The Power of a New Employee Onboarding Checklist

Discover how an onboarding checklist can streamline your process and improve employee engagement.

June 26, 2023
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Now that you have added a new employee to your team, it is time to help them settle in. Setting the scene for new hires’ success and satisfaction is a crucial ‘make or mar’ component of your business growth. 

And while that may seem daunting, an organized onboarding checklist is the perfect road map to do the trick!

It ensures that all required activities are carried out and new hires receive the assistance they need during their transition. 

This article will discuss the power of a new employee onboarding checklist and provide tips for creating a practical checklist.

What is an Onboarding Checklist?

An onboarding checklist is a document that outlines the duties and activities required to ensure a seamless transition for new hires. It functions as a manual, ensuring all necessary procedures are in place to ease new employees into the workplace environment, provide them with the essential tools, and align their goals with the business.

During onboarding, the company can use the checklist to provide new hires with the necessary resources and support to integrate into their roles. It ensures all critical phases are included and the new employee has a thorough and standardized onboarding process.

Your checklist may include completing employment paperwork, learning company policies, setting up workstations, explaining corporate policies and procedures, giving out training materials, allocating mentors, and monitoring the new employee's development throughout the first few months.

The Benefits of an Onboarding Checklist

Brandon Hall Group's studies suggest that companies with effective onboarding procedures increase productivity by over 70% and recruit retention by 82%.

You can provide an appealing onboarding experience that paves the way for continuous achievement and employee happiness with the help of a well-designed checklist. 

Here are the benefits of having an onboarding checklist: 

  1. Simplifies the hiring procedure

HR specialists and managers can effectively manage and monitor the progress of each assignment by using a comprehensive checklist that covers all the required procedures. Simplifying the process eliminates ambiguity, saves time, and ensures nothing is overlooked during onboarding. 

  1. Ensures uniformity and standardization

An onboarding checklist provides a standardized method, guaranteeing that all recruits receive the same knowledge, tools, and experiences. Maintaining consistency creates an even playing field, ensuring employees have the information and resources to succeed. 

Additionally, it encourages equity and removes the possibility of some employees missing crucial information.

  1. Ensures a seamless transition for new employees

For new hires, starting a new job may be intimidating. A checklist for onboarding serves as a guide, leading the team members through the many phases of the onboarding process. 

It gives a clear path for their integration into the business and helps them understand expectations. A structured onboarding procedure will ensure new hires feel more assured, supported, and ready to begin their new jobs. 

  1. Enhances engagement and performance

An effective onboarding checklist ensures nothing is left out. So new hires get the proper orientation, instruction, materials, and introductions to relevant team members. 

They feel more a part of the company and are better able to comprehend how their contributions affect the success of the company. In turn, their engagement increases productivity, motivation, and commitment to the job.

  1. Reducing compliance risks and mistakes

Adherence to legal and regulatory obligations is a crucial step during the onboarding process. An onboarding checklist assists HR specialists, and managers ensure that all required documentation, training, and certifications are completed precisely and on schedule. 

By using the checklist, organizations can reduce compliance risks and mistakes, lower their risk of legal liability, and maintain compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

What Is Included in an Onboarding Checklist?

Understanding the key components to include in an onboarding checklist equips you with practical insights to create an effective onboarding process. 

It also allows you to build a structure that can be replicated within the organisation to enhance new employee integration into the company.

Let's dive in!

  1. Pre-arrival Preparation: 

This includes setting up the new employee’s workspace, equipment, and systems and completing all required paperwork.

  1. Orientation and Company Introduction: 

This entails introducing the company's mission, values, and culture to the new staff. It often includes a workplace tour and introductions to key team members.

  1. Training and Skill Development: 

Providing relevant training programs and resources to help new employees acquire the knowledge and skills required to excel in their roles. This can include virtual training sessions, practical workshops, buddy systems, and mentorship opportunities.

  1. HR and Administrative Procedures: 

This involves covering important paperwork such as benefits enrollment, company policies and procedures, etc.

  1. Ongoing Support and Feedback:

Establishing channels for open communication, providing continuous support, encouraging social interactions, networking opportunities, and conducting regular performance check-ins to ensure the new employee's success and address any concerns or questions. 

How to Create an Onboarding Checklist

Understanding and assessing your organization’s needs is essential before creating an onboarding checklist. 

Here are simple tips to help you begin: 

  • Determine key milestones: 

Break the onboarding process down into discrete phases and determine each milestone. 

  • Specify tasks: 

Describe the new employee or other participants' duties for each milestone.

  • Set task priorities: 

Put the tasks in a sensible sequence, giving precedence to the most important ones.

  • Distribute duties: 

Decide if HR, the department manager, or a combination will handle each job.

  • Use templates: 

Benefit from Assembly's onboarding checklist templates, a good starting point for creating your checklist.

The New Hire Survey Flow enables you to collate relevant information to support the process within your new employee’s first 30 days. You can get the best out of the new hire by gaining insights into the employee’s work preferences and proactively addressing any challenges. 

Once your new employee begins to settle into their new roles, your work isn’t done yet. There’s a need to understand how they are settling in. An Employee Pulse Survey Template lets you get a feel of how your new hires are faring and get feedback.

As mentioned earlier, you need to recognize achievements even in an employee's early days. Give Recognition Flow makes it easier to appreciate your new hires and spur them to do more.  

Onboarding Checklist Phases: 

A. Pre-onboarding phase

Pre-onboarding is a crucial phase that lays the groundwork for a seamless onboarding process. To ensure that everything is ready before the new hire's start date, the following should be on the onboarding checklist:

1. Gather necessary documentation:

  • An offer letter and employment contract
  • Non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements (if needed)
  • Benefits enrollment and Tax forms

2. Set up workstation and provide equipment:

  • Work equipment and software
  • Set up company email and accounts

3. Prepare new employee’s workspace:

  • Organize workspace
  • Provide necessary office supplies
  • Welcome note from the team 

B. Orientation phase

During orientation, companies should introduce new hires to the organization’s mission, values, and policies. The following activities should be on the onboarding checklist to guarantee that new hires get a thorough orientation:

  1. Introduce the organization’s culture and policies:
  • Schedule an orientation session for the new hire
  • Share relatable stories and case studies that showcase the company’s culture.
  1. Present an overview of the company’s processes: 
  • Provide an employee handbook that includes the code of conduct, attendance, etc.
  • Explain the process for administrative or special tasks. 
  1.  Introduce the new hire to team members:
  • Arrange sessions with team members and stakeholders
  • Facilitate relationship-building sessions
  • Provide guidance and support to new hire

C. Role Training phase

New hires need the proper information and skills to succeed during the role training phase. Here are the things to ensure new hires get the assistance and training they require:

  1. Outline job responsibilities and expectations:
  • Communicate the specific duties and responsibilities for the new hire’s role 
  • State performance goals and what success looks like in the role
  • Explain the communication line and reporting structure within the company

  1. Provide training materials and resources:
  • Arrange relevant training manuals and guides
  • Share training materials and resources
  • Provide support through templates and checklists

  1. Schedule relevant training sessions: 
  • Coordinate interactive training activities to enhance learning and engagement
  • Provide job-specific knowledge resources to help new hires pick up relevant skills. 

D. Role Transition phase

The role transition phase aims to assist recruits as they fully assume their jobs and assume more responsibility. Activities to include are:

  1. Assign a mentor or work buddy:
  • Introduce the new hire to an experienced employee who can provide support 
  • Ensure regular check-ins for new hire
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer and relationship building within the team

  1. Monitor progress and provide feedback during the initial months:
  • Assess new hire’s progress through regular check-ins
  • Provide constructive feedback and appreciate the achievement

Utilizing tools and software for checklist creation

The success of an onboarding checklist depends on the type of tools and resources available to create a seamless process. The right tools offer a structured framework, automation features, and customized templates to speed up the checklist generation process.

Assembly, a user-friendly employee engagement tool, is one of the best solutions to help you get the best out of any onboarding process. 

 Here are some tips for maximizing these resources:

  • Identify tools that meet your organization’s needs and budget
  • Consider their capabilities and customization
  • Check if the tool integrates with your HR structure and other third-party solutions. 

Your tech stack can be the difference between how well you can onboard new hires. Here are the benefits of using an HR automation tool like Assembly to handle onboarding: 

  • Personalized checklist creation: You can create pre-built templates based on your organization’s unique needs.
  • Automation and reminders: You can create seamless end-to-end processes and reminders for anyone in your organization, including new hires. 
  • Collaboration and communication: You can facilitate cross-department collaboration between different units during onboarding. This will enable you to track feedback and address any concerns. 
  • Analytics and reporting: Monitor and measure onboarding processes' efficiency and note areas for improvement. 

Who Is in Charge of Managing the Onboarding Checklist?

Depending on the organization's size and structure, different people may have different responsibilities for managing the onboarding checklist. 

In larger teams, HR professionals are typically responsible for managing and directing the onboarding procedure. The hiring manager may be in charge of the checklist in smaller businesses. 

Alternatively, HR and the hiring manager can work together to guarantee prompt executions. Clear communication and a dedicated point of contact ensure a seamless onboarding process.

Onboard With Ease

A well-planned onboarding checklist assures new employees of the company’s dedication to ensuring their inclusion, development, and advancement within the company.  And you can create an easy and smooth transition period for your new hires by accelerating and automating the processes involved. 

Companies can make a good first impression and develop close bonds with new hires by offering an organized and thorough onboarding process. This encourages loyalty and long-term commitment.

Assembly’s suite is a great way to leverage customizable tools to boost new employee engagement, productivity, and satisfaction. 

Here is what Upkeep says about the ease of using Assembly for onboarding. 

It ensures that all required activities are carried out and new hires receive the assistance they need during their transition. 

This article will discuss the power of a new employee onboarding checklist and provide tips for creating a practical checklist.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

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