating platforms like BambooHR, Zenefits, or Workday, which offer comprehensive onboarding solutions. These platforms can automate routine tasks such as document management, training schedules, and compliance checklists, freeing up time to focus on more personalized interactions.

Automated workflows also guarantee that every new employee receives the same information and training, fostering a sense of fairness and organization-wide cohesion. Moreover, employee onboarding automation can provide new hires with easy access to important resources, allowing them to revisit information at their own pace, which is crucial for better retention and understanding.

Creating Positive Experiences

A positive onboarding experience can set the tone for an employee's entire stay at your organization. Personalization is key to creating some of the best employee onboarding experiences. Small gestures like welcome notes, customized onboarding kits, or even a team lunch can make a big difference.

Some organizations have set benchmarks in this regard. For instance, Google's 'Noogler' program, with its personalized orientation sessions and mentorship, reflects an emphasis on making new hires feel valued and integrated from day one. Similarly, Twitter's 'Yes to Desk' approach ensures that new employees have a fully set up workstation and a detailed schedule on their first day, making them feel expected and prepared for.

Continuous Improvement

A static onboarding process is a missed opportunity for growth. Encourage a culture of continuous improvement by actively seeking feedback from new employees. This feedback can be gathered through informal check-ins or structured surveys at various stages of the onboarding process.

Key metrics like time-to-productivity, employee satisfaction scores, and early turnover rates can offer valuable insights into the effectiveness of your onboarding program. Regularly analyzing these metrics helps in identifying areas for improvement and adapting strategies to meet evolving needs. Remember, an effective onboarding process is one that evolves with the workforce and the organizational culture.


Onboarding new employees in 2024 can be simple and effective with an easy-to-implement onboarding checklist. By leveraging technology for automation, personalizing experiences to make every new employee feel valued, and continually refining the process through feedback, your 10-step checklist becomes a dynamic tool for fostering engagement, productivity, and loyalty. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to onboard outsourced team members?

Onboarding outsourced team members is essential for integrating them effectively into the company's ecosystem. It helps familiarize them with the company's values, communication channels, and project objectives. Additionally, thorough onboarding cultivates a sense of belonging and commitment among outsourced team members, promoting long-term collaboration and synergy with in-house teams.

What is the primary goal of employee onboarding, and why is it crucial for businesses?

The primary goal of employee onboarding is to facilitate a seamless transition and get new hires familiar with company culture, policies, and job responsibilities. It's crucial for businesses to streamline integration, boost productivity, and enhance employee satisfaction and retention.

How does a structured onboarding process impact employee engagement and retention?

A structured onboarding process significantly boosts employee engagement and retention by providing clarity, support, and resources from the outset. It fosters a sense of belonging, empowers employees to contribute effectively, and aligns expectations, leading to higher job satisfaction and loyalty to the organization.

Alex Quin

Entrepreneur. Podcaster. Go-Getter.

Alex Quin is a full-stack marketing expert and global keynote speaker. Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of UADV Marketing - a member of the Forbes Agency Council.

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