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Employee Handbooks, Onboarding, and Other Tools Every Business Needs to Seamlessly Bring on New Employees

Posted by PCC Small Business Development Center on July 27, 2017

onboarding new employeesYou’ve taken the time (and money) to post the job position, interview some great candidates, and pick the perfect person for the job, but the onboarding process of the new employee doesn’t stop there. A new employee needs to feel welcome and like they belong. Everyone is busy, but no one should be too busy to train a new employee and make them feel like they’re part of the team.

In onboarding new employees, think about your own experience on the first day of a new job, did anyone greet you when you walked in? Did they show you to your desk space and was it clean and ready for you? Was your computer set up properly?

The new employee charmed you with their first impression, attitude, and interview to get the job, now it’s your turn to onboard your new hire in a timely manner so that he or she feels part of the team and begins producing results.

No one wants to be the employer that lost an employee due to lack of guidance, feelings of frustrations due to ambiguity around expectations, or realizing after the fact that your new employee is not a fit for the job.

Here are some tools to help the employee onboarding process, so they experience a seamless transition into their new role:

Give Them an Employee Handbook (and a chance to review it)

Your company should have an employee handbook stating the mission, vision, values, and company policies. It’s best to get this into the hands of a new employee upon hire and have the employee sign off that they have read it.

Go Over Their Job Description and Communicate Clear Expectations and Goals

Since job descriptions can be vague at times, it’s important to set aside time with a new employee to review specific tasks and projects, so that role clarity is established. Providing clear tasks and projects that display immediate results can help restore an employee’s faith in making the right decision to join your team. Introducing them to other team members who can guide he or she along the way can also help a new hire in forging new friendships, leading to increased company loyalty throughout their career.  

Create an Employee Playbook

While the legalese and company policies are usually taken care of in the handbook, an employee playbook is specific to your organization in the way that it describes the actual company culture. An employee playbook may help your new person truly understand what they’ve gotten into by describing its customers/stakeholders, relaying what success looks like to the business, and providing bios or somehow introducing the people who the new employee will be working with.

>> Learn more about Advanced Small Business Management

Set Up a Tour of the Company

Provide a new hire with an introduction to other departments and introduce he or she to their fellow co-workers and supervisors. It’s important for new employees to understand where the work gets done, who does it, and what the new person’s role is in the process.

Make Sure the Employee Has Everything They Need to Do Their Job

There is nothing more frustrating for a new employee than to be let loose at their new desk and computer, and not having the password to access anything. These operational tasks should be complete and trouble shooted well before the new hire sets foot in the office on his or her first day of employment.

Pair Them Up With a Mentor or Training Person

A first day on the job is like the first day of school when you come eager and ready to learn new things, but you are also somewhat terrified because you don’t know anyone. Setting the new employee up with a mentor or trainer can help he or she integrate into the team and allow the new hire to build camaraderie with fellow co-workers.

Give Them Access to Software or Training Programs

Online tools like training webinars are becoming great resources for onboarding new employees because unlike shadowing another employee or sitting in a seminar, the new hire can process information at their own pace and are less likely to pick up bad habits from fellow workers. Online training tools allow for more interactive learning, increased engagement, and more job satisfaction.

Your new hire just put in all of the work in getting the position, now it’s your turn to figure out how to keep them. Give a great first impression by appearing organized and prepared for their arrival, and show that you have the time to invest in their success if you want them to do the same.

PCC’s Advanced Small Business Management program covers the onboarding new employees’ process and more in its 30-hour classroom course that includes up to two hours per month of confidential business advising. Learn more about the Advanced Small Business Management program.



The Oregon Small Business Development Center Portland Community College has  helped thousands of businesses over the past 30 years. We combine one-on-one  advising with programs taught by business experts, giving our clients the  resources they need to grow their businesses. We’ve celebrated many successes  with our clients. We'd love to celebrate your success. 

Topics: Small Business, Growing a Business

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