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The Complete Employee Onboarding Checklist Template

A structured onboarding program can improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70% (source: Brandon Hall Group). To get it right, use this employee onboarding checklist template and let your new hires shine.

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The Complete Employee Onboarding Checklist Template

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A well-structured employee onboarding checklist is your secret weapon, ensuring every new team member starts off on the right foot, ready to propel your business forward.

Use our uber employee onboarding checklist template not only eases this transition but can set the stage for long-term success. In this article, we’ll guide you through creating an onboarding checklist tailored to fast-growing businesses looking to streamline their new hire processes.

What is an employee onboarding checklist?

Think of an employee onboarding checklist as your roadmap to success for new hires.

If megabrands like Netflix master their onboarding with a process, then you should too. And you don’t need to have a massive team to do so!

It’s a detailed guide that helps ensure every important task—from paperwork to personal introductions—is handled with care. This checklist is essential for maintaining consistency and making sure nothing slips through the cracks during the onboarding process.

Crafting an effective Employee Onboarding Checklist is more than a procedural task; it’s an investment in your company’s future and the happiness of your employees. With a thoughtful approach that adapts to your business’s growing needs, your new hires will not only feel welcomed but will be positioned to thrive and contribute to your company’s success. 

Remember, the goal is to empower and inspire every new employee to unlock their potential and, in turn, propel your business to its next level of growth.

Employee Onboarding Checklist by Whale

Why use an employee onboarding checklist template?

With a checklist, you give your new hires a memorable and engaging introduction to your company, setting them up for success from day one. This isn’t just good for them; it’s great for your business’s growth.

A checklist guarantees no critical steps are missed, provides a memorable first impression for new hires, and sets the stage for a great employee experience.

Remember you use a checklist to cover all technical aspects of onboarding so you can focus on really bringing team members into the culture of the business. 

Gary Vanbutsele, Founder of Whale, on Why culture is key

Use our templates to fast-track your documentation

Customize this template and 100s of others for free in Whale, the fastest way to get your team aligned.

Distinguishing Between a New Hire Checklist for Managers and an Employee Onboarding Checklist

While they may seem similar, these checklists serve distinct purposes:

New Hire Checklist for Managers

This is a practical to-do list for managers, focusing on the logistics needed to get a new hire up and running, like workstation setup and initial meetings.

Employee Onboarding Checklist

This goes deeper, covering everything from day one’s warm welcome to ongoing training and cultural integration, ensuring the new employee truly becomes part of your team.

What are the phases of employee onboarding

Understanding the different phases of employee onboarding can help you tailor the experience to be as effective and engaging as possible:

Pre-Onboarding

Before the first day, ensure all paperwork is completed and provide your new hire with any necessary equipment. This phase includes setting up IT systems, preparing an onboarding package, and sending a welcome message or video from the team.

Welcoming and Orientation (First Day) 

Make the first day memorable by ensuring a warm welcome. Introduce them to the team, tour the facilities, and discuss the company culture and values.

Training (First Week and Beyond) 

Begin with role-specific training and gradually introduce more comprehensive training sessions to help them understand their responsibilities deeply.

Transitioning (First Month)

As they gain more comfort, start integrating the new hire into more significant projects and roles, setting the stage for their contributions to the team.

Review and Feedback (60 Days)

Conduct a formal review of their progress, provide feedback, and discuss any adjustments in responsibilities or additional support needed.

Performance and Integration (90 Days) 

By this point, the employee should be fully integrated into the team. Celebrate their milestones and formally assess their fit and performance.

Onboarding plan essentials

To build an effective onboarding plan, include the following essentials:

  • Clear Objectives and Expectations: Clearly define what success looks like in the role and what is expected in the first 90 days.
  • Buddy System: Pair your new hire with a more experienced employee who can guide them through the cultural and social norms of your company.
  • Regular Check-ins: Schedule regular one-on-one meetings to provide feedback and discuss any concerns. You’ll also want to measure your onboarding experience to ensure ROI for the company and happiness for your new hires!
  • Cultural Immersion: Integrate activities that highlight your company’s culture, such as team outings or volunteer days.

FAQs on the employee onboarding checklist template?

While the critical period is the first 90 days, effective onboarding processes can extend up to a year to fully integrate an employee into their role and company culture.

The biggest mistakes companies make in onboarding include

  • overwhelming the new hire with too much information at once,
  • not providing clear role expectations,
  • and insufficient follow-up or feedback.

Simply customize the onboarding checklist template by adding or deleting tasks that are specifically relevant to your team and organization.

You can also brand your template in your own branding on Whale in specific plans.

The easiest way to track the progress of new hires in their onboarding process is to create the onboarding process in onboarding software like Whale. This makes it easy for HR, managers and new hires to follow the process.

The easiest way to track the progress of new hires in their onboarding process is to create the onboarding process in onboarding software like Whale. This makes it easy for HR, managers and new hires to follow the process.

The easiest way to track the progress of new hires in their onboarding process is to create the onboarding process in onboarding software like Whale. This makes it easy for HR, managers and new hires to follow the process.

The 5C’s of employee onboarding are;

  1. Culture ✨
  2. Clarity 👍
  3. Connection 💜
  4. Compliance 📃
  5. Checkback ✅

Yes!

With the right tools and technologies, online training modules, and digital check-ins, you can create an engaging and effective remote onboarding experience.

Use our templates to fast-track your documentation

Customize this template and 100s of others for free in Whale, the fastest way to get your team aligned.

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