5 Best Practices for Your Small Business Onboarding Process

Written by
• 4 minute read
small business employee onboarding process

Did you know that the average cost of staff turnover can be as high as $5,864 per employee? Get off on the right foot with your employees by creating a seamless onboarding process for your small business. This sets them up for success in your business, which will help you keep your most talented employees around. Additionally, if employees aren’t being trained properly, you’re likely not providing the best customer experience.

That’s why it’s crucial to pay close attention to your onboarding process and think about whether it’s truly setting your employees up for success. Here are a few tips to guide you as you build out your onboarding program.

1. Prepare for New Employees Ahead of Time

Prepare for your new employees ahead of time by giving them a brief overview of what their first days with the company will look like. A few days before their arrival, prepare everything they’ll need to start their first week. For example, make sure they have the following:

  • A copy of the employee handbook
  • A clean work area
  • A schedule for the first week or two
  • A login for any software they might use

The employee handbook should include a welcome letter, an employment description, role-specific policies, and information regarding payroll, scheduling, and work hours. It should also address workplace professionalism, general HR policies, and your company code of conduct.

2. Make Sure They Follow the Rules

Depending on your industry, your small business may be closely regulated by the government. If this is the case for your company, it’s extremely important things to teach your employees is to stay in compliance with the rules, regulations, and legalities that govern your business and the industry you’re operating in.

If your employees aren’t compliant, you could end up paying hefty fines or even get shut down altogether. Make sure you read over the rules and regulations of your industry closely because it could make all the difference. Provide compliance instructions to each of your new-hire employees so that they know exactly what to do and what not to do to stay in compliance with federal and state laws. Don’t forget to offer regular training programs to your employees as well – this is important to refresh their knowledge and make them aware of new regulations.

3. Clearly Express the Company’s Vision and Culture

Make sure you clearly express the company’s vision and culture on the first day. Let new hires know exactly how your company is working to achieve those goals so that they know what’s expected of them as a part of the company. You could even opt to discuss it during weekly meetings. By aligning your new team members with the company’s values, vision, and culture, you’ll equip them to contribute more positively to your business.

4. Create a Comprehensive Training Program

In addition to having your new team members shadow other employees to learn the ropes, you should also create a comprehensive training program that outlines everything an employee needs to know to complete their job duties effectively and efficiently. You can either take the software approach to this or you can train your current employees to train your new hires. Ultimately, you’ll want your training to be almost autonomous. In other words, you’ll want to record the training process somehow so that it frees up your staff to focus on more important aspects of running the business, such as tending to customers. If you choose to implement some sort of software to help you develop your training program, consider all of your options before making a decision. Some of the top onboarding training software includes:

  • GoCo
  • Clear Company
  • Lessonly
  • Bamboo HR
  • WorkBright

5. Set Up a Practice Run

Once your employees have been well trained and have completed the newly developed onboarding process, it’s time to see how well you did. Put your small business onboarding process to the ultimate test by allowing your new hires to complete their regular tasks, such as interacting on the floor with your customers, without penalizing them for any mistakes they make. If they succeed with minimal errors, it means you’ve done your job. If not, you might need to go back and see what areas of your onboarding process need work. Ask for feedback from your new hires who complete the training to see if anything needs to be added, removed, or better explained.

Building a successful onboarding process for your small business can take some time, but with the right tools and resources, you can have one up and running in just a few short weeks.

Keeping Your Employees Happy

Now that you’ve onboarded your new employees successfully, check out “How to Offer Affordable Employee Benefits” to learn how to keep your newly trained hires happy.