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7 Steps to Onboarding Employees that Stay Long-Term


Retaining employees long-term is a priority in business to avoid expensive mistakes. Your on-boarding process – what you do in the first 90 days after hiring someone new – is what will ultimately determine your hiring success rate. You need to examine what you’re doing in your on-boarding process to assure you’re unintentionally sabotaging your new employees’ chances of success on the job.

The following on-boarding tips will help set your new hires up for success and a long-term stay at your company:

1. Create an Orientation Plan

Before hiring anyone, you need to create a written on-boarding and orientation plan. Here are some questions to answer when writing this plan:

  • What will their first day look like? What about their first week, and first month?
  • Who will guide them through on-boarding and what topics will they cover?
  • How will you orient them on their responsibilities?
  • How will you introduce them to their team? How will you orient them to internal company systems?
  • How will you orient them to the company culture, the market you serve, and the products or services you deliver?

Note that this plan need not be a lengthy, multiple page plan but instead just take a half-hour to an hour of your time to think through this plan and put it on paper. Start with the job description and flesh out a checklist of responsibilities across a timeline for how you’ll orient the new hire.

2. Get Feedback on Your Orientation Plan

The best way to know if this plan you create is successful is to put it into action. But the work doesn’t stop there. You must also be sure to get feedback along the way. So talk to your final candidates about the on-boarding and orientation process to get a feel for who exactly you should hire. Ask how they think they could best be on-boarded – this will help guide and refine your on-boarding process. Once you hire people and begin orienting them, continue asking for feedback so you can refine the process for future hires.

3. Set Them Up to Hit the Ground Running On the First Day

It’s important to have all the infrastructure set up before your new hire starts. This way the mundane, organizational, housekeeping tasks are out of the way and that nervous/excited first-day-on-the-job energy isn’t wasted by sitting around doing paperwork for the first few hours, then later waiting for their email and phone to be set up so they can be productive. Make sure you bring in the new employee with a lot of energy – a big warm welcome from the team – so they can channel their excitement into beginning work in an environment that feels supportive.

4. Have your New Hires Help Document & Improve Your Process

Make it known from the beginning of your on-boarding process with each new hire that you will ask for their feedback at the end of the process, so it’s their responsibility to take notes to be able to best provide that feedback. Not only will this documentation help you improve the process for future hires, but it will also encourage new hires to pay closer attention and learn deeper during the on-boarding process.

5. Put Your New Hire in Your Customer’s Shoes

This is a great way for new hires to quickly understand the context in which you’re orienting them. Walking these new employees through the experience of your customer will help them make the connection between their work and the real value their helping to contribute to your customers.

6. Break Down Training Into Smaller Pieces

Rather than long 3-hour sessions, make your orientation more bite-sized. Provide orientation blocks of 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and 90 minutes with breaks in between so the new hire can meet the staff and tour the office. It may take more planning than simply dumping information on a new hire over several hours but this is a much better orientation experience for them.

7. Check-In Regularly With New Hires

Check in with your new hire on a regular schedule over their first 90 days. These check-ins will keep both you and them accountable to the orientation timeline and ensure the process is going smoothly. Make sure you always ask for feedback about the process at these check-ins so you can improve for future hires.


Crafting an on-boarding process that sets new hires up for success is key to employee retention. Follow these steps to creating an on-boarding process that encourages employees to stay at your company– one of the best investments a company can make.

Interested in refining your on-boarding process? Contact Experience on Demand for help.