Onboarding Checklist

Unemployment is at all time lows. Finding new employees and keeping good employees is more important today than at any other time in history.

Creating a high-quality new employee onboarding is critical to businesses that want:

  • Employees working to full capacity in a short timeframe
  • Employees that stay longer than one year
  • Great employees to stay with the company

Talya Bauer, Ph.D. (SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guidelines Series) states: “The faster new hires feel welcome and prepared for their jobs, the faster they will be able to successfully contribute to the firm’s mission.” (source)

Below is a checklist of ideas that will help you structure a great onboarding program. Click here to download a PDF version of this checklist.

Three Step Approach

  • Pre-onboarding
  • On-site Onboarding
  • Post-onboarding


  • Over-Communicate – The more information that can be consumed the better, to help the new employee succeed.
  • Employee Handbook – Document not only that the handbook was received but also that it was understood.
  • Benefits Resource Center – Allow the new employee time to review and digest benefits information, as it may be the #1 reason they joined your company.
  • Policies and Procedures – Full understanding of P&P can lead to better compliance
  • New Employee Checklist – This will help the new employee understand the onboarding process and what to expect.

On-site Onboarding

  • Build a Relationship – Take advantage of getting to know the new employee and them getting to know the company better.
  • Departmental Introductions – This can help them understand the structure as well feel part of the team.
  • Assign a Mentor – Shown to be a great way to help them understand the company and help them navigate the nuances that are difficult to understand.
  • Required Training – To ensure that the person understands how to execute as well as safe and productive.

Post-onboarding – First 60 Days

  • Critical Reminders – Re-address the common things that need to be commonly misunderstood or forget.
  • Employee Handbook Reviews – A second delivery can emphasize the importance of the handbook.
  • Ongoing Training – What additional training can continue the development of the new employee.
  • Team Building Exercises – Schedule meetings with the new employee peers that will help develop the relationship

Post-onboarding – 60 Days and Beyond

  • Feedback on the Onboarding Experience – Conduct a  new employee survey to continually improve your onboarding process.
  • Best Practice & Continuing Education – Develop ongoing training that continues the journey to highly productive.
  • Required Training –  Continue job-specific training in the form of best practice reminders.
  • Culture Communication – Continue to deliver your company’s core values and ask for feedback often.