A new starter walks through the office doors, wide-eyed and eager. How do you make their first day a jaw-dropping experience?

Every new employee should be set up for success from the start, and your onboarding processes are the main way in which this is achieved, as they set the tone for an employee’s entire journey with your business. When done right, onboarding can lead to higher employee engagement, improved retention rates, and increased productivity. The importance of getting this right cannot be understated! We’ve compiled a handy guide to follow, when your next onboarding period comes around. Check it out below.

Start Before Day One

Effective onboarding begins even before the new employee sets foot in the office. Pre-boarding activities can include sending welcome emails, inviting them on team building days, team nights or lunches out, sharing company culture materials, and providing essential paperwork in advance. You might even decide to send your new starter some branded goodies, sometimes known as a ‘swag pack’. This helps new employees feel prepared and excited about their new role.

Be Prepared

Before your new starters even step through the door, have a well-defined plan in place. This might be a clear timeline that outlines what should be accomplished during the first week, first month, and first quarter. A well-structured onboarding plan is essential for consistency and success.

On the first day, equip your new employees with all the tools they need to succeed, this includes company handbooks, training materials, and access to necessary software and systems. You could organise a welcome gathering with key team members, or you could even head out for lunch. This is a chance for new starters to put faces to names and feel part of the team whilst effectively reducing silos and barriers between leaders and teams, which is critical in creating a positive workplace culture.

Assign Mentors or Buddies

You could assign a mentor or buddy who can guide new starters through their early days, answering questions and offering support. It can make the onboarding process feel less overwhelming and more enjoyable, creating a positive experience.

Provide Clear Expectations and Goals

Employees should understand their role, responsibilities, and how they contribute to the company’s success. Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) targets can help employees understand what is expected of them. It is important to set out these expectations in the first few weeks of employment so you can monitor success. You might choose to review targets as part of a probation period.

As part of this discussion, it is a good idea to explain the company vision, mission and values or company culture to the new starter so that they have a clear understanding of how their individual targets and behaviour will contribute toward the wider business goals.

Follow Up and Check-In

Onboarding doesn’t end after the first few weeks. Schedule regular check-ins with new employees to gauge their progress, address any concerns, and provide ongoing support. Make sure they know that their growth and well-being are a top priority.


Seek feedback from new employees regularly. What’s working well? What needs improvement? Effective onboarding is a continuous loop of learning and improvement, so you can make adjustments accordingly.


Effective onboarding practices are essential for fostering a positive employee experience and maximising their potential within your business. By implementing these best practices, you can create a seamless onboarding process that sets the stage for long-term success and engagement, benefiting both the employee and the company as a whole. Good news all-round!

Remember, onboarding is a process, not a one-time event, by following the tips in this blog then you’ll be able to watch your employees become an integral part of your team.

How Hallidays HR can help

If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 476 8276 or email hr@hallidayshr.co.uk. And of course, visit our LinkedIn page.