Two hair stylists stand over a client in a styling chair. The stylist on the right is a tall man in a long-sleeved black shirt and khaki apron; he stands behind the client and holds the ends of her long brown hair. The stylist on the left, a curly-haired woman also wearing a khaki apron, observes.
The first week of a new hire's tenure should involve role-specific training, including learning about tools and processes that they'll see in their day-to-day work. — Getty Images/sturti

The amount of information a new hire receives during their onboarding can be overwhelming. From understanding their benefits options to learning new systems and software, there’s a lot to remember.

Creating an onboarding checklist can help you and your new employee stay organized. A checklist can help you manage the flow of information so your new hire doesn’t get overwhelmed early. Use this checklist to set your new employees on the right path toward becoming an integral member of your team.

Before Day 1: Start the paperwork and set up the workstation

Onboarding starts before the employee arrives at your place of business for their first day. Square away all the paperwork related to their contract to make the transition from recruitment to HR. “New hire paperwork is most effective when processed before the employee’s first day. Making a paperwork checklist is helpful to ensure that no paperwork is forgotten during onboarding,” wrote BetterUp.

Send a welcome email with information the new hire needs before their first day, such as where your office is, what time they should arrive, the dress code, and any parking or public transportation details.

In addition, make sure the team is prepped for the new hire’s arrival. Set up the employee’s workstation with any equipment they need, as well as a welcome package with your employee handbook, some company swag, and any supplies they need to get started.

Managers should send the new hire a welcome email with a brief overview of what to expect during their first week. Once all the paperwork has been completed, ask the new hire if they’re open to meeting with an orientation buddy or with their direct supervisor before their first day to get some more information about what to expect. This gives them a friendly face to know on Day 1.

Day 1: Cover the basics

The first day should focus on helping the new hire find their way around, finishing off any remaining paperwork, and introducing the rest of the team. Make sure all the paperwork required by law is squared away; the federal government, for example, requires new hires to complete Form I-9 and Form W-4.

New hire paperwork is most effective when processed before the employee’s first day.

Maggie Wooll, BetterUp

Give the new hire a thorough and thoughtful tour of the workspace. “Don’t just show them spaces, tell them how to use office equipment, how to lock/unlock doors and where to go for lunch. It’s important they know the premises and move freely among the many offices, desks, and corridors,” wrote Workable.

And consider hosting a lunch so your new hire can start to meet and get to know the rest of the team. To avoid overwhelming the person with new faces, invite only the team members who they will be working with directly.

[Read more: Welcome! Onboarding New Employees Is Key to Hiring Success]

Week 1: Role-specific training and tasks

Orientation helps the new hire get acclimated with the company work environment. Once that is complete, you can start introducing them to the systems and tools they need in their role.

Provide training for any tools the new hire hasn’t used previously. Include any organizational training, too — knowledge transfer that helps an employee understand the tools and processes the company uses. “​​For example, a large company might offer training in using spreadsheets and how to complete performance reviews. It might also require training in the company's information security practices,” wrote BetterUp.

Throughout the first week, the new hire should meet regularly with their manager to discuss expectations and goal setting for their first few months. Work with the new hire to create 30-, 60-, and 90-day check-in plans that cover specific onboarding and outcome-specific objectives. This can help the new hire understand the expectations they need to meet and gain clarity about their role in the organization.

Week 2 and beyond: Check in regularly

As time goes on, make sure your new hire gets face time with senior leaders in the organization, as well as teams they don’t work with directly. Invite them to join any standing meetings that are relevant to their role. And get regular feedback from your new hire to see what additional training, if any, is needed.

[Read more: 4 Smart Strategies for Onboarding Remote Employees]

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